Thursday, May 27, 2010

Groomsman...or woman

It looks like I'm going to be a grooms(wo)man! Julie and Chris asked me to step in for Nile because he cannot fulfill his duties as a groomsman because of crazy job travel.

Now, you may be asking yourself, "Well doesn't that make you a bridesmaid?"

Negative.

Here's a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding my position as grooms(wo)man:

1. Do you have to wear a tux?

Although Chris and Nile were definitely advocating for it, I will not be sporting a tux. Instead, I'll be wearing a black dress the same style as the bridesmaids, but with a sash the color of their dresses.

2. Do you stand with the bridesmaids?

Nope. I'm just one of the boys. I'll be hanging out on the groom's side.

3. Do you go to the bachelor party?

Hell no. I'm pretty sure their party will involve naked women and whiskey shots. Instead, I'll be attending the bachlorette party...which I can only hope involves penis paraphenalia and perhaps a gay bar.

4. Do you carry a bouquet?

I have been informed that I will be carrying a bouquet of pretty posies.

5. Do you walk down the aisle with a girl?

This is actually a question that I have also been pondering. Looks like Julie has quite a logistical challenge, although I will willingly walk down the aisle with Chris's sister Stacey. We're even the same height.

It will certainly be a unique and memorable experience and I couldn't be more excited and honored that I'll be a part of the big day!

Running, Running, Running

I'm officially on week 3 of the Couch to 5K training program and so far, so good. Today I ran for 8 minutes, which sounds terribly wimpy when you actually say it, but for me it's a big achievement.

What's even more exciting is that I'll be signing up for my first race...with a partner! Looks like I got my sister in on the action too. She's starting the program on Monday!

We discovered the Free to Breathe 5K run/walk for lung cancer research in Harrisburg in August, so that will be our first race. Right now, we're trying to get a team together to run/walk for Team Nana, since you can run/walk in memory of someone. It's awesome that we'll be able to do this and all the money goes to lung cancer research and education in Pennsylvania!

It also makes it more motivating to know that I have something to work towards. My goal is to finish...not finish first, second or even 20th place. Just finish.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Objection!

I've made it through almost 10 years and 2 states without being called for jury duty. I move to Maryland, and 6 months later...BAM! Summoned.

Everyone I talked to said "Oh yeah, you'll go and sit there for half a day and then you'll be dismissed. No big deal."

Yeah right...not for me! I'm proudly Juror #2 on a jury of 6 (plus 2 alternates). The case isn't over yet...yes, that's right...It's been 5 days and this thing it still going. I wish I could say it's exciting...or even the least bit interesting...but it's not. Obviously, I can't talk about the case, but there are several case-unrelated things I've learned in the past few days.

First, I've come to the conclusion that jury duty is like a distorted social experiment. You put 8 (in my case) strangers in a room and watch them socialize. It's been quite an experience, let me tell ya...

So, let's review other things I've learned so far:
  1. Annapolis is a lovely city...I would like to go back again sometime when I don't have jury duty.
  2. The bailiffs are all cute little old men that volunteer for the job. My bailiff especially makes my day. He takes such pride in leading "his jury" around the courthouse.
  3. All the judges offices are called Chambers...so therefore, I will now be referring to my cubicle as my "chamber."
  4. A court recess of 5 minutes is really 20.
  5. I've learned all possible scenarios in which an attorney can object to the judge.
  6. Court isn't really like what they play on Law and Order...however there have been at least 3 specific instances of yelling and fist-pounding.
  7. The courtroom also doesn't look like it does on Law and Order. It's much less daunting.
  8. You get paid $15 per diem...which covers lunch...that's it. Maybe not even the tip.
  9. Bring a book and/or some form of entertainment. Even if you're on a trial, the amount of waiting you do is ridiculous. If you don't have entertainment, you'll end of staring at the person across from you the whole time...which again, is part of that social experiment I was talking about.
There are so many more things I've learned, but since the case isn't over yet, I'll keep them to myself. In the meantime, I'm back again tomorrow for Day 5.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Using the Herbs

I just used the rosemary from my garden  in my first recipe of the season! I have to say, it was very nice to walk out to the deck and harvest my own herbs. I made a marinated flank steak, that was really delicious and tender. Here's the recipe:

Marinated Flank Steak

1 flank steak, about 1-2 pounds
1 sprig of rosemary, leaves removed
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon of vinegar (I used white wine, but red wine or rice wine would be fine)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspons, dijon mustard
1 teaspoon, pepper

Lay flank steak on cutting board and create hash marks with knife to allow the marinade to penetrate. Mix all the ingredients above and add to a plastic bag with the meat. Work the marinade into the meat. Leave overnight for best flavor. Grill and cut along the grain into slices.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Teeth Are Coming Out

It's official.

The wisdom teeth are coming out...June 18th. Bah. The surgeon asked me today if I wanted to be put completely under or just have local anesthesia. HA! "Doc, knock me the eff out!" Seriously, that shouldn't even be a question.

He told me I should have a decently easy time because mine are all in. Nile, on the other hand, is going to hate his life when he gets his done. He has an appointment with the dentist on Friday because his gums are killing him. His wisdom teeth are all impacted and one of them is coming through the side of his gum.

I asked my mom if we could get them done on the same day and have her come here and take care of us. She didn't like that idea very much. Looks like June will be the month of dental torture at our house.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

New Food Finds!

A few fantastic food finds have recently come into my life, so I wanted to share them with you all.

First up, broccoli slaw. You can find it in the produce section. I was a little skeptical at first, but I sauted it with a little garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar and it made a delightful little side dish.

Now, in the land of frozen treats, I found two that rival Skinny Cow. And I really love my Skinny Cow, so that's a bold statement.

Both are by Breyers. The first is chocolate covered strawberry popsicles. It's milk chocolate covering Breyers strawberry ice cream. These are awesome and only 110 calories.



The other is chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream sandwiches. Also irresistable, but they come in at 160 calories. Still not bad!


BONUS: If you live near a Giant, these are both 2 for $6 right now!

I may or may not have 4 boxes in my freezer...

Fitness Update

It's been a little while since I've talked about my fitness adventures. Here's an update.

Last week I sucked. I didn't go to the gym one day, although I had a decent excuse. My allergies had me so stuffed up I couldn't breathe. So I decided to take the week off and let my congestion go away.

This week I started out with a 2.5 mile walk in the new state park Nile and I found over the weekend. It was definitely nice to get outside because it was gorgeous out...unlike today.

Today, I'm not sure what possessed me to do it, but I had heard someone talk about the "Couch to 5K" plan. So I did some Googling and found the training schedule. I've decided to give it a whirl and see how far I go on it. Today was easy because I've already been working out. It did become apparent however, that I need to purchase a new pair of sneakers because mine no longer have any support.

We'll see how the running thing goes. Once upon a time, running a mile was nothing. We did a mile run for the WARM-UP for field hockey practice. I also ran track where I did the hurdles...yes, you read that right. I know it's hard to believe my midget legs could get over them, but they could!

I'll document my progress. Perhaps seeing Katie complete an entire TRIATHALON will motivate me. She's only got a little over a month...and she has to swim in the Schukill. I still think when she emerges, she'll be radioactive, but that's not stopping her.

Speaking of which, she's only a mere $800 from her fundraising goal! So please, help her out! It's for a great cause, the Leukemia and Lymphona Society. She's racing in memory of our friend Kari's dad who died of multiple myeloma. You can donate here:

http://pages.teamintraining.org/epa/philtri10/kstevenqyl

Andddd, if you like any Philadelphia sports teams, when you donate you get a pretty sweet discount at this website:

http://phillyphaithful.com/

Now for a shower...I can smell myself.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Deck Garden

This week, I went a little overboard expanding my garden. There was a plant sale at work, and I stocked up on some essential herbs. Here's the photo I promised:


So, here's what I've got growing, from left to right:
Chili peppers from seed, rosemary, basil, thyme, parsley, tomatoes, 
chives, sage, red bell peppers

And here are the stragglers, jalape├▒os (for Nile) and lavender

I also bought salvia and "lemon symphony" which looks like a daisy, and planted them. 

So far, so good! Everything's still alive! This has to be a record!


Dog Beach!

Nile and I decided that today was a perfect day to try out the Dog Beach that's near us. 


Now, Pugs and Boston Terriers aren't exactly known to be swimmers, but we tried to make them. Here's a few photos:


Wiggles getting in the ocean
And there he is trying to do a very uncoordinated doggy paddle.
There's Peanut trying her hand at swimming.
And the whole family. The pups obviously weren't paying attention. 

We might try to take them back, however, Peanut terrorized every dog in the park, big and small. She's a very dominant little female. She is also very embarrassing. I think we got a taste of what it would feel like when your kid is throwing a tantrum in the super market. 

Perhaps next time, we'll go alone.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dentist or Devil? You Decide.

The dentist...

The profession with the highest suicide rate. Why? I think it's because everyone HATES them.

No one LIKES to go to the dentist. Me in particular...I really, really hate it.

Sunday night, I was eating some delightful Baked Tostitos when I bit into something particularly hard. I didn't think anything of it...thought it was a piece of corn in the chip. Then, as I was watching TV, I ran my tongue over one of my teeth, and there it was. Part of it was missing.

What did that mean? It meant I had to call the damn DENTIST.

Now, this is really terrible to admit and if my mother is reading this she will kill me, but I haven't been to the dentist in 3 years *cringe* If my mother does read this, she will probably call to remind me how much money is invested in my now straight smile. About 4.5 years of braces, a tonsillectomy (because my tonsils were so big they made me have buck teeth), and 8 teeth removed...that's how much money is in my mouth.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. Let's focus on this moment. The dentist looked at my tooth and asked me "How much do you like your wisdom teeth?"

How do you answer that? "Well doc, I like them just fine, thank you." Obviously, she was suggesting that I needed to part with them.

Here were my options: a root canal (AHHHHHHHH!) and a crown for 3 teeth (the other two would eventually need it), or removal of all of them.

Weighing these options, I had to think about the pros and cons. Since dentistry existed, people compared very horrible things to having a root canal. Doesn't make me want one any time soon. For the wisdom teeth, at least I get knocked out and get some sweet pain meds.

So, there you have it. All 4 of them are coming out. Ugh. Once again, dentistry rears its ugly head.

See How My Garden Grows

Here's a little update on the current status of my garden.

Everything is currently alive and well except for the basil plants I tried to grow from a seed. They died. RIP.

Since I've been doing such a good job growing my little plants, I decided it was time to go to Home Depot today and see what else I can go. So I walked out with:
  • 1 jalapeno plant
  • 1 red bell pepper plant
  • 2 petunias
  • 2 impatients
Usually, when I try my hand at flowers, it doesn't go too well, but we'll see. I haven't killed the vegetables yet, so perhaps I won't kill those either! Pictures to follow.