Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Sometimes I think that my cat is a lot like Ferdinand the bull. He is close to 25 pounds and looks kind of like a bobcat and has rather sharp teeth and claws, and yet Bowie's very favorite thing to do is to sit and eat the flowers.


Monday, October 19, 2009


Things can be really hard sometimes. But that's when I realize I have the most amazing friends in the world.

Thank you D, for giving me hugs, sharing beers with me, and encouraging me to feel angry instead of just sad.

Thank you Kel, for posing scenarios for me, and telling me I'm welcome to come over anytime and even bring my cat.

Thank you Becks, for telling me what I didn't want to hear and for making me really listen to myself.

Thank you Grace, for making an action plan and for giving me tangible help with a sticky situation.

Thank all four of you for wanting to talk to me, and for telling me that I'm awesome and that I need therapy. You're right.

I am lucky.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Is anyone out there wondering why I sometimes post recipes when I CLEARLY have no idea what I am doing in the kitchen? In a way, you've answered your own question, my friend.

I like to cook for myself because (a) it's cheaper than always getting takeout, (b) I've heard food is probably better for you when you make it yourself out of ingredients than if you get all prepackaged/premade/fast food, and (c) I feel more like a grownup. However, I also seem to have a problem with recipes. More specifically, I have a problem with quantities. I'm much more comfortable with the idea of ingredient names than ingredient numbers. If a recipe calls for a big ol' list of a 1/2 cup of rinsed this and 2 1/3 cups of diced that then I generally feel like abandoning it in favor of a nap before I'm halfway through. (I don't feel this way when it comes to baking, however. I get that cookie recipes need to be followed specifically to the letter). So, while I have great respect for people who create and/or follow recipes with exact quantities, I'm going to go ahead and continue with my attempts to use recipes without them.

Okay, so are we on board with my no-quantities style? I mean, I could try and fake it for you....

So. Soup. I love soup. Love it. And I tried to make a few weeks ago. I looked up a couple of recipes for cream of chicken with rice soup and then I gave it a whirl, in my quantity-ignoring way. Here is how it came out:

Yeah. So. Fail. But on the bright side, I renamed it "risotto" and ate it for 3 days.

And then someone gave me a tip-- add the rice or pasta or whatever at the end. Don't fill up the pot with uncooked rice because you are probably overestimating the amount you are going to need and then you'll end up with sloppy rice goo instead of soup. Not that I would know anything about that.

So I made minestrone last week.

And then yesterday I made this lentil-barley-squash soup. Which is yummy but I think next time I won't add kidney beans to it because yeesh it's almost TOO nutritious.

So, without further ado. Here it is. My super easy soup recipe.

Broth (Chicken, beef, or vegetable. I buy these at the store. I don't have room in my life to do anything that involves boiling a chicken carcass for hours like apparently you're supposed to)
Vegetables (fresh, frozen, sauteed, whateva you like)
Beans (so far I have used canned kidney beans and dry lentils)
Some nummy carb-- rice, barley, little pasta shapes...
Salt, Pepper, Spices

Pour the broth into a pot. Add your vegetables and beans. Turn on the stove to high and let it boil. Then turn it down low and let it simmer until everything seems cooked enough. Toss in some spices if you've got them. Not enough broth? Add some water and salt and pepper. Oh yeah, you can also add meat if that's something that interests you and you've got leftovers from dinner yesterday.

At the same time, separately, cook the pasta or rice or barley the normal way you do. When it's done, scoop it into the pot with the rest of the soup. Or else you can keep the two separate and combine them in individual servings. The point is, now it's done and you can eat.

Mmmm soup.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Beautiful Eyes

On Friday five of my classmates and I went to a nearby college across the bridge and learned some optometry information and skills from the pros. It was a really interesting day. And it was also exhausting-- I had no idea how hard it is to perform eye examinations. I would be leaning "two finger breadths" away from my classmate's face, peering though my ophthalmoscope, trying to look THROUGH the pupil and see the stuff on the other side. It's something I'm going to have to practice because I kept holding my breath while I was doing the exam because my face was so CLOSE to my partner's. And then I would start feeling all dizzy and faint before I even saw anything.

Some people say that true beauty is in the inside. Here is a photo of the inside of my left eye.

Beautiful... in a freaky, alien kind of way.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Kitchen: Before

I know I said I was going to talk about this BOOK I am using to get organized but I'm too tired right now. So I'm settling for posting this half-finished entry which includes the "before" pictures of my kitchen.

I live in what's gently referred to by my building manager as a 'junior one bedroom' which is basically a glorified studio. I like the design of it, though. Instead of a full separate kitchen like many studios have, I have a full (although miniature) bedroom. I think of it more as a bed nook, though, because there's not really room for much in it besides my bed. Anyhow, because I have the nice bedroomish area, I have a smaller kitchen... that also doubles as a hallway. Which means that when you are standing in it looking at the pile of dirty dishes in the sink, there is kitchen in front of and behind you. Wait, maybe I have a photo that will make this more clear.

See? The little kitcheny area is also the hallway to the living room area. Except that the living room area is furnished now and there aren't actually ghouls trying to burst in through the window. That's just me exercising my mad photo editing skillz.

Anyhow, that means that there are basically four counter areas in my kitchen. And these four counter areas tend to accumulate great mounds of clutter.

The left side of the sink:

The right side of the sink:

The left side of the stove (next to the fridge):

The right side of the stove:

According to the book, I get a whole month to make my kitchen into a "zen" space. Looks like I'm going to need it....

nervous nervous nervous

I had some stuff that I wanted to write about last night but then it was 11:45 and I put the computer away so I could get a good night's sleep. More specifically, I put the computer away at 11:45 so I could: stay up for another 2 hours fretting, get into bed and then jolt back up after remembering some last minute item that I might need, toss and turn and have nightmares, wake up to drink water, wake up to pee, wake up to make sure the alarm is set, wake up and snap at the cat for making noise.

My first clinical day is today, you see. And I'm nervous.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Education versus Intelligence, Exhibit A.

Well, I did say that sometimes highly educated people do really stupid things. Apparently, I felt the need to prove it.

I have a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree. I graduated cum laude from college. I had a 3.96 gpa in grad school-- at that graduation they gave me a freakin MEDAL. I am currently working on my second Master's degree. So. I'm SMART.... right?


Remember that awesome little spice rack I bought the other day?

"Ooh!" I thought to myself, "This is perfect! I'll buy this and put it on the counter and then I can move all the spices that I already have from the cupboard into the spice rack. I will have easily accessable spices AND more room in my cupboards. Brilliant!"

Oh yeah. Brilliant.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Thrift Score!

I started reading this book that my sister sent me, which I'm planning to talk about in more detail in another post. But basically it says to start your organization with the kitchen. So I'm starting with my kitchen. I think it's good, because my kitchen isn't actually the part of my apartment that stresses me out (no, that would be the TV on the living room floor and the piles of clothing exploding out of the closet) but the kitchen is a nonthreatening place to start-- a place where I WOULD make changes if it weren't for the other things that stress me out that I feel are demanding my attention. The book says to start with the kitchen, so I give myself permission to start with the kitchen. "The book says so," I say, glaring at the pile of laundry on the sofa.

So I went to the thrift store, looking for a few things to help my kitchen become a more usable, decluttered space.

I bought this jug for my wooden spoons and spatulas and whatnot so I can keep them on the counter. It wasn't the prettiest one in the shop, but it was the most convenient size and shape for kitchen utensil storage, I thought. I also got that clear glass jar basically to go with the blue and white ones behind it in the picture. I use them for rice, pasta, and... smaller pasta. The other day, in a moment of temporary insanity I bought barley and lentils at the grocery store so maybe if I put them in my pretty jars on the counter I'll actually cook with them and eat them. Also, there's not a lot of cabinet storage space, so keeping some things on the counter in little jars seems like a good solution. Okay, I'm lying, there is a lot of cabinet space but it's full of other stuff at the moment-- old sewing projects, photos to organize, C's clothes for when he visits, my high school yearbooks....

A spice rack. For A DOLLAR. And an apple corer (core-er?), because maybe I'll eat apples if they come in cute little triangles.

New ice trays! Fun shapes! And I can make soap in these, too.

Okay, so this is the one item that falls into the "clutter" category. But I HAD to buy it. It looks exactly like the one my grandmother used to have at her house. I remember she would put it out for me to pour milk on my cereal. Let's not discuss why the pitcher is shaped like a cow but the milk pours out of its mouth.

I know it probably doesn't seem like this stuff will help me get more organized, but go with me on this: I'll put the jug on the counter and put spoons and whatnot inside it. This will clear up some room in the drawers that was previously taken up by spoons so I can move, for instance, my hand mixer that I hardly ever use off the counter and in that drawer. Hm. I guess that makes it sound like I'm just REPLACING the mixer with a jug full of spoons. Maybe I'll take some before and after pictures to illustrate how this is going to work.... Stay tuned.

Friday, October 2, 2009


My building manager sent out an email that said according to the building key record (a fancy computer thingamajig that keeps track of when and where the electronic fobs and garage openers are used), my stolen keys WERE DEFINITELY used to get inside the building and the garage last night.

I feel justified in my paranoia. But, um, yikes.

What's the worst that could happen?

That's the question we were taught to ask ourselves in nursing school. It's basically a way to not feel so hesitant about asking questions or looking something up. Like if you have a medication that you are supposed to give your patient and you're not completely sure if the dose is right, what's the worst that could happen? If you ask another nurse about it, you might look stupid. If you look it up on the computer, you might look stupid and get behind in the tasks you have to do. On the other hand, if you just give the medication without double checking and the dose actually turns out to be wrong, then the worst thing that could happen is that the patient could DIE. The point of this thinking is that you're supposed to pick the worst of the worst things that could happen and then follow the series of events that would NOT lead to that. You with me?

Okay, so, last night my parents took me out to dinner. They parked in a lot owned by a nearby apartment building (since my building doesn't have any pay parking) and we were there for about an hour and a half. We came back to find the passenger side window of my parents' car smashed and my mom's purse missing. The car was absolutely filled with stuff-- suitcases for my dad's trip out of town, briefcases, files, duffel bags, etc-- but the only thing they took was my mom's purse. My mom had been using a different purse so the one that was stolen only contained some odd paperwork and the spare sets of keys for her office and house.

Oh, and an extra set of MY APARTMENT KEYS. The key to my apartment, the garage door opener, and the little doohickey you swipe in front of the front and garage entrances that goes 'meep' and lets you through the door.

The keys to my apartment, DOWN THE STREET.

So we reported the break-in to the security guys at the parking garage and my parents left. Then I went home to report the missing keys to my building security guard. When I got to the security office, there were two people already there reporting the presence of suspicious persons in the building. So I told the security guard and the people what had happened with my keys and he said he would put together a report and call the security over at the other garage and see if they had any footage of the same suspicious persons. It's a stretch, but not totally unlikely that the people who took my mom's purse might have gotten out the keys and driven down the block hitting the garage opener until a garage popped open. And if they drove straight from where my parents were parked toward my apartment building, then it wouldn't have taken very long at all for this to happen.

I went up to my apartment and thought for a moment: Someone out there has my keys. The keys are probably not but might be marked as "SF Apartment" or "SF #apartmentnumber." There were suspicious people reported in my parking garage approximately 30 minutes after we realized my keys were stolen. If the keys are not marked, someone could potentially try all the apartments until he (or she) got to the one that my key opened.

So, I asked myself, what's the worst that could happen? Well, if I think that someone might try to get into my apartment tonight, I could call a friend and spend the night at their place, but if I do that I don't want to leave Bowie here by himself so I will have to call and miss work tomorrow since I can't take him to work with me and anyways I'll have to get my lock changed during business hours and gah it will all be such a nuisance. On the other hand, if I don't do all of this and someone actually does use my key to get into my apartment tonight, I could get STABBED TO DEATH. I think I'll be calling Kelly to ask if I can come have a sleepover.

I hurriedly threw some clothes and stuff together and drove over to Kelly's house and stayed there overnight. This morning, I got up and gathered all my stuff again. I put on my backpack, I put on my purse. I picked up Bowie's carrier, in which I had stored his litterbox. I picked up Bowie. "HOLD ON to me," I hissed in his ear. I walked out of Kelly's building and down the street where I had parked. It was a bit of a hike and cars were wooshing by, but it seemed to be working out fine.

I got to my car and realized that I had parked it under a rather bird-popular telephone wire so the birds had freely shat all over my car. I tried to put the carrier/litterbox down and get out my keys to unlock the car and Bowie flipped the eff out and jumped out of my arms and scrambled under the car. His claws snagged on my shirt while he jumped, ripping it. So I opened the car door, threw my stuff inside and said in an attempted-soothing-but-more-like-hysterical-pleading voice "Look Bowielove, the car's open, get in the car honey. It'll be okay. Come on just GET IN THE CAR NOW." He stayed where he was. So I got down onto my hands and knees and put one hand up agains the bird-shat-on car, and reached with my other hand into the filth that was under my car (mud/leaves/oil) and grabbed Bowie by his back skin and manhandled him into the car. I called my work to let them know that I couldn't come in because I had to get my lock changed and the woman I talked to made it clear through her aggravated sighs that they were none to happy with me.

To recap, I took the potential threat to my life seriously and acted accordingly. I am now left with the following:

One brand new set of keys to one brand new lock.

One heavily bird-shat car.

One favorite shirt with slightly noticable rip.

And one skittish cat in dire need of a bath.

Also: one questionable work situation, one ruined Friday, and one messy apartment from my rapid evacuation.

But. I was not stabbed to death.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm back, baby.

So much has changed, but then again so much is the same as it ever was (oh yes, I just quoted the Talking Heads).

I'm back. Back to nursing school, back to the City by the Bay. Back to being in a long distance relationship (sigh). Back to job hunting and trying to get organized and experimenting with domesticity and trying to learn to cook without having to use actual recipes. Back to writing here and exploring my (many) feelings.

Did you miss me? I missed you. I am excited to be back. Bowie is excited, too. Check out his party hat.