Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Listen Up

I have neglected the Midwestern Podcast. Don't worry. I gave it lots of lovin' today. Check it out...if you dare (and if you have the password, but if you want it, let me know). Oh, and if it asks for some annoying idisk thing...ignore and press cancel.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Reasons to Honk That Horn

A person is not paying attention and swerves into your lane. Lay on that horn.

A friend is walking down the street and you want to a.) say hello to them and b.) embarrass them by making a scene with the horn. Give it the ol' multiple honks.

You are waiting for the red light to turn into the beloved green arrow, but the wiener in front of you is on the phone/eating snack/changing a diaper/solving the global warming problem and doesn't notice. Oh! But wait! They notice only after you BLOW the horn and only she gets to go through the light. Nice.

A car drives through the red light as you are pulling into the intersection. It is not like they are going to turn around. They are obviously in a hurry and cannot be bothered to assault you with their road rage. Plus, they are going in a completely different direction than you.

Horns can be a great stress reliever. Make sure you do it when no one else is around and be sure to scream at the same time. It doesn't make you crazy to do this. It helps keep you sane.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Okay, so this is another post about food and dieting and that boring stuff, but I have to. I just have to.

I wanted to go old school today with my eating habits. I had a maple donut because I went to a different Dunkin' Donuts. My regular DD doesn't have maple. So, I had to have it.

210 calories.

Then, I was driving home from a trip to the 9,000 square foot scrapbook store and I was hungry. There was a McDonald's and an Arby's. I had to choose Arby's for the obvious reasons. I enjoyed a Beef-n-Cheddar.

480 calories.

I guess today wasn't too old school because before, I would eat these things without thinking. I wouldn't even consider finding out the calorie content of these treats. So, I have about 700 calories left to eat today without completely blowing my day. I will have to behave.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday Flashback

I always thought that I lived out in the open and did not suppress anything, yet I find moments when I am left screaming "oh my god" in my mind when I start to remember teenage "tragic" moments in my life.

I was reading an article on CNN.com about binge eating. I got all the way through it and remembered this moment in high school when I was stumbling through my sophomore year. I remembered the hallway. I remembered what class I was heading to, Mrs. Stenseth's English class where I would soon be flirting with the nerdy boy who sat in front of me.

But I was stopped dead in my tracks by a girl from the school newspaper. Now, this was a girl who I respected and enjoyed in many settings. Rachel was an individual who was fantastic on so many levels. She said that she wanted to talk to me regarding a story that she was working. This was just another reason that I thought she was great. She tried to make the school newspaper something important.

So, the repressed memory...

She tells me that she was given my name when she told someone that she was writing about eating disorders. I was taken aback because I was far too chubby to be anorexic and I was not bulimic, so I was surprised. She continues by telling me that she was told that I was a binge/over eater.

Stunned. Offended. Confused.

Sure, I liked food. I enjoyed eating and talking about food. That has not changed. This was a cruel joke that someone was playing on me, right? Someone must have told Rachel this information knowing that she would search out a story and never consider that she was a pawn in the joke.

I didn't even ask who had told her. I just told her that I was not a binge eater and I couldn't help her with this angle.

I look back on this small moment in high school and feel thankful. I am thankful that I never spent much time on weight, eating, dieting, or any of that stuff that people deal with in high school. If this as traumatic as it gets regarding high school body image stuff, I got off lucky.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wax On, Wax Off

Like everyone, I have a few dirty little secrets. Today, I will confess one of the dirtiest.

I rarely, almost close to never wash my car. I let the dirt and grime build up to an embarrassing amount. It doesn't bother me if I can't see out of my windshield because that is what windshield spray and wipers are for. I might get a little annoyed when I get my pant leg dirty because it rubs up against my dirty car, but for the most part, I can live with the filth.

Well, today, I tried to break this bad habit and took my car to the car wash. There was just enough salt and grossness on my cute CR-V to warrant a good cleaning.

It isn't that I am cheap, but I would much rather spend that $12 on something great...oh, I don't know, maybe some pizza or an eyebrow wax. Part of my avoidance is because I am always so confused at the car wash. Under carriage. Waxing. Rust something-or-other. I have no idea if I get what I pay for. I just play the odds usually and take the middle package. The men at the car wash are usually nice, but I get worried that I will leave my car in drive when it should be in neutral or that I will make some car wash faux pas like turn my wheel when I should just sit there and do nothing.

Don't even get me started on the inside of my car.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Supernanny to the Rescue

I love that Supernanny. Maybe it is that I do not have children of my own, but everything she says seems to make so much sense to me. I know that teaching is very different than having your own children, but I have been in power struggles before with kids and kids always win.

There are always two types of parents on Supernanny. The parent who enters the power struggle and wants to win and will behave badly to win and the parent who simply has given up. The Supernanny comes in and takes the blame off of the children and show the parents their role in the chaos.

I wonder what parents think of this show. Maybe I am naive to think this show is helpful.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Today's Highs and Lows

Snow Day! I got up at my regular time, checked the computer, and the magic words appeared! I still showered and got ready for the day because I was going to Iowa today!

I couldn't get on an earlier flight to Iowa even though I had the day off because all of the flights were booked from yesterday's cancellations.

I was still going to Iowa.

I check on my 7:35 PM flight to Iowa and it is canceled.

I call the airline four times before they stop hanging up on me after being on hold for five minutes each time. That is 20 minutes of my time, people.

I get booked for the first flight out of Philadelphia tomorrow morning.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

The Glass Castle

My reading habits really ebb and flow. I sometimes can't get enough books read and sometimes, I want nothing to do with literary endeavours. Lately, I have been reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I forget how much I enjoy memoir and will find a personal story like this and remember.

It isn't Shakespeare and it won't be taught in the classics class in high school, but it is compelling all the same. The Glass Castle is a story about a family that does not live by any social rules, but rather, they live through neglect and hardships forced upon them by parents that suffer their own demons. The demons of self-indulgent philosophies, alcoholism, and what seems to me was ideas of grandeur plague these parents to the point that they cannot take care of their children.

More than anything, I get angry at these types of parents but that is my first instinct. I have to remember that they are probably mentally ill in some capacity. The story takes place twenty or so years ago, but this type of neglect is still going on. Just this weekend, a young mother and her four children were killed in Philadelphia because she was staying in an abandoned row home and using a hodgepodge of heating tools. The house burned down with the family inside. Is this neglect from the mother or the community? It's tragic on so many levels.

I recommend The Glass Castle for a quick weekend read. Let me know what you think.


Why on the one day that I want to travel in four months, it storms. I am annoyed in a big way. I want to go and see my pals in Iowa and snow is my new enemy. Not just snow, but sleet and ice. I will get there. Some way. I will get there.

There is fun to be had in Iowa that I can't have here.

I am wishing and praying for a snow day tomorrow so I can try and catch an early flight. That would be fantastic. I have to work at not stewing about it though because when it comes down to it, I can't do a darn thing about it.

I know I haven't been bloggin' up a storm lately. I am not really sure why. I think part of it is that I am pretty busy. Another part of it is that I haven't done anything too interesting lately. All that will change soon. I will be action packed.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

On Notice: Grey's Anatomy

Tim and I were eating at a Chinese restaurant on Friday night when five senior citizens came in and were seated right next to us. They were around 75 years old. One of the men yells across the table, "So, did you catch Grey's Anatomy last night?"

I couldn't help overhear since he was yelling so his hearing impaired friend with a hearing aid could hear him.

I found this so funny. I thought this was a show that young people watched, but viewers of all ages have been duped.

This is a judgement I have placed on viewers and episodes of ABC's over-rated television show "Grey's Anatomy".

Please do not be offended. You can hate on "Galactica" if you want. Many do.

This is how I see it. I watched season one every Sunday night. I had great hopes that they were building towards something meaty and meaningful, but I was disappointed when all season two held was more cheating, more all-up-in-each-others' business episodes. I can appreciate that if there wasn't the cheating and the in-each-other's business, there wouldn't be a show. But it drives me crazy.

I am not judging this without watching it. I watched it in reruns this summer and the characters drive me crazy. They act as though they are running through junior high hallways rather than hospital hallways. They are overly concerned about life's events that they have caused. They have not learned the simple idea of action/consequence. They have the "woe is me" down, but fail to realize their problems are self-induced.

I don't even think the writing is clever or thoughtful. I like watching television with flawed characters. I watch The Sopranos and what is more flawed than cheating, whacking, sining Tony Soprano, but something is different. In The Sopranos, things happen. Events unfold. In Grey's Anatomy, each week is just like the last. Izzy is baking. George is pining. Meredith is confused. Christina is angry and competitive. Everyone is having sex. I could skip ten episodes and I guarantee you that it would be the same as just listed.

Don't be mad. If you want to rip on my shows, go ahead and write a blog post about it.

Friday, February 09, 2007


If you haven't already checked out the Midwestern Podcast, I have now made it harder to do.

I have made it password protected because I am not a lawyer and I have a feeling that sharing songs that I do not own the copyright to somehow...well, illegal. However, I feel that I want to share the music that I love with other people. I am actually doing these artists a favor. Maybe I will share a little known artist and then, they will sell more records. However, I don't think they'll see it that way.

You can still check out the Midwestern Podcast on the sidebar of this blog by emailing me. I will give you the password and login and you can listen all you'd like. Email me at saraleann76@yahoo.com.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Not in ND Anymore

I am always surprised when I am given a reminder of where I live now.

This morning as I was drying my hair, Tim walked into the bathroom and handed me the phone. It was my administrator telling me that we had a two hour delay. I looked out the window and saw about an inch and a half of snow on the ground. It is times like these that I remember that I am no longer in the Midwest where the snow piles are high and the temperatures are low. Very low.

I was standing in line at Victoria Secret waiting to purchase when I was forced to watch an unfortunate display of customer anger. The customer was trying to return something and the situation did not require her yelling at the cashier or pounding her palm over and over on the counter. She would turn around and try to gather support from the other patrons, but she could not. I was so embarrassed for this woman that I had to walk away. When I returned, she was telling the cashier that she didn't know anything and that she should be trained better. Thankfully, the woman stood up for herself and ended up putting the customer in her place in a clever way. Again, I don't like in the Midwest anymore.

I am not saying that I find a lot of rude people like this woman, but I see more emotions in general here. People don't hide their frustrations or anger like we do in the Midwest.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Window Shopping

I think I have turned into a true homeowner nerd. I never thought I would get so excited about new windows.

I can't wait. We knew that when we purchased a home that we would have to make a big investment like this. We thought it would be new kitchen cabinets or re-doing a bathroom, but instead it is windows. I prefer this on so many levels.

I don't have to make any difficult decisions. I have a choice of three kinds of windows. That is easy. Our house is over 65 years old so things have gotten a bit drafty and we feel more than ever over the past week. Brr.

Whoa. This post is super house boring.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

So Worth It

Most women get waxed. In one form or another. I didn't start this beauty ritual until I was 23 years old, yet I can't help but hold a firm belief that I was neglectful of my looks prior to my first trip to the salon for a nice wax of the eyebrows. Why didn't anyone tell me that I had a slight uni-brow? Oh, well, that is for another time.

When I had short hair, I would get my hair cut every month. With each trip, I would get the eyebrows waxed. It was a nice reminder that this needed to be done. I was a very hands-off person when it came to the maintenance of the eyebrows. I depended completely on the stylist to keep them looking nice. I didn't pluck. I just held out until my next appointment.

Well, now with this long term hair plan, I do not get to the hair salon as much as I should for the eyebrow waxing. I can't stand to pluck. I do it, but I am not good at it. I avoid any places on the eyebrows that could cause an imbalance in my life.

Today, I decided that I could not wait until my next haircut for a wax. I went in and laid down on the table. Inez, the lovely waxer, took one look at me with her magnifying glass and knew things were going to get ugly in there. I had to make some excuse quick for how unruly my two eye caterpillars had gotten.

"It's been a while. I have been pretty busy."

All Inez said was, "I'll say."

I felt like she was about to open the door and scream, "WE'RE GONNA NEED MORE WAX!" like the little Asian woman did in The 40 Year Old Virgin. I hate being shamed at the beauty salon, but this was completely deserving of a shaming.

Well, I made it through a rough waxing and plucking. Lesson learned, my friends. You can skip the dentist appointment, you can put off doing your taxes, and you can certainly avoid phone calls, but DO NOT MISS YOUR WAXING APPOINTMENT.

Recipe: Pumpkin Crab Soup

1-24 oz. can of pumpkin
6 cups chicken stock
1 large onion, sliced
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 pound crab meat
6 oz. skim milk
pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet and add onion. Saute for 5-8 minutes. Add cumin, cayenne, and basil. Stir for a minute. Pour in chicken stock and add pumpkin. Simmer covered for 15-20 minutes. Add crab meat and simmer the soup for 3-5 minutes. Add milk and stir. Serve!

I use the crab from a can. It tastes just fine in the soup. You could use heavy cream for a creamier soup rather than skim milk. I am serving my soup with popovers. Yum!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

I Love People

The grocery store provides endless forms of entertainment for me. I had to stop by the customer service counter for a money order this afternoon. I was behind a woman who was getting a rain check for an item. I have never seen someone get a rain check at a grocery store before.

I continued to pick up a few things for dinner and then, unwisely chose a checkout aisle. I found myself behind the same rain check woman. She was standing there with her coupon purse filing the unused coupons. When she finished and it was time to scan her groceries, she argued every third item's price.

I am not kidding. I am not exaggerating here, folks. She asked the checker about three times whether or not her super card had scanned because the prices were not as low as they should be. The check assured her that it all comes off in the end. Throughout this dabacle of a checkout, the coupon/rain check lady asked the checker to void items when they were too high.

It didn't matter that it was 5PM. It didn't matter that she was holding up the line. It didn't matter that she had a choice what she put on the check out belt. She was going to shop the way she wanted to shop. I couldn't help respect this woman's frugal nature, but come on.

Final straw, she had paid and groceries were bagged and she decides she doesn't want one of the items. No. No way. You are going to have to go to the back of the line or back to customer service, my frugal friend.

The checker agreed with my mental assessment of the situation. THEN, the frugal/rain check/coupon/arguing/returning lady felt bothered. Hey, join the club.