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Archive for August, 2010

Milk Fail

Today I fail at milk.

This morning I made tea and put it in my travel mug and drove to the zoo and was gone 8 hours… and when I got home I found the brand new carton of milk that I opened for the tea this morning sitting on the counter. Expanded. And warm.

I fail at milk.

And now I have to go back to the store to get more and it’s payday and I hate going to the store anywhere near payday (unless it’s before payday, then I like going to the store). This is because the commissary on payday (and for about 4 days afterward) is kind of like an insane military spouse holding pit. It’s almost like having to do battle with the forces of darkness, except it’s a bunch of women with bad attitudes, poor budgeting skills and three to five kids a piece. Pushing two carts in many cases. Taking up the aisles. Yelling at their screaming kids.

It’s a nightmare.

Okay, maybe not a nightmare, but it’s not fun for little shopping-by-myself me.

Maybe I won’t worry about the milk for a bit. Maybe. I still have another carton, this was just the one that I opened this morning. As long as I don’t fail at milk again for a little while, I should be fine. Should be. I’m optimistic.

And I guess the sour milk is where we end this BEDA thing. It’s hard thinking of stuff to say every day! That’s why sometimes you don’t get much. I don’t lead an exciting life.

Let’s face it; I just rambled for several paragraphs about milk.

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The Organic Experiment

So, since I haven’t been in the mood to cook much lately, I’ve been looking for easy ways to eat good quality food without wasting things (i.e. throwing away veggies that go bad because I couldn’t eat them fast enough). One way is to cook in bulk and reheat leftovers, but I really get tired of things after I’ve eaten them twice.

My solution was to start trying some of the newer frozen food items that have shown up at the store. Frozen food is getting much better and there are a lot of choices, much more than just a few years ago. I’ve tried about a half dozen brands over the past couple of months, just one at the time and a couple of items from each brand.

My assessment? A lot of the frozen things are terrible. I was disappointed. When you’re craving something and you get the frozen version and it tastes completely wrong, it’s frustrating.

Then I found Amy’s– and the food is great! The servings are a perfect size for me, there’s variety (pizza! Indian! Mexican! burgers!) and it’s affordable per meal (at the commissary, anyway). Amy’s is organic, though; I don’t normally buy a lot organic (except dairy because regular dairy seems to spoil quickly here) because I’m not convinced that most organic products make a difference. Organic bananas? Well, you take the peel off anyway, so you’re not eating pesticides, are you?

With frozen entrées, though, organic means nothing artificial and no preservatives, so no weird tastes and no ingredients that are unpronounceable. I like that. So I decided to do a little experiment and eat (mostly) organic for a little while and see if I feel better.

My theory? Eating organic in and of itself isn’t going to make me feel better (health-wise, I mean), but I will in fact feel better. Why? I suspect that people who eat organic have to think more about what they are eating and therefore make better and healthier food choices overall.

entrée

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Two days left…

…in this BEDA thing.

The month actually went by faster than I thought it would. Hm.

I still don’t think I have enough that’s interesting enough to write about to do a daily blog all the time. And so I give you more random thoughts just to fill a blog post.

I finally got to see season 7 of NCIS so you don’t have to worry about spoilers any more. And I will probably be able to watch the new season somewhat on time (remember I DVR everything, so be patient). New season starts in a month!

The sunset is really pretty tonight. It’s all pinky and orangey and nice. And someone (probably my next door neighbor) is grilling out and it makes me want a hamburger. Maybe I’ll break out my new Foreman grill. I got it for those times when it’s just me for dinner and I don’t feel like messing with the grill. Who needs to use charcoal, wait for it to burn down, and then clean up the mess for just one hamburger? Not me.

The glowy golf ball has turned into a fun kitty toy. Leena especially likes chasing it, but she’s always been the one fascinated by light-up things. It’s cute. Plus it makes a fun sound on the tile floor thanks to the dimples in the ball’s surface.

Aaaaand that’s it.

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Night Golf

Tonight a group of us (spouses from the ship) went golfing. In the dark. With glowy golf balls.

You need to know that I have not golfed since I was, oh, 12 years old. And most of them had never golfed before in their lives, except one woman who brought her husband’s clubs.

You also need to know that the place we went only rented out men’s sizes and we’re all relatively short. So the clubs were reeeally long.

Did I mention the glowy golf balls? They actually have lights inside of them so they light up different colors when you hit them. Mine is green.

So yeah…. Let’s just say that on a Par 3 course, my best score on a hole was 4 and my worst was somewhere around 8. Also, other groups had to keep playing through, but that was okay. We just hid behind trees and laughed about it.

But we had fun. ^_^

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Old Photographs

It’s funny how there seems to be a point in the lifespan of a friendship when you start to reminisce. Usually with photos.

I’ve been wondering how long you have to be friends with someone (or if there are specific experiences you have to share) before you can really reminisce.

Tonight, though, I was reminded of a sandwich that was sent to me via email; J was still in Italy and he and his friend wanted to include me in their lunch or dinner or something and got the idea to mail me a sandwich… until I pointed out it wouldn’t survive a week in transit. So I got this:

I like the photo because it also shows the view from the friend’s house at the top of the hill where he lived in Italy… but also because it’s just plain funny.

The other funny thing about Navy friendships (and military friendships in general) is that you never know when someone is going to turn up that you haven’t seen in a while. And then I get asked if I remember a certain sandwich….

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Still technically Thursday

I was headed to bed and remembered that I hadn’t posted today, so here are the highlights.

Spent an hour in the car TO the zoo but only 20 minutes home. The H1 (interstate) makes me wanna pull out my hair.

Cleaned. A lot.

Cleaned a pool that smelled like fishdeath. Not kidding. The drain had been clogged for a while and they finally pumped out the water and (I hope) fixed it (media coming to take photos tends to motivate people) and turned the formerly-dry-moat into a swamp (again, not kidding) and I spent an hour getting the fishdeath sludge out of the pool. It’s a lot prettier in there now.

Came home, ate lunch, watched NCIS, talked on the phone.

There, that’s my day in review and now I’m going to sleep.

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Fall Habits Die Hard

It’s a funny thing that you go to school every fall for the first 18 plus years of your life and then you wake up one day and school is done. I mean, not for teachers and professors, but school is different for them, too. It’s a hard rhythm to break and it’s enough to give you a sort of strange feeling in the fall when other people are going back to school and you’re not.

Of course, it gets lessened every year, but I will say this is the first summer that I haven’t looked into grad school just so I could be going back to school. I’ve finally accepted that I don’t have a real reason to get another degree except that I really like going to school and learning things, but liking school isn’t enough justification for thousands of dollars of debt in the form of student loans when there’s no reason (career-wise) for it.

But still… Autumn means campuses and football (and eventually basketball) and reunions with people you haven’t seen all summer and I suspect there will always be a part of me that has an urge to pack up my car and drive to Chapel Hill. I understand now why “Homecoming” is always in the autumn.

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The College Kids are back

And traffic has become a nightmare again.

Remind me to leave earlier for everything for the next, oh, eight months or so, okay? Like, at least half an hour earlier than usual.

Otherwise I’ll sit in traffic for an hour on my usually-twenty-minutes drive home. Again.

On a more interesting note, the tigers got coconuts today. It took them about an hour, but they pulled the whole green outside off and got through to the husk on the inside and then there were some really funny faces when they tasted the coconut water. ^_^

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TV or not TV?

We’re coming up on a 1 year anniversary of some import: it’s been a year since we’ve had cable.

I haven’t thought much about it since we got it when we moved into the new house (and got a shiny new TV to boot), but I’d say our TV-watching has definitely increased since we got cable. We also have a DVR, which is an amazing thing, but I wish we didn’t have to pay so much for it.

This article about how TV is one thing that hasn’t been supplanted by internet got me thinking.

For three and a half years, J and I didn’t have cable. We paid for high speed internet (which we still do) and bought the shows we liked on DVD. This has turned out to be a good investment because we can watch any show we like whenever we want, and can trade with friends to see other shows (i.e. I lent a friend NCIS and I got to borrow Heroes and everyone got good entertainment). Having cable has introduced (or reintroduced) me to a number of shows I like, but I’m wondering if there are enough of them to justify continuing to pay for cable every month, or if we should just get Netflix and go back to buying the DVDs of shows we like.

On the plus side, we’d only get shows we know we’d like, there’s no waiting to see what happens next (you can watch three episodes in a row if you want) and there are no commercials.

On the down side, we’d lose the live sporting events (which are harder to see this far west) and run into a new dilemma that I discovered this past year: when you wait for the DVD, you get spoilers from people who have already seen the shows on TV. A perfect example is NCIS; it comes out on DVD on Tuesday, and we’re going to get it and season 7 is all new to us. Other people are gearing up for season 8. And while we’ll (probably) watch season 8 as it happens, I’m not sure if it’s better or worse.

I’m not sure how it will go. Maybe when we next move, we’ll go back to not having cable. I didn’t miss it too much when we didn’t have it, but I feel like it’s addictive and I’m not sure I could cut it now. Then again, since I watch everything on DVR anyway, maybe things haven’t changed all that much…

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Painting: cheaper than therapy

Not that I need therapy, but painting is very relaxing.

The current project is to decorate about a dozen terra-cotta pots to take to the zoo. They’re various sizes and all need to have some sort of “animal” theme, but really I’ve got a lot of leeway with them. I’ve got half of them finished and just need to add the clear coat over the top that will (I hope) make them weatherproof to go in the browse garden.

Browse garden? Well, zoos are always on tight budgets and one way to cut costs (as well as give animals added enrichment) is to grow your own browse, or produce for the animals. Browse can be sweet potato vine, edible hibiscus, flowers, herbs, and regular veggies, too. The garden by the tiger exhibit has catnip, lavender, eggplant, corn, sunflowers, bell peppers, and had collards but the plant finished its growth cycle already.

Anyway, it gives extra food (i.e. the corn can be part of the primates’ diet) or can be enrichment (i.e. extra stimuli) and also makes an otherwise unused area of the zoo look a lot nicer.

So I’m painting pots to go in the garden.

Okay, so the one with the swirlies isn’t exactly animal themed, but it looks nice anyway, don’t you think? The waterfall is the other side of the tiger-laying-down pot in the first photo. I tried to make it look like some Asian paintings I’ve seen recently. They don’t have to be amazing or anything, but it’s kind of fun to think up a new design for each one. Maybe I’ll do geckos on the next one.

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