Friday, August 21, 2009

Why I started caring again

I think being casually apathetic started in high school. Not really caring about others -- in a school context, in particular. I don't recall caring about bettering myself either. I think anti-depression drugs had a lot to do with that, looking back. Let's be honest: Zoloft, Effexor, etc have one goal: to even out the serotonin in your brain enough so you can function. They can and will make you numb as well. Just a disclaimer. Part of the process.

I probably could've been a better wife the first time around, as a result. I will continue dealing with that. I'm sorry that I wasn't mature enough to deal with what was brought to the table: from either end.

My point: you understand what has happened in life and you move forward. You learn what your body chemistry is so you can tell your kids what they might have to deal with. You figure out if you will be a good mom based on your experiences.

I started caring again because of love, "real love" and coming to the adult part of your journey in life. I'm just glad it was when I was 26 or so, not later on.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dear Test Kitchen

I need to tell you why I am irked at you. Why we are upset at your condescension, your smugness at somehow...but not really...having the "corner market" regarding the good food of Kansas City.

We signed up, one of us new to Kansas and the Midwest, thinking a Test Kitchen would be exclusive, but not pretentious. We believed we'd be able to meet people who cared about cuisine. We instead learned that the Test Kitchen is available to whoever signs up; that the current email list is over 400 people. If you have Internet access, readily available cash, and believe that the Food Network is special, you too could be a part of a status symbol.

There is nothing Underground about this Supper Club. The Tastebud magazine let us know that.

We believed, somehow, that those in the trenches were involved, not those who seek to make a buck being trendy and available it is again: exclusive.
At the outset, we knew the "selected" for each (on average) monthly event is 20 people. We did not know our chances would be less than 5%. This would've been good to know. A disclosure at the outset, shall we say.

When rejected, we did not wish to get the following rhyme:

"Although today was not your day,
and we had to give your seat away,
rest assured in just 30 days,
you'll have a new chance to come and play."

Right. Another .5% chance. For a menu that may or may not be disclosed. To those who may or may not give a damn.

The sad thing is, I will probably put my name in the lottery again. I'm curious about others who take the time and pay the money to spend time with a chef who produces great food. It is sad that such an event must be a gamble.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Things My Parents Told Me About Food that Weren't True

Went to the Farmer's Market in Lawrence today and got to thinking about what my parents (actually my Mom now that i think about it) told me about food that was not true.

1. Red and yellow and orange peppers taste like green.

2. Spam is delicious.
>>Dad made me a Spam sandwich and one bite told me this was not true

3. English muffins travel well in lunch boxes.
>>I recently found out that English muffins are part of a category called "hide bread." Items in this group do not taste cooked unless they are toasted. I thought it was just me being picky, but it turns out that a lot of people don't like it either.

4. Allspice is a blend of cinnamon, allspice and clove.
>>it is actually a berry that is its own spice. You can make an approximation of allspice using these ingredients but its not the same thing.

5. You can freeze everything and it will be ok to eat once it is reheated.
>>I will let you use your imagination here. =)

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Happy Anniversary to my Finnish friend!

So Rhia is celebrating her first anniversary of blogging over at
Check her out! She translates to English. =)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Facebook Groups

I started a Group called Menudo is Delicious and I Love It. I am currently the only member, but I hope that more people will join. The problem is that many people don't think it is delicious. My family has tried it and they don't like it much. But I urge you to give it a try, especially if you are a fan of:
b)spicy foods
c) strong flavors (oregano, cumin, chili powder) in soup

I did find a place in Kansas City that has supposedly good menudo. I will have to go there soon.
Even my husband doesn't like menudo. He and I are going to start a Group called: "Our
Birthday is on a Holiday and That Makes Us Better Than You."

Monday, June 22, 2009

when I was little

This is a quiz translated from Finnish so some of the questions are kind of funny.

1. Where and when you were born?
At the (still) only hospital in Lawrence, KS

2. Do you have siblings?
My brother was born when I was 2 and a half and my sister when I was 4 and a half.

3. Were you in daycare?
Not in the traditional sense. Mom worked half days until we were school-age or so and we had babysitters frequently.

4. Did you have any pets?
no. I got my first guinea pig when I was in second grade.

5. Do you remember the time when kids didn't have any safety seats?
yeah, we fought over sitting shotgun all the time. there were no shoulder belts in the backseat, either

6. Did you have any favorite toy?
I had a lot of stuffed animals and a flying unicorn that I was convinced watched over me, i was fine with nothing else but my blankie and a few good books though

7. Do you remember what you were going to be when you grow up?
I wanted to be a cookbook writer or a language teacher or a lawyer

8. Were you invisible child or naughty and noisy?
I was pretty bad. Not compared to other kids but I had this ability to drive my parents crazy!

9. Were you wandering around other peoples yards to play with other kids, key hanging on your neck?
There were a lot of kids around so we always had someone to play with, especially when I was oh, 8 and younger

10. Did you sleep lights on?
No, but I couldn't sleep with the door shut

11. Your favourite kids program?
We watched Sesame Street, the Smurfs, Rainbow Brite, GI Joe, Punky Brewster (the cartoon version)

12. Do you remember your first day at school?
Very hazy but yeah...there was a lot going on and too much commotion...I remember just wanting things to start so I could go home again

13. Did you collect anything?
I had a rock and shell collection and a lot of colored pencils and things like that

14. Your favourite subjects?
I liked to read. i didn't really want to do anything else most of the time.

15. Were you bully at school or the one to be bullied?
I looked kind of funny so I was bullied or kind of a loner

16. Your hobbies?
reading, playing outside, watching TV, singing loudly, cooking whenever I was allowed

17. Your friends?
matt miller, melissa tacke, misty sterrett...there were others

18. Your favourite memory of lower classes event?
Anything quiet where I wouldn't be singled out or asked to do things in front of other people

19. What was your first teacher like?
mean and hateful =) They weren't always, I guess, but I do remember thinking wow, your job really sucks.

20. Did your parents have tough rules?
not really. manners at the dinner table were always really enforced. We always had to be happy or at least make conversation and if not, we had to go to the bathroom and "come out when we could be pleasant."

21. How did your family spend holidays?
We traveled around quite a bit. We went to Texas, Chicago, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, and of course to family events nearby

22. Your favourite food as a kid?
I really liked almost everything. Sugary stuff tasted so much better back then.

23. Did people smoke inside back then?
I still remember hostesses at restaurants saying, "smoking or non-smoking section?"

24. What were you afraid of?
dark, fire, stepping on worms

25. Do you have your own kids now?
No, but when I do, I hope they read this

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In Kansas Now!

In the last month, I've quit my job in Wheat Ridge, E has graduated, we got married the same day and moved to Kansas 5 days later. I started my new job on June 1 and E started his new job on Friday.

I'd say the most fun thing we've done since we've been here was yesterday when we went to the Farmer's Market in Lawrence. Its huge! We got duck eggs, goat and lamb chops, radish pods (had never seen those before), green garlic, local raw goat cheese, baby crookneck squash...a lot of great stuff. We made lunch for Dad after. I think he liked most of it.

Today we are going to a Royals game. It has been so hot and humid out, but it'll be fun. Aud is moving to Columbia soon to start med school at Mizzou so its good time together. My birthday is in 2 weeks and I have it all planned out!!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Best and Worst

1. My name:
BEST thing is that my first name is so familiar and classic
WORST...changing your last name is such a pain but it feels foreign and weird to me

2. My face:
BEST is that it is very expressive and I have a pretty good smile
WORST it is very expressive...i couldn't play poker to save my life

3. My body:
BEST thing: I'm pretty limber and don't get sore when I'm active
WORST part is my stupid stubby legs

4. My character:
BEST features are: not a lot bothers me, long-term. I'm also a good listener and try hard to be accepting
WORST thing is: I'm an extreme introvert and fairly socially awkward

5. My wardrobe:
BEST items are my Threadless t-shirts
WORST part is how generic it is. I can it be worst if I really don't mind?

6. My home:
BEST thing is the location and the fact that theres not room to cram it full of junk
WORST is that its pretty old and not in a great part of town

7. My work:
BEST: its pretty laidback in terms of schedule
WORST is the general lack of communication and the fact that most residents never get to leave. Like Hotel California without fun drugs or a pool.

8. My friends:
BEST thing is that tthey are loyal and we can pick up right where we left off, no matter how long it has been. I know they will do anything for me and hope they know I would do the same for them!
WORST is that i don't see them as often as I'd like and I'm such an introvert kind of keeps the number limited

9. My family:
BEST about my family is they are stable and supportive and role models
WORST thing is sometimes I feel disconnected from them and wonder if it is just the distance

10. My hobbies:
BEST thing is that they are mostly the same as the ones I had a decade ago
WORST is that too many of them involve sitting on my ass

11. My partner:
BEST about him is we have more in common that I ever thought possible, I can't imagine living life without him and am excited about our adventures.
WORST is that he feels limited when he shouldn't ~ he has no idea how successful he can and will be

12. My pets:
BEST thing: they are so much fun and are always changing
WORST: their claws and the fact you can't stick them in a cage and ignore them when they bother you

13. My use of language:
BEST: I think I have a pretty good vocabulary
WORST is making up voices for the cats and animals in amuses me to no end and I'm glad eric puts up with it

14. My music taste:
BEST thing is I like songs in almost every genre
WORST thing is that I get sick of songs more than I used to

15. My home town:
BEST everyone is friendly and there is always something to do
WORST is you can't really go anywhere without running into someone you either know or recognize

16. My diet:
BEST i really enjoy vegetables
WORST is I am starting to be a fried food connoisseur

17. My children:
BEST: they are imaginary, for now
WORST: might have imaginary down syndrome

18. My neighbors:
BEST: are very interesting
WORST the transvestite kind of creeps me out and I'm worried that Grandma Chimney will burn our complex down

19. My current life:
BEST is that it is starting in a new direction
WORST part is the uncertainties and stress that come along with it

20. The future:
BEST is that you never know what is coming next!
WORST is all the responsibility that comes with it

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Wedding dress, from Finland with love

My friend Meri is adding some flair and love to my fairly bland and generic (but still nice) J. Crew wedding dress. My theme is 1930's-1940's style. I'm going to have a vintage hairstylist work her magic and do my makeup...

But this is what I'm really excited about. Closeups of the silk petals and crystals.

More pics...

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Anger Diet

Here are 10 steps to control anger, Dr. Shoshanna calls it "the Emergency Technique."
I paraphrased some, the spirit (and the difficulty) remains the same.

1. The moment you notice you're angry, even a little bit, stop everything. Stand or sit completely still. Breathe deeply, become as silent as you can. Count your breaths until you get to 10.

2. Put this situation in the largest possible context, preferably the context of your entire life. Realize that whatever it is, its not the end of the world.

3. Allow for the possibility that you are wrong. You will come up with a 1000 reasons why you are right, as the anger builds. You will think of why you have a right to be angry. Society encourages us not to be a doormat, to get what is right for us. Realize that we can never know or clearly see the entire situation.

4. Understand that the other party feels justified in their own perspective.
Pretend that the other party might actuallly be right and that you don't need to be right. There are plenty of other times that you can be right; you can be right another time.

5. Remind yourself that the other person is not necessarily trying to do you wrong or make you upset. Anger is all about how you perceive what is happening ~ the story you tell yourself.

6. Realize that a lot of the time anger breeds paranoia. The other person might think that you are trying to do him/her wrong, and might just be defending themselves. If you can, picture that the person is saying what they are saying to try to help you, even if it doesn't seem like it.

7. Imagine something that would make you feel compassion for the other party, for instance, that they are suffering or have recently experienced a loss. When we feel compassion for someone, it is impossible to be angry with them.

8. Forgive the person for having made you angry.

9. Forgive yourself for having been angry and for acting however you did.

10. Think of a way you could turn the situation around and make an enemy into a friend. Think of how you can help this person.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Oh the things I've done!

I got this off my Finnish friend Meri's blog:
>>in bold are the things I've done

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said "I love you" and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and didn't care who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer >>don't think a backup counts
40. Visited all 50 states (USA) >> I think I'm at 45!
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing

49. Taken a midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football

61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain

65. Gone to a drive-in theatre
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business >> Emily's weed-pulling, 3 cents a weed!
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest >>hawt 70s costume when I was 13
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on a television news program as an "expert"
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music

87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth >>>unsuccessfully
112. Won money on a TV game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on a photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for 30 hours in a 48 hour period
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. States
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat >>>not sure
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper

129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes

134. Read The Iliad and The Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read

136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions (the ones so far anyway)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language

139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gambling isn't for me

Blackhawk was ok. We went to Mardi Gras Casino which was like Vegas-lite. Cleaner, too. Played slots and Blackjack. I had read that you have the best odds playing craps which they don't have. And I don't know how to play.

The maximum bet there is $5. When/if I go back I'll play $3 blackjack...Losing $$ slower is more fun, especially if you are with people who have more $ to spend.

I will be interested to see if there is any spike in the crime rate when the maximum bet is raised to $100 and the casinos can be open 24 hrs a day, starting in July.

Sports betting seems like something I'd be more interested takes longer for you to win or lose money and the more you know about the teams, the better your odds. At least from my perspective.

I'd just be too hard on myself if I lost though. That just takes all the fun out of it...just don't have $$ to burn.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Being Social

Those of you who know me know that I'm a homebody and introvert. Being social I can do in small doses because it makes me so tired. While having a child is something I want, it is sometimes hard for me to imagine not being alone when I need to recharge.

Anyway, last Sunday we had lunch with Weeman and his new girlfriend, whose name I have already forgotten. Friday I'm going up to Blackhawk to the casinos with a couple of girls from work. I've already budgeted a small amount for this trip and we are pretty excited about going. I don't think they get out much either. =)

I really hope it doesn't snow. Brooke says she won't drive us up there if it does. It is kind of up in the mountains, about 45 minutes away.

The funny part is that Grandpa's invention, the Air Train is vying for a bid to build a system that goes from the Denver area to the Central City area casinos and maybe the mountains. What makes it even more ironic is that Grandpa is against gambling and I doubt he has ever played a round of poker in his life.

Being Healthy

A lot of peoples' New Year's resolutions have to do with getting more exercise. I usually do fairly well in that area, so I thought about what else I could do to be healthy.

1) Eat less processed food and sweets in general. I am purchasing whole turkeys instead of the roasted/preserved turkey for work, and every time I do this I remember to eat this way myself. Someday I hope we will be able to purchase "natural" ham but this isn't cost-effective right now.

I try to remember what desserts we serve that I like the best and eat only those, maybe one a week. I don't eat Dum-Dums anymore.

2) E's stepmom got us wheatgrass for the cats and they don't really like it...I remember having shots of it at Juice Stop and even though we have no juicer, i'm trying to have some 3 times a week. The health benefits are amazing. Every time I cut the wheat grass, I think of Treasa and her battle with cancer.

3) Supplements ~ I normally switch around, depending on whatever is on sale and I feel I am deficient in. Which isn't very healthy. So I'm sticking with hyaluronic acid tabs for my skin and quercetin, an antioxidant found to be very beneficial in preventing cancer. Both of these are have fairly clear benefits (as far as they can be, not being officially tested by the FDA) and the latter helps ease my mind because cancer runs in my family.

That is pretty much it...I love vegetables and could quite probably be deficient in protein if I didn't have someone around who loves steak and pork. =)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The New Year

So I decided that my major resolution for 2009 is to have a positive attitude when I get up in the morning. If you have that, you are less likely to do things I sometimes have a problem with:

1) Say mean things while trying to be funny/not thinking.

2) Take things too seriously when others are in a bad mood.

3) Not communicate when I feel like it is worthless to do so.

4) Dwell on things in the past and create an air of distrust for those who love me.

In general, having a good attitude helps me think of each day as a gift.
I've been able to do that for 6 days so far. 4 days more than I've ever been able to keep any other resolution.