2.28.2012

Tuesday Numbers

Since I'm lacking inspiration and both BFF & Crusty did this today I figured I would too.
  • My favorite uncle Bubbo turns 53 years old today. It's neat that we are so close even though 19 years separate us.
  • I stepped on the scale this morning after eating a banana, a cup of oatmeal, drinking 2 cups of coffee and emptying my bowels and bladder. I was wearing a pair of Chucks, socks and underwear, a tee and jeans and I weigh 221. Not great.
  • Paying the tax man left us with only $225 in our savings account. I know I have money elsewhere if I need it but that just makes me feel like an irresponsible adult and parent.
  • This weekend we sold some of Casey's things at an impromptu garage sale and made about $44 dollars. Not too shabby. Can't wait to sell the rest of them.
  • This weekend we also cashed in some loose change for $61.50 and were able to use that money to feed our 2 friends that came up from the LBC with their 2 kiddos. Hooray for visits and yummy dinner!
  • Our mortgage account refunded us about $114 and told us our mortgage would decrease $50 a month starting in April. HOLLER!
  • I have successfully avoided the office candy stash for 2 weeks. This week starts week 3. I can do this!

2.27.2012

Movie Review Monday

As I had foreshadowed in the last movie review I posted, we watched Thor this weekend. I didn't realize it until the credits rolled at the end, but this movie was directed by Shakespearean actor du jour, Kenneth Branagh. That's kind of random right? I mean, this is schmaltzy super hero stuff, not Shakespeare! Thor has a lot of the mythology wrapped up in it, though, so I can see how his expertise lent a hand here. There is a pretty high caliber of actors in this movie which was surprising. I mean, Anthony Hopkins? Natalie Portman? These are Oscar winners. Thor is definitely not Oscar material.
Chris Hemsworth sounds exactly like Heath Ledger in The Patriot which is something Husband said more than once. And it's because both actors are Australian and not using their native accent. I hope I didn't ruin the movie for you. Hemsworth is totally hot, plays naively arrogant and provided quite a few moments of comedic relief. However, it took me a while to warm up to Thor. Most of it was pretty cheesy and the whole mystical "realm" was a bit too sci-fi for me. Toward the end I was hollering at the screen for Thor to "Get it!" though so I guess it wasn't a total bust. It certainly stoked the fire of anticipation I have for The Avengers once again. And I would like to take this opportunity to publish the fact that Natalie Portman has the best eyebrows in show business. Oh and it was great to see Rene Russo again. That is all.

Edit: I'm also probably never allowed to see another movie with Stellan SkarsgÄrd in the cast as I said his last name no less than 100 times... basically every time he was on screen.

2.24.2012

My 18 Month Old Haiku Friday

Casey rose at 5
And bumped his forehead at 6
He now has an egg
***
About golf ball sized
With a blueish purple stripe
Right down the middle
***
Hate to see him cry
Frozen peas must not feel nice
But I'm sure they helped

2.23.2012

Good, Bad, Ugly

The Good
  • We got a replacement bunny last night. He's Bubba's brother and already 5 months old. He's a little more skittish but I think he'll fit in just fine as soon as he gets used to his new digs. Hopefully he can't sense his brother's death in our house, right?
  • We paid off the tax man and a bunch of dumb miscarriage bills. Even though it killed our savings account, it felt good not having to stress about where to find the money.
  • I get to meet Cindita's new bebeh this weekend! Hooray for out of town visitors!
The Bad
  • Money's going to be a little tight for a while
  • Husband is going to Hawaii for without me for like 9 days at the beginning of next month. I am used to him being gone during the week but not having him home for the weekend suuuucks.
  • How many times I have fucked up at work today and it's barely 9 a.m.
The Ugly
  • Pre-period headaches that last a couple days thanks to being back on the Nuva Ring
  • Starting my period in the middle of the night
  • Still having this fucking headache

2.22.2012

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday is the kick-off of the Lenten season and usually BFF and I give something up together. It's almost always candy. This year she was silly and suggested we give up beer. I immediately countered with "But then what would I have to live for?" And it was settled that beer would never be sacrificed. For anyone. Ever.
I've given some thought as to what I should sacrifice for the next 46 days and I really have to say that I'm uninspired to do so this year. I already feel like I've started down the road of sacrifice because I want to lose weight, you know? Like last week, my co-worker was on vacay and I spent all that week eating salads for lunch and fruit and granola for snacks. I did not touch the candy dish ONCE! I really did it. According to my scale, I've lost 2 pounds in a week. Considering I'm about to start my period today, I think that's really good.
I realize that I'm probably never going to be a size 10 again and I'm ok with it. My cholesterol was down the last check up I had. My thyroid is normal despite the fact that it was once hypo and I used to have to take meds to keep it level. It's these goddamn antidepressants and my love of beer that make me the voluptuous woman I am right now. Frankly, I'm not willing to give up either one of them. I realized that even on antidepressants, I still have the ability to get sad and get mad, I just don't get psycho. I think it's what's best for me and Husband. As for the beer, well, I just love it.
Anyway, back to the sacrificing. I also feel like Husband & I have sacrificed going out and eating out a lot lately because my son is in the "I will scream my head off if I don't get my way" phase of his life. So we eat meals at home and do inexpensive things like go on hikes and go to the park instead of spending a bunch of coin on entertainment. We either go to friends' houses or they come to ours. Monday's date day was the first time we've gone out to breakfast and a movie in ages and it was really a treat. That's how things should be right? A treat?
So for Lent, and for the foreseeable future I hope, I'm just going to continue down the path of few indulgences. I don't gorge on sweets. I am not gluttonous when it comes to food. I admit I can get a little carried away with the beer imbibing but I'm not a drunk. I am going to cool it on going out to lunch every day like I had been. I'm going to stick to the salads and fruits and see if I can't lose a couple more pounds. I'll keep my hand out of the candy drawer here at the office and that's that. It's much more than I'd been doing before.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: Less is more.

2.21.2012

Two For Tuesday

First up is Captain America. Husband basically demanded that he get a superhero movie off his queue after I made him watch that sad story about a man's dying gay dad. Go figure. Let me just say, I love me a superhero story. I really do. I had no knowledge of Captain America's story but after watching this movie, I have to admit, I am a huge fan. This movie about an experiment that turns a patriotic weakling into a musclebound American hero who leads the troops to victory against a bunch of Nazis. It is 100% cheesy but I really liked it a lot. I am now super pumped up for the upcoming Avengers movie and actually excited about getting Thor off our queue next. Yup. We're on a roll.


Husband and I finally got back to the theater yesterday thanks to observing the Presidents and having a sitter for Casey. Since the Oscars are this weekend and we had been beaten over the head with advertisements for this film, we went to see The Descendants starring George Clooney who I consider one of the last true movie stars of our time. The previews led me to believe that I would need my hankies handy for the span of this film but it turned out to be not nearly as sad as I thought it would be. It was quite comical at parts, very touching at others. It's not a very fast paced movie but it wasn't so slow that I lost interest either. Kudos go to the young women who played Clooney's daughters, they were really brilliant. And Clooney himself has never looked older yet still remains so very sexy. He is able to make any character just seem effortless even though the emotions he had to portray in this movie were raw at best. Hawaii is a gorgeous supporting role in and of itself. I think if there is a lesson to be taken from The Descendants it's that money isn't everything. Work should not keep you from living. And some things simply aren't for sale. But mostly, it really drives home the importance of family. I really thought it was just great, definitely deserving of the Oscar nominations that have been thrown at it.

2.20.2012

Book Review Monday

Happy President's Day. Movie Review Monday will be back later this week but for now I want to tell you about a book I just finished reading called Let Me In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. When Borders was going out of business, this bad boy was on the shelf at a discounted price. I recalled reading a movie review for the American version of this Swedish bestseller and how they said that it was not nearly as good as the highly regarded Swedish film version of the same book. Get all that? Vampire books are more BFF's genre but I decided to give this a try. I started this book on Tuesday night and had it devoured by Friday just after lunch. That should tell you how good it was.
Let me just say that Let Me In is no Twilight. This book is primarily focused on a bullied young boy named Oskar who is essentially friendless until he meets a strange girl that has just moved into his apartment building. That strange girl, he later discovers, is a vampire. It starts out with a murder mystery and then delves into a friendship that is possibly romantic. The reader is treated to the complexities of several different intertwined relationships that have all been impacted by this vampire named Eli. There were times I got so sucked into reading all the gory details that I actually had to put the book down and regain my composure. This book was suspenseful, emotional, violent and gruesome. It was just about everything I could have asked for in a good read. The ending left a bit to be desired but wasn't a disappointment. This book was just so damn juicy there was no way Lindqvist could end it, I think. I sort of wish he hadn't...

2.17.2012

Mid-Feb Haiku Friday

A quiet work week
Two co-workers on vacay
Bossman's out today
***
I've been reading books
And eating healthy food stuff
It's a turning point
***
New resolutions?
Or maybe just running late
On January's

2.16.2012

Good, Bad, Ugly

The Good
  • Husband comes home tonight after his first four days away in like a month.
  • Three-day weekend and Casey at a sitter Monday which means date day for me and Husband!
  • The healthy way I have been eating this week for the most part except for the misstep of eating the yucky generic hostess cupcake wannabe that wasn't even worth it.

The Bad

  • We owe $1195 to the State of CA so now my deductions have changed and I bring home $56 less a paycheck. Husband changed his too so I can't wait to see how much less he brings home! WEE!
  • We still owe money toward my miscarriage.
  • We still have to pay the lady who prepared our taxes.

The Ugly

  • Our front and back yards and I guess that's how they'll stay
  • Our fireplace and I guess that's how it'll stay
  • This huge zit on my cheek though I hope that goes away

2.15.2012

206 Bones

I did it! I finished a book! I said I was going to and I did. Man, it feels good to accomplish something I set out to do. You see, I had started a book months ago but it didn't really grab my attention so I just kept carrying it around thinking eventually I'd read it. I've never been the kind of person that was able to read more than one book at a time so everything kind of just got put on hold. So I shelved the other book and grabbed 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs. My beloved Bones program is on a bit of a hiatus so I did the next best thing and read one of the books the show is essentially based on.
This book starts out with Dr. Temperance Brennan trapped in some kind of tomb and in some serious danger. She's trying to figure out how she got into that situation and in the process she's remembering another crime she solved that supposedly has a connection to the pickle she's in. There's romantic tension between her and a police officer named Ryan (a.k.a. Booth from the show right?) and there's office drama as well. I like these books because they are very technical in that she is a forensic anthropologist and uses some crazy scientific terms but also because the main character is very relate-able. She might be a brilliant scientist but she still has a family life and romantic interests and sort of cusses like a sailor when she needs to.
It was definitely a page-turner and got me in the mood to crack another book already. There are so many on my shelves that need to be read and by God I will read them!

MORAL OF THAT STORY: Look at me sticking to goals and whatnot.

2.14.2012

The Grim Reaper

Lots of deaths lately and no I'm not referring to Whitney Houston. I guess the death train pulled into my life when Grandpa passed away on June 17th. Shortly thereafter, it was Kiyah leaving our world on October 31st. Then in December, we lost Segundo. Well, February didn't want us to go without. On Friday, February 10th, our bunny, Bubba, died in a tragic accident.
You see, Bubba liked to go under the couch and sort of eat away at the innards of it. Most times, I would tilt the couch forward and Bubba would flee. Well, this time, Bubba didn't flee far enough and when I put the couch down, it landed on him. Smooshed his tiny bunny body, it did. I'm pretty sure I broke his spine. Either way, it was not good for Bubba. Luckily there was no blood, just a limp little bunny breathing his last breaths. Husband and I held him until he was gone and then put him in a shoebox and buried him in our flower bed under the cover of darkness. I wonder what the passersby must have thought that night.
Thank goodness, Casey was asleep when all of this went down. We took Bubba's cage out of the living room and I'm pretty sure Casey and his short attention span hardly remember we had a bunny. For that, I'm grateful. However? I feel like a murderous monster. I know it was just an accident but damn I loved that bunny. He was so smart and funny and social. I only had him for like three weeks and then I killed the little bastard. I swear Friday wasn't bad enough when we found out we owed the tax man a pretty penny but then we had to go and lose a member of the family.
So today, tip a 40 for Bubba if you would. I can't believe I don't have my bunny to love on Valentine's Day.

2.13.2012

Movie Review Monday

Because Oscar season is upon us, I rented Beginners starring Ewan McGregor as the son and Christopher Plummer of The Sound of Music fame as the dad. Plummer is nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for this film and I think he deserves the nomination. He plays a man who comes out of the closet in his 70s after his wife dies and is pretty shortly thereafter diagnosed with cancer.The way this movie was "sold", I assumed it was going to focus on the relationship between a son and his father after the revelation. Instead, we got this emo sort of tale about the son trying to take a chance at love with a French actress who is sort of a commitment-phobe. For some reason, the dog "talks" and McGregor and his Frenchwoman can hear him. You would think this would have provided some comic relief but you'd be thinking wrong. Husband felt this movie was very French or film noir in style but I just think it's lame. I'm disappointed that Entertainment Weekly made me believe it would be great. It just wasn't. Mostly it was just depressing and long and slow. It's sad to think this was actually based on someone's real life experience. I hope I don't run into that dude.

2.10.2012

Grandparent Haiku Friday

Today would have been
65 years of marriage
For my Grandparents
***
I dreamed of Grandpa
Was so nice to see his face
Miss hearing his voice
***
Having Gran over
For a nice, home-cooked dinner
So she's not alone

2.09.2012

Good, Bad, Ugly

The Good
  • Husband has been home since January so I've actually been able to rest while I have this stupid cold thing. And it has been awesome having him around.
  • My finances right now. I can't believe it but we actually have money in our savings and some extra cash. That probably won't last long but I'm enjoying it.
  • Since the binge drinking on Superbowl Sunday, I've only had a beer a night. For a while I was doubling up and that's just too much for the weekdays.

The Bad

  • I really love my house but I hate my yard. The front flower beds desperately need attention and our backyard needs a complete overhaul. $$$
  • I really love my house but I hate my fireplace. We're looking to cover up the 1960s style textured brick and it's looking to be around $1200 (on the high side) to fix it up. $$$
  • How I feel every time I see a pregnancy announcement on Facebook.

The Ugly

  • My complexion since I've been back on the NuvaRing is that of a pubescent teen. Pimples at 34 just doesn't seem fair.
  • I'm still fat. A wise little bird told me I need to stop feeling ugly about it and just decide to do something about it. She's right of course. My co-worker and regular lunch buddy will be in Cabo next week so I guess I will try to start my salad-for-lunch plan again. And maybe destroy the candy drawer while she is away.
  • My wardrobe. I swear I wear the same things over and over and over. More motivation for the previous ugly bullet point.

2.08.2012

Facebook

I'm always on myself for one thing or another and this week I seem to be irritated about how much time I spend looking at Facebook. My Blackberry is the first time I've ever had a phone where I use things like internet and apps. I was honestly hesitant to get one because I know I have an addictive personality and I didn't want to become one of those people who was always checking her phone. Lo and behold, I check that thing all the time. Sometimes it's because I get my work email there but most of the time it's Facebook.
For what? Facebook is honestly lame. Right now a "friend" of mine is letting her freak flag fly and it's a train wreck to watch. She was never even a poster but now she's out and proud and putting her entire family on blast for the world to see. It's really something. BFF had a thing on her Pinterest that says "Face your problems, not Facebook your problems" and my oh my is that ever on the dot. I know I'm guilty of excessive activity sometimes but I generally try to refrain from airing my dirty laundry or posting every mundane thought I have ever had.
So I guess what I'm saying is I need to try and wean myself from the constant checking. I have Facebook open all day at work mostly because of Words With Friends so my new personal challenge is not to check it at home. I think the occasional alert check is justified but not just logging on to scroll. Used to be I'd wake up, roll over and check the dang news feed. Really? That's crack status right there. I'd like to use my evenings to really bond with my son and actually talk to my husband rather than read about everyone else's nonsense.
But really? This doesn't just apply to Facebook. I really spend far too much time online that would be better spent doing other things. Like say, reading a book. I can't even remember the last time I read a book... Has it really been since May when I finished Bossypants? That's disgraceful! So I quit Pinterest. I'm cutting way back on Facebook. I hope to read books and watch movies and live a little more off-screen if only just to blog about it for you.

MORAL OF THAT STORY: If it's not one thing, it's another.

2.07.2012

Crusty Mac 'n' Cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups whole milk (I used 2% because it was what we had)
1-1/2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Jack cheese
(Rather than use cheddar and Jack, I just shredded 2 cups of Monterey Jack)
1/2 cup shredded American cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Bring a large pot of slightly salted water to a bowl. I used a 5-quart pot filled almost to the top. Add the pasta and cook 8-10 minutes or until soft. Drain and put to the side.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.
In a large sauce pan, melt 1/4 cup of the butter over medium heat.
Add flour and nutmeg and stir until it's the consistency of paste. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the milk and stir until mixture thickens.
Add the cheese 1/4 cup at a time until it is all melted.
Stir cheese into the macaroni and mix well.
Scrape into the dish.
Melt the last 1/4 cup of butter and add the panko breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to blend.
Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of macaroni.
Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.
Let stand 5-10 minutes and serve.

I made this for Superbowl Sunday. I only have a pre-oven picture and not a final masterpiece shot. Sorry, kids. This was my second attempt at cooking in a week's time and I think as long as I have a recipe to work with, I'm going to be just fine at it. This time I totally didn't have an anxiety attack and start crying when I watched people eating my food. Hahaha. Sad but true. And? This was some yummy mac 'n' cheese, ya'll. Practically gourmet.

2.06.2012

Movie Review Monday

When I saw the preview for Hanna (starring Eric Bana), it led me to believe it was about a kick-ass wilderness chick out for vengeance. While there were a couple of moments that Hanna (starring Eric Bana) actually was "that movie" for the most part it was not. Here's the scoop. Eric Bana has his daughter out in the woods and in isolation and is training her to be crazy strong and self-sufficient like a warrior. She tells him she's ready, hits a switch and all of a sudden Cate Blanchett is on the lookout for the two of them.
Turns out Cate Blanchett messed with Hanna's DNA after Eric Bana recruited Hanna's mom from the abortion clinic in Poland for a crazy experiment. Well, while Hanna's on this mission/on the run from Cate Blanchett, people are dying left and right but Hanna is getting a taste of what it's like not living in isolation. She catches a ride on some hippie family's bus and ... yeah. I am even bored writing this. When it's not some exploration of self-discovery movie, it's a goddamn techno music video with strobe lights, fighting and running. It made no sense. I am so glad I watched The Help on Thursday otherwise the Netflix deliveries would have been a bust this week. Stupid Hanna.

2.03.2012

The Help Haiku Friday

Never read the book
But I'll say the movie's great
The acting superb
***
I laughed and I cried
And marveled this was "real life"
We've come a long way
***
One Oscar nom down
That leaves 8 more to watch now
Doubt it'll happen

PS: If anyone has and wants to loan me this book? I would love to borrow it. Thanks!

2.02.2012

Bubba the Bunny

Husband and I are pet people. Growing up, I had a fish, a lizard, a bunny, a cat and two dogs. He grew up on a farm and was a hunter so he has just sort of always been around animals. When we first moved in together, we had The Cat but we all know how that story ended. Then it was just Kiyah and in October she had to be put down. If you've always had an animal around, not having one seems very odd. We weren't ready to get another dog and a cat was out of the question so we decided to get a bunny.
When I lived in LA a million years ago, a girl I knew had a bunny that was potty trained. It hopped around her house and used a litter box and I thought that was super neat. When I had a bunny, it lived in a cage outside and was not very social at all but I always imagined getting a bunny just like hers. Husband did some research and found a farm via craigslist and took the boy out there and came home with a Mini Rex bunny of our own. It was $40 but its house and food ended up running about $100 more.
At first its name was Beaux but that was too close to "no" for Casey's comfort. In an effort to say "bunny", Casey said "Bubba" and thus the bunny's new name was born. I figured this bunny would just be chill and hop around the house but for the most part I assumed it would ignore us. Man, was I wrong. This bunny is all up in our business. It comes up to you to be pet and will even hop on your lap if you are sitting on the ground. Recently, I was lying on my stomach on the floor and it hopped up on my butt and walked around on my back. Last night, it jumped from the floor onto the couch so I would pet him. Bunnies also like to climb. I did not know this but it'll perch right up on my shoulder if I let it.
All it does other than run around our house and wreak havoc is shit and eat. Good lord. I thought a once a week cage cleaning was all that was in my future but it looks like it's a three-times-a-weeker. Thank goodness it only goes potty in its cage though. I rarely find accidents outside of the cage. It eats carrots and popcorn and celery. Yesterday, it stole one of Casey's goldfish crackers and Casey took it right back out of its mouth and ate it. Casey doesn't fear the bunny at all. He pets it and it sits on his lap. I often find the two of them reading books together in the morning. It's just out of control. So there you have it. I just thought you should know my bunny is a weirdo.

2.01.2012

Mexican Lasagna

1 lb. lean ground beef
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 small can of Ortega diced green chilies
1 small can of corn drained
2 heaping teaspoons (regular not the measuring kind) of chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 can of Mexican style stewed tomatoes (14 oz.)
1 small can tomato sauce
8 corn tortillas
8 oz. sour cream
8 oz. bag of pre-shredded Mexican cheese
1 can black olives

Preheat oven to 375.

In one pan, saute the onion and garlic in vegetable oil until soft. Fry the hamburger alone in another pan until almost done and drain most of the fat. Add the spices to the hamburger, fry a little more. Add the tomatoes, sauce, chilies, corn and the onion/garlic saute to the meat and heat it all the way through.

In a 13x9 casserole dish, put a layer of the hamburger mixture down. On top, add a layer of corn tortillas. I quartered the pieces. Repeat. Top the whole shebang with sour cream, top that with cheese and garnish with black olives (only I hate olives and didn't let them sully my dish).
Cover with tin foil and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes more. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
MORAL OF THIS STORY: When BFF's Mom gives you a recipe, you better make it. Even if you NEVER cook. I made this and my family ate it and we all lived to tell the tale.