September 30, 2008

A Note on the Music

Ladies and gents (and probably more so, ladies), I feel compelled to point out that the current song of the day (I'd Rather Be with You)is cheap as free from's MP3 downloads (for those of you who still have a conscience).

It's a really cute lovey dovey song, and I've added it to my ever growing playlist of love songs. You can add it to your playlist, too, for the low, low price of nada.

I have recently fallen in love with Amazon's free MP3 downloads. I am not an ITunes gal, mostly because I don't like macs, and I hate that ITunes music files are so restrictive (i.e., I can't seem to download them to my generic MP3 player, and much as I'd like to have hundreds of dollars to throw at an IPod, I do not). I subscribe to the Amazon newsletter, so every week or so, I get a list of three or more free downloads. It's pretty sweet. I have also been scrolling through their recommendations based on whether or not I like something. It's a great way to pick up some cool music and get a nice sampler going.

We all know I make a mean mix CD, and this is a great way for me to keep doing that.

Anyway, enjoy the song of the day for free if you're so inclined.

Posted by LoWriter at 10:49 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2008

I'm Sick of Being Sick!

So, I am going to take a moment to whine, even though I am feeling better today.

I am tired of crashing completely dead tired at the end of a hard day of, oh, watching football followed by the extremely stressful activity of watching a movie.

I am tired of randomly being in pain and not being able to do anything fun like go to Duluth or Gooseberry Falls.

I am tired of having to wait to go wedding dress shopping because I feel like crap. And of not being able to get engagement pics taken because I feel like crap. And of not being able to pick out paper for our theoretically super cool invites because I feel like crap. And of not caring what the hell time the ceremony is at, as long as I no longer feel like crap by then.

I am tired of losing weight more slowly than Ben. Grrrr.

I am tired of going to the doctor. I hate the doctor. I never want to go to another doctor again, but oh, joy of all joys, I have at least three more appointments, most likely. And why don't they listen to you? Hello, doctor, I feel like crap, and here are the most likely reasons why. All they want to do is go, "Well, let's run 10 million unneccessary and unpleasant tests to confirm what you just told me." So far, I am 1 for 1. I expect to be 2 for 2 by next week. They should have to give you a refund on all the tests if you end up being right about what's wrong with you. Maybe I will ask that when I go in tomorrow.

I am tired of being sans beer and other alcoholic beverages. It is Okterberfest, which is one of my favorite holidays, and it is also football season, and there is no beer in my Sunday afternoons. I don't need a lot of beers, but I'd like to enjoy A beer with my Vikings.

I am tired of not being able to be held on my right side, damn it. I just want a hug over there again.

I am just plain old tired.


Posted by LoWriter at 11:12 PM | Comments (2)

September 20, 2008

Eleven Years

I didn't write an article on the anniversary of Amy's death this year. Frankly, I believe I was not feeling very well that day, so I had pain of a different variety to deal with.

I guess if I had to sum up the year in a nutshell, I would put it like this: This year, I ate peaches and cream and it didn't taste like sawdust.

When Amy died, I didn't want to eat, but of course, you can't go through life without eating, so my mom made me sit down and eat (obviously). She fixed me peaches and cream with graham crackers, a treat that was always a childhood favorite, and made me sit there until I'd eaten it. That was the first thing I ate after Amy died, and it tasted like sawdust. It tasted like I'd been crying for hours on end (which I had). It tasted like all my sorrow in a bowl. It tasted like life going on without my best friend.

And I've never been able to really enjoy peaches and cream since. I can't say for certain that I've never eaten it since, but I've never fixed it for myself, and I have turned it down at home on more than one occasion, saying something about how I don't really like it anymore.

This year, I was jonesing for it. I was sick, and I thought that peaches and cream with some graham crackers over the top would hit the spot. And it tasted like it used to taste. It tasted like being a kid. It tasted like summers in my mom's kitchen.

I'm not going to say that I'm getting better because I'm pretty sure you never get better. But it does get easier. I'm starting to feel like my own person again. I know, some accomplishment after 11 years, right? And yet, I feel like I am more myself again than I've been in a long time.

I've said it before, but in a weird way, the loss of my grandfather has helped me cope with losing Amy all those years ago. You don't forget, but you get older. I'm learning. My whole life doesn't have to be about one very tragic loss. I get to have a life, too. I get to have a life, and I don't have to feel guilty about it. I don't have to feel guilty about enjoying it, about falling in love, about moving forward.

I get to enjoy peaches and cream with graham crackers and all the other good things that life holds without it meaning that she meant any less to me than she did. I get to enjoy the things that living holds for me. And I'm so very glad to have turned this corner at long, long last.

Posted by LoWriter at 12:22 AM | Comments (0)

September 15, 2008

Experimental Dinner

Last week, Ben and I made our first dinner without a recipe! It all started with a giant zucchini that my mom sent back to us with my sister out of the garden. Because I've been so ill off and on, some of the garden stuff she sent went bad on us, sadly. I was bound and determined that the giant zucchini would be eaten and not thrown away. So, I set out to find a recipe that had zucchini, chicken, tomatoes, maybe some mushrooms, and some spices in it. I didn't want to make a sauce, exactly; I wanted to make a skillet meal that I could maybe serve with rice. Or something. I wasn't sure. But I'd know it when I saw it, damn it!

So, basically, after being thwarted at every turn by my recipe collection, my magazines a co-worker gave me, and Yahoo Food (with Rachel Ray, I might add), I finally decided that we were going to just make it up as we went.

It turned out pretty fantastic. (I put in too much basil. Other than that, it was pretty darned tasty.)

So, here's what we did. Fry up some chicken in a pan with some minced garlic (two cloves), some basil (I used too much, but we just dumped, so I have no idea how much), some rosemary, some oregano, and little tiny bit of terragon. (If I do it again, I might use thyme, too, or instead of terragon.)

Cut up a medium-large to large onion and throw that in after the chicken is getting towards done. Cut an enormous zucchini into slices, and then cut the slices into fourths. Cook that for awhile with the chicken once the chicken is pretty much cooked. (It might not be a bad idea to try to saute it up in a seperate pan while frying the chicken, but we didn't do that, and it turned out fine.)

When everything is tender, throw in either one or two cans of diced tomatoes. (We used two, but we figure one would have done it.) Then throw in a can of Portabella mushrooms. (This is my new favorite thing. I use them in everything. They are like the mushrooms in the Olive Garden Ravioli de Portabella--right down to the fact that I don't have to cut them.) Taste it and see if it needs more seasoning. If so, add some more. (But go easy on the basil.)

Bring it to a boil for awhile and let it all get to tasting yummy. When it looks more like a skillet meal and less like stew, turn it off and serve over rice. We used Minute Rice because we're classy like that. It could also go over pasta. I expect that in the middle of the winter, it would also make a mean stew, except that it would be difficult to acquire an enormous zucchini in the middle of the winter. Unless you are Bill Gates. Or Jesus. Then you can probably get whatever you want.

I listed the spices in order from most used to least used. We used dried because we don't have a garden yet (I get no sun in my apt.).

In any case, we were both pretty impressed with ourselves. We've gone from never cooking to experimental dinners in about 6 months. I consider that a triumph! Hooray for experimental dinner!

Posted by LoWriter at 10:42 PM | Comments (6)

September 14, 2008

"And I Can See Russia from My House!"

This is a great SNL clip. I laughed out loud. I especially like the punchline from the Hillary character at the end.

Be warned, the SNL clip mocks Sarah Palin, who I dislike. A lot.

To be fair, the SNL clip also sort of mocks Hillary Clinton, who I'm not a huge fan of either, but I kinda feel bad for her now.

But it's funny, so enjoy. :)

Posted by LoWriter at 08:40 AM

September 05, 2008

You Get Less of Me

Some of us are very sick and have been for a long time. And we would like to take this opportunity to whine about it. If you don't want to listen, don't read on.

What are we sick with, you might ask? Well, gall stones, in point of fact.

And possibly something else. I am getting a visit to another specialist (provided my insurance can start sucking less and get me an appointment) and a second opinion on surgery since the first surgeon went from "Why are you darkening my door?" to "You need to get your gall bladder out right now!" a little too quickly for my tastes. (I also really didn't like him.)

What does this mean for all of you? Well, mostly, less of me. Sadly, I am easily exhausted. I also feel like a midget or a toddler has been walking around on my ribcage and my kidneys.

The worst part is actually the fact that I look fine. I can be fine one minute, and then the next, not so much (though today I was told that I look tired and wasn't I feeling any better yet? Uh, no. It's not like a cold. They have to do something before I'm going to feel better). So, if you don't get how I can be at a lawn party one minute and too sick to call anybody the next, rest easy; you're not alone.

It's too bad for you, but you're not alone. ;)

It's not really that big of deal; it's a very successful surgery, and I don't think I even have to stay overnight if that's what I end up doing. I'll be out of work for at least 2 weeks, maybe 3.

That may have been TMI for some of you, but oh well. Those of you who read probably need the update. I've been meaning to send an email... but... well... I am going to go to bed instead.

Posted by LoWriter at 10:49 PM | Comments (3)