Archive for February, 2008

On Notice: NBC and maybe CBS

Before moving to the City of Brotherly Love, I lived in a northern Virginia suburb for two years. Like Philadelphia, I moved to the city not knowing anyone. I worked for a small company in a small building and was the youngest employee until they hired a 19-year-old receptionist. Friendships were hard to forge because of the transient nature of the area.

About six months after I moved to Virginia, a sorority sister was hired as a teacher and moved within 45 minutes of me. We started getting together a couple of times a week for dinner, but that got expensive, especially when we just received our first “real” jobs and had to pay northern Virginia rents. Eventually we decided to do dinner and a TV show, alternating weeks at each others’ houses. The show? Las Vegas.

Every Monday we would push our culinary skills to the limit and test out new recipes and always included dessert.  NBC moved Las Vegas to Fridays after the first year, so we chose to “Suit up!” with the awesome How I Met Your Mother the following fall. Then the opportunity to advance my career moved me to Philly so our dinner and a TV show nights came to a decidedly non-awesome end.

When I read these articles, I might have shed a tear. Please help save these shows! I find them immeasurably more entertaining than most of the reality and game shows on television these days.  You can slap bet on it!

PS-Check out Barney’s Blog. You won’t be sorry!

How Do You Measure a Year?




Aunt Jess

Originally uploaded by JPom1

525,600 minutes. When I was thinking about the approach I would take to write this post to commemorate your first birthday, the song my sorority sang one year for Greek Sing popped into my head from the part of my brain that allows me to retain show tune lyrics but not important, practical information like state capitals. I can’t believe a year has passed since that 4 a.m. phone call from your Nana telling me that you were finally on the way, or the follow up 4:45 a.m. phone call that Poppaw placed to me, as I was battling the snowflakes attempting to slow me down, telling me you were there.

You are the sweetest little boy ever. Seriously. You barely cried as a newborn, broke with first tooth with incredible pain tolerance, and wobble around trying to take your first real steps with an innocent smile that makes my heart melt. And don’t get me started about how you said my name last weekend. (You know which aunt already started a savings account for you.)

You love to play with your tractors and trucks, you love to be outside, you love to smile and you love to explore (especially cabinets… Nana’s not so good at childproofing). Not much gets you down, although you are stubborn and hate to be contained. I’m just saying, sometimes we have to change your diaper.

So happy birthday, Little Man. I love you so much. My life is better because you’re in it. I’m looking forward to the next 525,600,000,000,000,000 minutes.

Love,
Aunt Dess

Overheard

Now I understand why my mother didn’t allow us to have indoor pets as children. They make horrible noises when trying to extract hairballs from their bodies. I’m hoping I can soon find a new home so I don’t ever have to hear my roommate’s cat cough up a hairball again.

Sweet Potato Bean Soup

But first, I hate hiccups.

Carrying on. I found this recipe in a cookbook and decided to try it. I LOVED it! I don’t eat most meats and I’m always on the lookout for good recipes. It was a sunny, chilly winter day, perfect for a hearty soup. I was hungry after the gym, but the soup didn’t take that long to throw together, and it really hit the spot. Hope you enjoy!

Sweet Potato Bean Soup (from Taste of Home

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-3/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and chopped

Directions

Place sweet potato in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 13-18 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup liquid. Cool slightly. Place sweet potato and reserved liquid in a blender or food processor; cover and process until smooth. Set aside.
    In a small saucepan coated with cooking spray, cook the green pepper, onion and garlic until almost tender. Stir in cilantro and cumin; cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Add the beans, corn, water, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and reserved sweet potato puree; heat through. Garnish with green onions and tomato. Yield: 4 servings.

Notes: I sauteed the onions, garlic and peppers in EVOO… not sure how it would work with just non-stick cooking spray. I ignored the garnish, because I didn’t have the ingredients, and used just a sprinkle of cilantro, because I’m not a big fan. As they made it, a 1.5-cup serving is just 224 calories!

It was delicious! I’m looking forward to leftovers for this week.

Independent

I’ve always been an independent person. I can eat, watch a movie, shop alone, without giving it a second thought. I moved to Philadelphia a little more than a year ago and haven’t yet developed a group of friends, or even one or two, that I can draft into doing fun things around the town. I am a member of my sorority’s alumnae chapter, and we have fun social outings several times a month, but outside that I don’t have many social outlets.

I was a joiner in high school and college. Band, musical, yearbook, sorority, Panhel, newspaper, TV station, radio station, etc. I had a built-in set of friends, even if I wasn’t close with all of them. But when shoved into the real world, in a new city, in an office with only about 15 people (of which most are older than 40), how do you go about making friends? I know it’s about getting out, but it’s so intimidating to go to something by yourself for the first time. And let’s not even talk about dating. Any advice?

On an unrelated note, is anyone else psyched about tomorrow night’s SNL? Maybe it is related, because I’ll be at home, watching TV, on a Saturday night. Hmmmm…

Brevity

As a “professional” writer, I hear time and time again to cut, cut, cut my copy. Attention spans are short and it’s my job to tell our story as quickly and precisely as possible. Janet had a neat idea on her blog: post your life in six words. Here’s a glimpse into my life, in six words:

Still waiting for my prince charming.

Doesn’t know when to shut up.

Known to cry over spilled milk.

So many dreams, so little money.

No, I do not play basketball.

Oldest of four daughters; one bathroom.

Salary paid with REAL milk money.

From first capital to Independence City.

This dairy princess loves Dairy Queen.

Your turn!

Link for 2.20.08

Greek Tragedy by Jennsylvania

As a sorority girl, I appreciate what Jen was trying to convey as rush chairman. Here’s to all the sorority ladies currently suffering through recruitment.

“Obviously we don’t want to present ourselves as something we are not, BUT we do want to make a good impression.”

On notice: Snot

I’m sure parents all over ask themselves this question all the time: How can one body produce so much snot in such a short period of time?

I’ve been sick for more than a week now and it’s a sickness unlike any other. It started off as a sore throat and progressed to extreme nasal congestion that WON’T. GO. AWAY. I seriously blow my nose and two minutes later it’s time to blow again. My coworkers really appreciate that about me. (I’m not a quiet blower.) And there’s a half-hearted cough that goes along with it every hour or so, but it’s more of a clear-my-throat cough.

And remember how a couple days ago I was all rah! rah! I lost 60 pounds? Haven’t been to the gym since I got sick. I keep telling myself my body needs to rest to recuperate. I don’t think I’m buying that anymore. Does anyone have any motivation to share?

Another hit

“Hey there, sweetie. It’s Steve. Is your sister there?”

 “No,” I replied. it’s 8 p.m. on a Saturday. She’s at home with her husband and child.

“Can I take a message?”

“Well, I just wanted to turn in my hours for the week.”

“Okay, you can tell me and I’ll leave her a note.”

“Okay. Hey, so I was wondering. Do you have a boyfriend?”

Shit.

“Well, kind of.”

“Okay, well, I don’t want to cause problems or anything. But I think you’re a real sweet girl and I get lonely, well not really lonely but I am alone and all, and I just thought it would be cool for us to get dinner sometime. Maybe coffee?”

Shit.

“Well, thanks. That’s really nice.”

“Okay, well you let me know if you ever want to get coffee or anything. I’m not trying to cause problems, I just think you’re a real sweet girl. Okay, bye.”

Guess I’m going to have to find another 50-year-old mechanic who’s about to go to the big house for drunk driving to put the new tires on my car. Shit.

Two Years

Two years ago, I would walk in a bar and the 60-year-old with three teeth in the dark corner would be the only guy to hit on me.

Two weeks ago, I was walking down a street in San Antonio and a random, age appropriate, fully-toothed guy asked me out.

Two years ago, I decided to take charge of my appearance and confidence by getting off my butt and into the gym. I meant to post this on Valentine’s Day, because two years ago I came home from work, donned shorts and a t-shirt and went to the gym in my condo complex’s community building. I was tired of spending every Valentine’s Day alone.

After a very rough fall, I wanted to prove to some stupid guy that I was pretty enough to love. I thought the best way to show him that I am better than him was to lose weight. Although my motivators have since shifted, I got a charge when I ran into him with his pleasantly-plumper-than-me, live-in girlfriend six months later at the county fair (which I dragged him to, under duress, the year before). Best of all, he’s found all the weight I’d lost.

I can’t remember how far I went or how long I sweated, but I’m sure I started by struggling for one “lap” around the virtual track. Over time my running laps increased and my walking breaks shortened. That spring I completed the National Race for the Cure. It was one of the proudest days of my life.

 Two years ago, I weighed 60 pounds more than I do today.

I probably could have lost more than 60 pounds in the last two years, but I’m trying to keep it real. I have a very sweet tooth. I grew up on a dairy farm where it’s blasphemy to use margarine or white water (aka skim milk). I love pasta, so I won’t cut carbs. I believe in everything in moderation. I work out three times a week, running 3 miles each time. I still haven’t found love, and it’s hard to think that it might be my personality, not my appearance, that detracts men.

 Two years ago, I looked like this.

This year, I look like this.

It’s been a month and a half since we drafted this year’s resolutions and many have probably been long forgotten. If you need encouragement, please let me know — I’m an excellent cheerleader!  

Today, my partner in a continuing education class introduced me as his beautiful partner. Sure, he might have introduced the Mrs. Claus-doppelganger the same way had we been sitting in different seats, but it still made me grin and blush.

Though it started out as a way to prove something to someone else, this journey has helped me to realize that it really is what’s on the inside that counts but you have to have a healthy body to be happy. I had to lose weight for myself, not for some guy. This year, I had the best Valentine. My healthier self.

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