I got a lovely email from a representative of the hospital last night. They read my post and they surveyed the place, and they said, "Hey, she's right." They are in the process of installing several more tampon vending machines in strategic places so that women in the future will not find themselves in the predicament I found myself in then. They also said they value my business and hope that my future experiences there are pleasant and tampon-crisis-free.
I was mildly chagrined last night when "poutine" translated as pew teen.
But I'm intensely disappointed because, after two three-hour classes of listening to the professor talk -- that's six hours of pretty much nonstop Canadian -- he has not said "eh" once, eh?
Trying to assimilate into America, no doubt.
I'M KIDDING -- we shall not assimilate! We're Canadian!
Maybe he just hasn't let his hair down all the way for this class yet (but then again, he did say "tuque").
He hasn't gotten to the homo milk yet, but I'd bet a million dollars (American) that he's going to figure out a way to make it fit into Canadian Post-Modern Literature at SOME POINT in this course. If he doesn't, I'll be very disappointed.
1. I have developed what is known as a trigger thumb. It's not debilitating or seriously limiting or anything, but I am still not amused.
2. I have to do a little bit of reading this semester:
I don't have to read these cover to cover if I don't want to, but who wouldn't want to, especially if one is rather underemployed and can't knit due to injuries (see below) I've read The Handmaid's Tale previously, though I don't remember a thing about it, and there are a couple more I need to get that had not yet made their way into the bookstore. The courses: "Theory of Lyric" and "Canadian Postmodern." Fun Fact: UVM has a pretty impressive Canadian Studies Department, and one of the few in the country, I'm led to believe.
3. Last night I brought home a nice new soft and snuggly dog bed for Mr. Jefferies to sleep in on the floor in my office. He was thoroughly confused. He thought it was another minion. He tugged it, he chewed on it, he rolled it over, he even humped it (bad Mr. Jefferies!). Stupid me. Because you see: "Bed" means where Alpha Alpha's sleeping or sitting, stupid! And my office means that the definition of "bed" changes to "my lap, forearm, and with his nose firmly tucked inside my elbow while I knit or type."
Here is a picture of said soft, comfy, snuggly bed:
Please note that said bed is very lonely for lack of Yorkie companionship.
4. I have determined that the medical name for the condition I am suffering in my wrist, elbow & shoulder is: Mr. Jefferies Elbow Syndrome. It's sort of like thoracic outlet syndrome, but it's slightly different in that it is caused by the prolonged sleeping of a five-pound Yorkshire Terrier on one's arm.
5. Thus the misplaced gift of a new bed for the office, which is like, you might say, the latest medical treatment for Mr. Jefferies syndrome.
6. Said medical treatment is not working very well.
This arm is mine, all mine.
7. After a long day at work yesterday, I came home to a delightful surprise! Elaine had turned my old ripped skirt into something fantastically fantastic:
Look at the cute beach stone buttons, and the lining inside with an amazing array of pockets -- even one for a water bottle!
I don't know. Some people have more talent in their little fingernail than I'll ever hope to have in my entire body. I swear, it's embarrassing. I'm so excited about this bag, I can't tell you! My wonderful skirt is turned into my wonderful bag! I love it love it love it.
8. But wait. It was a bit like those Russian nesting dolls. Inside was ANOTHER bag!
9. As I was unwrapping this wonderful object with the dog-print lining, and with a card addressed to none other than Mr. Jefferies himself, I suddenly realized that the adoration that Mr. Jefferies was showering me with after my long day away at work was COMPLETELY SUPERFICIAL, the little ingrate! All that excitement to "see me" was not intended for me at ALL, but for what was in this package. His superior canine nose had already told him that there was SOMETHING INSIDE THIS BAG THAT WAS MUCH, MUCH BETTER than a stupid new dog bed or even Alpha-Alpha coming home from a long day at work.
Oh yes, there certainly was.
10. A big big huge bag of homemade dog treats, and bowWOW, are they delicious. Well, I can't testify to that; I didn't have any. I'm on a low-carb diet, ya know. But according to Mr. Jefferies, they are the bestest treats he's ever had IN.HIS.LIFE.
11. He spent the rest of the evening trying to trick me into giving him more, more, more. Well, when he wasn't doing this.
12. This is a little-known move in Ultimate Yorkie Wrestling circles called The Pin. It's very easy. You just plant your body weight on your opponent's elbow. It eliminates any weight advantage of the opponent, and totally incapacitates and immobilizes them. If they try to move, you do this:
...place your paws more firmly down on the elbow and give 'em the Sad Eyes. In the unlikely event that the Sad Eyes do not work, you should pull out the ultimate weapon: the Adoring Eyes.
Alpha here, with huge apologies to those who are on dial-up or for whom YouTube videos are blocked.
In this video Mr. Jefferies is showing more than usual ADD and yappiness. The heavy wind and torrential rains were freaking him out a little bit, and this was our second attempt. The first one was even less focused, if you can believe it, in part because the wind blew a screen out of one of our windows. I kid you not. If you look hard, you will notice that he keeps looking to his right WHERE THAT BIG THING FELL ON HIS HEAD AND NEARLY KILLED US BOTH!
The alarmed barking could largely be roughly translated as: "A.Alpha, are you NUTS, standing there with that camera? Let's get back inSIDE where it's safe, or I can guarantee you, we won't be in Kansas for much longer!"
And then of course we have heavy sound effects of the train. We are a railroad town, after all! But we are down to about one train a day, and there I caught it on the video. And then SIRENS! Holy crap, my bucolic little city starts to sound like WTFville! This is the most excitement we've had since.... well, I don't know when.
Anywayyyyyy, he loves his new toy, and we both send a big THANKS to Aunt Cookie. He's been draggin' the minion all over the house, and amazingly has not killed it or dismembered it yet, which is just a testament to how well and firmly Cookie knitted it. Her hands must have fallen off after that. I love that he's wearing a football helmet, which is very important for minions who are going to be tackled by a Yorkie. Perhaps in this wind storm, what with flying window screens and whatnot, Mr. Jefferies and I should have had football helmets on, too!
As I mentioned yesterday, I finally took the plunge into Twitter, perhaps against my better judgment. It wasn't five minutes later when, through the wonders of Living Life In The Fishbowl, I posted in Facebook that I had joined Twitter and that I was rather confused. And within a couple minutes, JessaLu told me I should get another service, like TweetDeck, to help keep things organized.
I'm reduced to a quivering pile of fetal-position goo. It's all so hilarious.
Several years ago I started reading a few blogs. A couple dozen soon grew to 100. At about 100, I believe it was, Bloglines came into being, and those of us reading quite a few blogs signed up for it to help keep things easier and more organized -- let Bloglines tell you when someone had updated, rather than having to check in every day -- or several times a day -- to see if your favorite blogger had written something. Then Bloglines had its periodic issues and other feedreaders came into being. After trying a few different ones, I still keep going back to 'lines. It was my first, you know. You get used to the look and feel and it's hard to change.
But then my list of blogs grew and grew and grew, so it was well over 300 blogs that I was keeping track of on a regular basis. The list grew so long that I had to organize the list within the list on Bloglines. So I opened a file of Daily Reads and put in the handful of my very closest friends that I really needed to keep track of daily, and the others -- some of which didn't update very often anyway -- I would check in on as time allowed.
But the funny thing is, as time has gone on, I keep moving more and more of the non-daily reads into the Daily Reads file because I miss some of my old friends. I suddenly realize that I have not checked in on so-and-so for such a long time, and feel bad that I've missed some important updates -- OMG, Lara got engaged?! Cripes, so-and-so had a grandchild? Oh no, I didn't know that someone's mother died, and I missed 7 birthdays. I used to be so good at this.
So it is getting closer and closer to the truth that almost all of my feeds are being moved into the Daily Reads file and I am right back where I started.
And now I sign up for something like Twitter and people are telling me I need to sign up for ANOTHER service to keep it organized, and I wonder how many tabs I will need to have open all at once and WHY should I WANT to, and...
OHMYGOD, STOP THE TRAIN. I wanna throw myself off!
I think I have another cold. That would be two this winter.
KNITTING CONTINUES APACE
Which, translated, means Not At All. It's actually quite disgraceful that "knits" still remains in the title of this blog. This time, though, it is Not My Fault. I've still got a bum left upper appendage, and knitting is therefore verboten until it gets fully healed. It makes working out to be a bit of a challenge as well. We won't even mention the working of the gainful employment kind, but that is what I'm saving myself for.
Let's look at the bright side, though:
It really adds a lot to my boredom and contributes to my malaise.
In recent comments, emails, and Facebook queries, several people have wondered how to incorporate vegetables into breakfast, a practice which is required (or at least highly recommended) in the first phase of the South Beach diet that I'm now enjoying (I am!).
I've done the veggies-for-breakfast thing for most of my life (Is it as a result of the vestiges of French Canadianism, the English/Irish influence in my mother's family, New England frugality, or just what? I'm not sure), so I was a little surprised at the surprise, but grateful for the opportunity for blog fodder and something to share.
Tomatoes, onions, asparagus, spinach, parsley, mushrooms, etc., are quite regular features on my breakfast or brunch plate, so it is not so difficult for me to incorporate them even more regularly while following this diet.
I wish I were both a food stylist and a photographer, but I'm not. And so though this is not as pretty as it might be, here is a photo of my breakfast this morning.
A poached egg over turkey bacon and asparagus. No Hollandaise, though it would probably be allowed in this diet. I mostly eat plain, clean food if I can, though, and so heavy sauces are not something I miss. I guess I don't have THAT much of a French background. Or maybe my ancestors were just too poor to have sauces on their foods, and so that practice was lost over time (tell that to my grandmother who made Creamed Chipped Beef and Codfish "Gravy" like it was going out of style, ha).
Here are some other ideas for breakfast veggies, all of which are legal (sans the toast) in Phase 1 of the South Beach Diet:
Sauteed mushrooms and zucchini over ham, with or without whole grain toast
Scrambled eggs with salsa
Omelet with fresh herbs and tomatoes -- parsley and chives are two of my favorites. I pack them in very heavily when I make it.
A southwestern omelet: eggs with tomatoes, onions, green or red peppers, and sometimes mushrooms or salsa
Smoked salmon with sauteed cherry tomatoes and celery
Eggs cooked any style over a bed of wilted spinach, or chopped spinach whipped into scrambled eggs, an omelet, or a crustless quiche
Canadian bacon, an egg (poached or over light are my two favorites for this) over sauteed onions and mushrooms and/or red & green peppers
Ratatouille with any protein food -- eggs, meat, cheese, tofu, fish
I agree with some commenters that it gets tiresome having eggs every day for breakfast, and so of course any meat or tofu or fish or meat substitute can be exchanged for the eggs in any of the above dishes.
Mix and match! Be creative!
And now, we've got a blue sky for the SECOND.DAY.IN.A.ROW! Yesterday I got out and enjoyed it toward the end of the day, and today I plan to get out there in a pair of hiking boots and tackle that snowy hill behind my house for some serious fresh air, sunshine, and exercise.
In addition to yogurt, another thing we go through a large quantity of in this household is seltzer. Yeah, yeah, you killjoy, we should just drink water, but that gets boring. And at all times, but particularly when we're dieting (Did I mention David is doing South Beach along with me? He is, but he's doing a lot of whining about it, I will note) you just gotta have a little bit of zizz in your life. Seriously. The fizzy bubbles on your tongue and down your throat, you gotta have it. That's why I need my Diet Pepsi or Coke, too. I constantly try to watch my intake, but seriously. I need it. Life is too short to never have anything zizzy.
Earlier this week, Marcia (who is no longer blogging) told me about another way to reduce my carbon footprint: Make my own seltzer and soda with a SodaStream. (Warning: a click on their site starts a video, in case you shouldn't be doing that at work or something. Not that you would if you shouldn't be. But, you know, turn off your sound. Heh.)
Make my own seltzer. Really?
Yes! It makes perfect economic and ecologic sense. In the case of the seltzer, no more big, heavy plastic bottles to a) lug from the store, b) have hanging around the kitchen, c) have to return for recycling, and d) before it even gets to me, be driven by the big rigs to my store, and all that that involves in terms of petroleum. (When I talk like this, I start to worry about putting a whole shitload of long-haul truckers out of work. Gah. There is no winning. Is there?)
The claim is that it makes seltzer (from my own filtered tap water) for 25c a liter, which is a huge saving, right there.
And a friend asked me Why? when seltzer is so cheap anyway. Well, in addition to that huge dollar saving right out of the gate, I'll let the box tell you more reasons:
Well, anyway, I stopped in Sears when I was in Burlington the other day to search for one, because the website says that the Burlington Sears store carries them. Not. They had a few bottles of the soda flavoring syrup, but no soda makers. I had put it out of my mind, but last night I was doing grocery shopping to stock up on yummy South Beach Diet foods, and I was about to put two 2-liter bottles of store-brand seltzer into my cart, $1.00 each, when out of the corner of my eye I noticed the SodaStream logo, now familiar to me because I was in search of it the other day. And hot damn, it was right there in my grocery store! Even better, it came with a $10 rebate
and there were far more choices of flavoring syrups available than there were at Sears, as well. I chose Diet Cola, Diet Root Beer (that's Abigail's favorite), and Diet Grapefruit, though I am mostly interested in making unflavored seltzer with this thing. And when I checked out, the woman bagging my groceries said, "These are SO COOL. The guy was demonstrating them the other day, and it TASTES GREAT!"
And who are you gonna believe if you don't believe the grocery-bagging lady?
Though I have not yet tried it to see if a) it works and b) it tastes good, I'm going to be optimistic that this will not be JUST ANOTHER GADGET cluttering up the counter and be found in next year's Goodwill donation box.
I figure I've already saved $12, what with the two bottles of seltzer I put back on the shelf and the $10 rebate. And we're not even talking about all that Diet Pepsi I won't be buying if this gives me a reasonable-tasting alternative to that. At this rate, this thing will have paid for itself in a month. Or less.
The cost of this starter kit was $79.99. I got the low-rent version. Marcia got the fancy top-of-the-line one with glass carafes instead of plastic -- THAT is really putting your money where your mouth is on this whole anti-plastic thing, but I live in Northwestern Vermont. I am sure that the store manager did not and will not stock the expensive version, because it just won't sell around these 'ere parts. I am just beside myself with glee that, so soon after I learned about this thing, it was actually HERE in my neck of the woods.
So now I've got my reusable mugs, my reusable shopping bags, my reusable to-go eating utensils; I'm making my own yogurt, I'm growing as many of my own vegetables as I can; I'm eating as locally as close to 100% as I can; I'm using cloth towels and napkins instead of paper; and I'm making my own seltzer.
And none of it is really that hard.
P.S. The CO2 canisters are returnable/recyclable, and since this unit was sold at my local supermarket, I am going to assume/hope that that means they will handle the recycling of the canisters, too. Fingers crossed.