Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Like it or not

I was recently given a bag of walnuts by a guy who, um…raises walnuts? Maybe he’s a walnut farmer? Or would it be a picker or processor? What would you call that? A Walnuteer?

Anyway, I have this bag of walnuts I was given and initially, I was thinking “wtf am I going to do with a bag of walnuts? I hate walnuts!” because without a doubt, if I eat a brownie or cookie or pretty much anything baked with walnuts, I’ll spit it out.However, I remembered that I like them by themselves or on salads (especially candied) and in oatmeal (but not oatmeal cookies) so I gladly took this nutty gift. I'm even eating walnuts as I type this.

This makes no sense to me. If I like walnuts I should always like them, right?
Same thing goes for tomatoes though. By themselves or in a nice caprese salad or bruschetta, I could eat them all day long. Put em on a sammich or a cheeseburger and I won’t eat it. I shudder at the mere thought.

This has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever written about…

Now I’m wracking my brain trying to think of other stuff that I sometimes like but sometimes don’t,  but I can’t think of anything I’m really wish-washy on. Just stuff I either love or hate.

I like chocolate pretty much all the time.
Bacon is out, as my love for it knows no bounds. I would wear bacon underwear if I thought I could get out of the house without Tex chewing my pants off or causing a ruckus in the office because of the delicious aroma of bacon sizzling from my pants because it's next to my hot booty. (I may try this as a dating tactic, I'll keep you posted)
I love Top Ramen more than anything. It’s stupid how much I love it. I would eat it three times a day every day if I knew I wouldn’t die from it.  My next tattoo is going to be the Maruchan logo. I kid you not.

 I guess celery and carrots qualify, as I can’t stand either of them. Give me a celery stalk or a carrot stick and I’ll probably feed them to your dog. If you don’t have a dog, I’ll hide them in your underwear drawer (next to the bacon underwear?) for you to find a month later. But on the other hand, I can’t make chicken soup without them.

Liver is one of those things I can’t eat in any form.
I’m really not crazy about lemon pepper seasoning, but that’s not a food, so I don’t think it belongs in this blog post.
Rye bread bread is...actually, there are no words to describe my hatred for rye bread.
Years ago, oysters would have been on this list, but I like them now. Same goes for mussels. This I cannot explain.

Maybe if I make myself a walnut sammich on rye with carrots, celery, tomatoes and lemon pepper liver I’ll get past this.

This pointless drivel has been brought to you by the letter zzzzzzzzzzz and the number 7.


Monday, December 19, 2011

You wish your soup was this good!

So I decided that since I make pretty much the most amazing chicken soup in the history of the world, I would share it with the average layman folk (that’s you).
It’s so ridiculously simple I almost feel guilty that it’s so delicious, but if you follow my detailed, easy to read directions, you too can make soup better than anyone (except for me).

I’ll start with the chicken. You could season and roast your own whole chicken, but I prefer to just pick up one of the rotisserie chickens from Costco.
I eat about 1/3 of it and then use the rest for soup the next day. So basically, I'm getting three or more meals from a $5 Costco chicken.

Now this is the part where you need to read very carefully. Veering from any one of these steps will certainly result in failure, so don’t say I didn’t warn you if your soup tastes like crap. It's your fault, not mine.

Pop the chicken carcass (that sounds so gross) into a pot of water and boil on medium high for about 30-40 minutes.

Got that? Good, you’re well on your way.

Now for the list of ingredients-

  • 2-3 carrots -  I hate carrots, but you can’t make chicken soup without them, so put em in and shut up. Stupid carrots!
  • 3-4 celery stalks – I hate celery too, but you can’t make chicken soup without it, so get it in there.
  • 1 medium onion – Onions rule!
  • A bunch of mushrooms – I love mushrooms, so I put a lot in there. If you don’t like mushrooms, you’re an idiot and should just stop reading now. Really, they’re delicious and there’s something wrong with you.
  • Some wild rice stuff – I like this because I think it’s better for you than plain old white rice and definitely adds more flavor, and even though I kinda feel like a hippie for using it, it’s purty.
  • Salt and pepper to taste (like you have any)
 So there you have it. Now start chopping all that crap up while the chicken is cooking so you’ll have it ready to go. We need to be efficient, people!

Okay, now here’s where it may get tricky for some of you, so  r e a d  t h i s  p a r t 
s l o w l y…

Put a strainer in a big bowl and dump the pot of dead chicken sauce in it. Take out the strained chicken and set it aside.

Then take your chicken sauce and pour it from the bowl back into the pot through one of these strainer things to get all the gross little leftover particles out.

Dump all your perfectly sliced vegetables in the pot (don’t worry if it seems full, the vegetable will…um…what’s the word for it? Yeah, cook and they will get smaller.Add a few cups of water and
simmer on medium heat.

 While all that yummy stuff (your house should be starting to smell really good, by the way) is cooking, start stripping the chicken carcass of all the meat, being VERY careful not to get any bones and also being careful not to throw up because you're stripping the meat off a dead chicken carcass and it's just gross to think about.
WARNING: If you are an idiot like I am, you will burn your fingers like I do every time because this chicken just came out of a pot of BOILING WATER!

Anyway, when you’re done, you’ll have this giant pile of chicken and all you’re going to want to do is shove your face in it like a cokehead at a swinger’s party in 1978, but please refrain. It’s chicken soup and you kinda need the chicken for it.

 So now that you’ve added all your ingredients, just add a couple of these…

And one of these…

 And 2-3 of these and let it simmer on low until the rice is cooked.

 That’s it and that’s all I have to say. Well that and if anyone wants to come over for some delicious homemade soup, I’ll have a bowl waiting for you.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

‘Tis the Season

I don’t know how many of you work in offices, but I’ve only been a “cube dweller” for just over two years and as much as I never, EVER thought I would enjoy the office life, it turns out I really do like it and am settling in nicely

Not that there haven’t been a few speed bumps along the way of course.

There’s this "office etiquette" thing that I’m working to master, but it seems that every once in a while, I screw up.
Much of this "office etiquette" is common sense, of which I’d like to think I have a good amount, but I’m a work in progress and I’m still learning the ins and outs of office life on a daily basis.
Things like controlling the volume of my voice and not using foul language are pretty easy. I learned that stuff in church when I was a kid.
It's the things like telling my boss she can really pull off the Ellen Degeneres look , burping in my cube, not knocking before entering the VP’s office when the door is closed or telling the HR manager she looks hot in that outfit that I need to work on.

I’m learning as I go.

One thing I have learned about the office life is that around the holidays, the junk food is out in full force and you’re expected to eat it. Literally every day, there are new plates of cupcakes or pumpkin bars, donuts, cookies, candy etc. It’s a miracle I don’t have diabeetus just working there. Today they were giving out boxes of See’s candy for God’s sake!
Last year, I exercised absolutely no self control and ate damn near every sweet, delectable treat the office had to offer and go figure, I put on a few extra pound because of it.
This year I’m determined to do my very best to avoid scarfing down every holiday themed frosting coated ass enlarging sugar bomb I see, and so far, I’ve been doing a pretty good job.
Today was tough though because there were like, 20 different kinds of cheesecake in the break room, and in a moment of weakness, I ate one. It was lemon and it was delicious. What’s a win for me though is that there was a TON of it leftover and I didn’t eat more. I grabbed a cupcake and honestly tried to eat it, but tossed it after one bite. I just couldn't do it. I stopped at one slice of cheesecake and that’s huge for this guy. And I did eat some grapes, so there’s that.

Bottom line, I’m getting a grip on the food situation in the office and I’m proud of that. There’s no way a piece of cheesecake can ever be called a failure in my book anyway. It’s cheesecake, it’s delicious and I just did an Ironman, so there!
Yeah, I still need to work on the "office etiquette" thing a bit, and that will come with time, but I think I've got this holiday food thing on the ropes.

Anyone want a box of See’s candy?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Domo Arigato, Mr. Robato

Today on my way home, after flipping through the 5 presets on the hi-fi system in the White Shadow and realizing just how much Sacramento radio really sucks donkey balls, that stupid Styx song Mr. Roboto came on.
Without going into a stupid rant (or am I already doing that) we’ll just say that I hate that song with a passion. The only song I hate more is “Bang Your Gong” or anything by Danzig.
Anyway, I decide I’m going to crank up the radio and force myself to listen to the entire song, all the way through, no matter what.
There are few singers that make my skin crawl as much as Dennis DeYoung, so sitting through almost ANY Styx song would be an exercise in masochism, but this song in particular is worse than all of them put together. Really, I’m amazed that their producer even let them record it, but I digress…
So I’m driving along in stop and go traffic (I wasn’t stuck in traffic, I was traffic) and I’m powering through this song and even catch myself singing along. If anyone happened to be able to hear it through my windows, they’d already think I was an idiot, so I went ahead and belted out those retarded lyrics(at least the ones I knew)  like I was a teenage girl in the front row of a Styx concert in 1983.

Then there came the quiet breakdown in the song where it’s just light keyboards and Dennis DeYoung singing, and since I didn’t know the words, I just listened…

“The problem's plain to see
Too much technology
Machines to save our lives
Machines, de-humanize”

Are these lyrics super deep and earth shattering? Not really, but they made me think about a conversation I had earlier in the day with Cube Girl about how I'm weird because I’m so outgoing and yet almost completely antisocial. I'm super chatty around the office and am so at home on the phone with complete strangers, yet I rarely get out and do "social" stuff. I think I’ve actually been taken off the office “happy hour” email, because in the two years I’ve been there, I’ve never been to one.
I email/text/Facebook, yadda yadda but more often than not, I’m looking at people’s words rather than hearing them and I don’t think that's too good a thing.
The phrase “being social” has taken on a whole new meaning in this day and age and I think all this digital communication I/we have at our fingertips makes me/us somewhat de-humanized.
 I am truly blessed to have the amazing group of friends that I have and I can tell you, sometimes I feel I don’t deserve them.
I’ve been a recluse for so long and yet they still invite me out (except for the work happy hour) and ask me to dinner and yes, sometimes I go, but a lot of the time I don’t. Not sure why, but I’m going to make a point to work on it. I don’t see my close friends nearly as often as I should and for that, I’m ashamed
Don’t worry, I’m sill going to obsessively post every little boring detail of my life on Facebook, and blow up your phone with text messages, but be careful, one of these days I may decide to go out to that bar or to that party and tell you what I’m up to right to your face.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Why do you do Ironmans?

My buddy and I were talking last night about why I do Ironmans and after a good amount of discussion, I think I came up with an analogy that, for me, sums it up pretty well.

Doing an Ironman in a lot of ways is like being in a bad relationship. You’re in love, but at the same time, you’re completely miserable.

During training, there are good days and bad days and most of the time, the good far outweigh the bad.
Races are a bit different though. Yeah, there are good times, but when the bad times hit, they hit hard and don’t stop until you’re done and it’s over.

For me, while doing an Ironman, all I want is to get out and have it be over and done with. I swear to myself “this is the last time.” I curse Ironman and I curse myself for ever being stupid enough to get involved with it in the first place.

After I’m done, I lick my wounds, revel in the fact that it’s over and I tell myself “Never again! This is it, I’m DONE!”

Then, after the dust settles, the wounds heal and the pain is long forgotten, I’m left remembering mostly the good things.
The bad times, while still in the corner of my mind, are tucked away in the shadows.
The highs seem so much higher and the lows, well, they don’t seem quite so low as they did at the time.

I start to think “You know, it wasn’t really that bad" and I begin to think about races I might want to do. I think about how I felt crossing the finish line and not about how I felt at mile 15 when I could barely walk. I think about that well of emotion that springs up when hearing those magical words by Mike Reilly and how there is nothing -and I mean nothing- in the world like it.
I'm not stupid. I know that sometime during my next Ironman, I'll curse and yell and spit and scream and swear I'll never do it again, all the while knowing I will.

Damn you, Ironman! I wish I could quit you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What to Blog About

I have to admit, I’m fairly jealous of people that can blog two, three or more times a week. They always have something cool, smart or introspective to write about, yet here I sit, struggling to think of anything to write about.

It’s funny, because anyone who knows me knows that I never shut up. I often have to make a conscious effort to not talk so I don’t monopolize the conversation (although I don’t know that I do such a great job at that)

It’s hard to write about my everyday life, because really, I’m pretty boring. I can only talk about Ironman training so much “I rode, it was cool, I ran, it sucked, I swam, it was cool”
I could write about my recent trip to Cozumel, but that was such an amazing trip, it’s going to take me a while to get that together.
I could write about how much I love my Ironman Cozumel jersey and how I keep wearing it because I’m proud as a peach to have done it one more time. I could also write about how I feel like I look like a Russian Gymnastics coach when I wear it.
I could write about the delicious salad I had today, but really, how much can be said about a salad?
I could write about the mind-bending gourmet caramel apple cookies I got and wolfed down last night, but then the whole world (or at least the 17 people that may actually read this) would know how guilty I feel about it.
I could write about my dog, but that’s pretty much all I ever talk about anyway, so that’s out.
I could write about how much and how long I’ve hated running and now that my feet are marred from Cozumel and I can’t run, it’s all I want to do.

I could write about the amazing, beautiful, sexy, funny, ridiculously athletic bombshell of a woman I met in Cozumel that makes my knees go weak and my heart go pitter patter every time she emails or texts me, but there’s a chance that she might read this and that would be really embarrassing.

See how I did that?

I could write about a lot of things, but for now, I’m just going to relish the fact that I’m home, I’m back to work at a job that I love and my Mr. Poopersfaces is waiting here dropping a ball at my feet. 
One of these days I'll think of something to blog about and when I do, you'll be the first to know.