28 August 2012

Rating the food so far...

Wildberry Yogurt flavor - not bad but little berry-like things floating around in said flavor are a little disconcerting...the mouth feel is bizarre.

Tomato-Basil soup. - not only no, but hell no.  First, tomato soup should not be pink like a strawberry milkshake.  Second, it should not have a texture like dirt suspended in water.  Finally, they may want to look into adding some flavor.  I did eat it but it was akin to holding my nose and swallowing it down in one gulp.

Chocolate drink - Good.  To paraphrase eBay:  "A+.  Would drink again."

Lemon and Butterscotch pudding (no, not together) - not bad.  Would be able to eat without grimacing.

Vanilla pudding - doable.  Looks a little...phlegmy.

2 cups of roasted kale is a lot of kale to get through.

I thankfully did not kill anyone during class last night even with the combination of this pancreatic trip through the Nine Circles of Food Hell and a Michael Moore movie (Roger and Me).  Tonight is the first night of my Public Policy class.  It's another Michael Moore film.

Help me.

27 August 2012

What Fresh Hell Is This?

Alrighty, then.  So, in a last ditch effort to stop my pancreas from giving me the middle finger, my doctor had me go see a rep for an FDA-approved diet that has had some good results for people with issues like mine.  Saw the rep on Friday and started the diet Saturday (because every condemned man or woman needs a good last meal!).

To say I am a wee bit cranky might be an understatement :).

The diet consists of some packets of particular foods they manufacture (organic, soy, yadda).  I also (twice a day) add two cups of vegetables, take several vitamins that would choke a horse and get 8 oz of protein for my dinner along with the aforementioned vegetables.  However, there is no soda which means there goes my occasional Pepsi Max to help me through three hours of class.  No alcohol which...not so bad.  I don't really drink that much.  No bread *sobs briefly*.  However, there is also no fruit and no dairy.  But I do get unlimited lettuce!

*cue sound of record scratching*

Yeaaaaaaah.  The no fruit is killing me because I *love* fruit.  I eat a lot of it.  The rule about dairy means no cheese at all and my weekly latte is gone.  I am welcome to have some black coffee with one ounce of skim milk and Splenda once a day.  I also cannot exercise for the first week to two weeks because of the massive reduction in carbs that my body is not yet used to.  Once it starts digging down into the emergency supplies, so to speak, then I can go back to exercising.  I really miss my exercising.

I'm also supposed to be keeping a food diary to show my rep each week.  While I'm dutifully writing down everything I'm (not!) eating, in my head, the diary goes more like this:

Day 1 - Really?  Seriously?
Day 2 - Haven't killed anyone yet.
Day 3 - As God is my witness, I will kill the barista if they do not open in the next two minutes.  The guy that killed Harvey Milk had the Twinkie defense.  I will use...oh wait, I can't have Twinkies.

If my pancreas will stop giving me the finger and come out to join the Internal Organ Party, I may only be four months on this thing before I hit the attempt to wean me off and introduce some more real food back into my life.  *looks back over timeline*  Y'know, it's a good thing that (a) the SU and I do not do any type of Thanksgiving or Christmas celebrations and (b) don't live close enough to any of our relatives who do.

If this works?  Fantastic!  If it doesn't, then I continue with my mindset of celebrating what I got and working it :).  In the meantime, there may be a few more food-centric entries :).

In the meantime, here are some pictures:

I just finished Beanie's, well, beanie this week.  It is the first knitted cabling I've ever done:

The next two are of Munchkin who, as I may have mentioned before, has certain fetishes.  One of those is the grocery bags under the sink.  She loves to open the cabinet door, crawl in there and sleep there for hours.  She did that yesterday while the SU and I were sitting and reading.  We heard the cabinet door squeak open, announcing Her Majesty's nap was complete, and then heard a *lot* of rustling.  When we turned to look, this is what we saw:

Don't ask me how but she managed to loop two grocery bags over her head while she was in there and walked out like this was completely normal.  I mean, look at the expression on her face.  It clearly says, "I don't know why *you* find this all so funny."

20 August 2012


So, remember when I said my mother had sniffed the QVC crack again?  Apparently it was to the tune of $3,000.  My brother and I are undecided whether she just doesn't get how to handle money or just really doesn't care.  What we have tried to impress upon her is that if she blows through all her money, neither he nor I have the wherewithal to pay $3,500 a month to keep her in her new home.  Additionally, neither of us have the resources to have her move in with us.  Her task this week is to get all the QVC crap packaged back up and out to the post office.

*bangs head on desk*

15 August 2012

Favorite wrong word usage of the day: Once bitten, twice shy

I was reading a story where the Marines in said story were described as "handbitten".  Um, no.  The Marines would be "hardbitten".  Otherwise, you have someone going around biting the hands of the USMC's finest and that's just...weird.

I mean, really.  Raise your right hand, take your oath, and then stick your hand out in front of you.  Don't mind the little guy coming around.  He never breaks the skin...

14 August 2012

The Truth is not on QVC

I talked to my mom last night.  She started off the conversation with telling me there was something she had to confess.

Me:  "You buried Jimmy Hoffa?  You're really D.B. Cooper?  You are the Lindenburgh baby?"  Wow, looking back at these examples makes me realize I must be reallllly old...

Turns out Mom has been hitting the QVC crack again, has five packages in her room at the independent living place and hid the bill from my brother when he came down to help her pay her bills for the month.  I think part of the reason she "confessed" was because she bought me something and knew I'd ask her about watching QVC when it got there.  (OK, it's a toaster oven that is also a convection oven which is *really cool* but...yeah, not the point.  I digress.).  Both my brother and I have told her that she can't be in independent living, hang on to the house, and have a QVC bill each month that requires commas.  The house would have to be sold a whole lot faster if she chose to keep that up.

I've been talking to her just about every night since my dad died and, over the past five years, she's started to be a little more open in sharing her feelings with me which is a huge leap forward.  My mom's people are very stoic.  There is seriously a shot of two of my great-great-somethings out in the middle of Nebraska in front of some shack, holding a pitchfork and glowering.  They are Amish with electricity.  They could be sitting there with blood spurting out of a major artery and talk about the weather.  To borrow from the X-Files:  deceive, inveigle, obfuscate.  Above all, dear God, do not talk about your feelings.

But she's better at it than she used to be.  So we talked about how she kind of hopes she will be able to return home but knows she really can't, that she's lonely and getting packages is a nice thing to have happen when you're lonely, that she (like me) is more of an introvert and we tend to have a few close friends unlike my dad and my brother who tend to make friends easily and in copious amounts.  She tries to call herself stupid and hopeless so I have to yank her up short on that and remind her that she isn't and I don't want to hear that kind of talk about my mom.  She was very sheltered by her family and then my dad and I've talked to her about that and reminded her that she's faced a lot of new challenges since Dad died and I've seen her tackle every one of them, and nobody "stupid" or "hopeless" could do that.  She also had a suprising moment of self-reflection when she admitted she'd like to just be able to spend the money and throw up her hands at me and my brother, telling us it just doesn't matter before saying she knows she can't do that.

Between Mom and the SU, I really feel like I'm getting an emotional workout lately!  Mom and I decided she needs to eat more meals at her new place rather than just breakfast and disappearing back to the house for the day, maybe join in on the scandalous penny-and-dime domino games :), and go to a few more of the Happy Hours where she enjoyed sipping on her O'Doul's and actually talking to people.  Of course, it's up to her if she does any of this but I'm hoping she will realize she doesn't have to be head cheerleader for the place, she just has to accept what they are offering and remember that new things aren't necessarily bad.

13 August 2012

Posting twice in one month...where's my handbasket?

The Spousal Unit and I went to see The Dark Knight Rises Saturday.  It was a good end to Nolan's version of Batman although probably not the best of the three.  That honor, IMO, goes to The Dark Knight.  While Batman Begins started off Nolan's version of Batman in a credible way, it still has Katie Holmes (pre-Crazy Tom Cruise) and nothing can overcome the black hole that is Katie Holmes attempting to act.

The only thing I really didn't care for was the way the sound was mixed.  Tom Hardy (Bane) is already acting with a handicap since he has a mask over the majority of his face that electronically distorts his voice.  That alone made some lines hard to understand.  It was worse when the soundtrack came booming in.  Now, I loves me some Hans Zimmer but Hans also loves his percussion for the Batman movies, and the sound mixer constantly left the soundtrack at levels above the speaking/looped voices of the actors, leading to unprecendented levels of "What did he just say?" looks between the Spousal Unit and me.  Still, it was not nearly the nausea-inducing experience that seeing The Avengers in IMAX *and* 3D was.  Gah.  Never, ever doing that again.

After the movie, we re-created our second date ever when we went grocery shopping :).

The SU is doing all right.  He's maintaining at this point and I have give him the room and the grace to make his own decisions - although that doesn't mean I don't search his usual hidey-holes.  I did go to a support group on Friday night but I don't think it's a format/group that is going to work for me.  The church that is running it is obviously doing something right based on the number of people there but there were some drawbacks to my experience:

1.  It took me three calls over two days just to get someone to verify that the support groups still met there and the groups weren't simply issue-centric (e.g. AA versus Al-Anon).  I understand the guy who is in charge and his assistant were in a conference at the church over those two days but nobody I talked to on the phone seemed to know anything and that was a little disheartening and not very welcoming.

2.  The small group I was in was *very* small - as in I was the only other person besides the leader for about the first five minutes.  The leader also didn't seem to be very good at facilitating. I understand about crosstalk, etc., but if no one had anything to say, we just sat there...in silence.  *singsong voice* Awkward! *end singsong voice*

I may look at some other, similar groups to try them out or I may look at one or two other avenues as far as support and confidentiality.

On other topics:

Question for anyone that has a Kindle.  Do you buy books that you already have paper copies of and, if so, are you keeping the paper copies?  I buy a mix of both new-to-me books and books I already have.  I have been giving away some of them and keeping those that are out of print or hard to find but I'm debating not keeping those, either.  We live in an apartment and it is a small apartment.  What does anyone else do?

(Oh, and Bug, I found one more Mary Russell hiding in the back of my bookcase that apparently missed being sent in the first batch.  If you want it, send me your address again...)

Went to the doctor Friday and the low dose of the meds wasn't working at all.  No change.  At this point, it's starting to come down to the Hail Mary pass (thank you, John Sheppard) because nothing really seems to be getting the point across to my pancreas that it is not on an indefinite vacation, thankyouverymuch.  So, I talked with my doc who apologized for being just about out of ideas, and I'm going to do the medicine one more month at the high level to see if it will at least jump start the stupid organ like it did the first time I used it.  Then, I'm going to attempt a particular diet plan that is supposed to help restore pancreatic function.  If that doesn't work, then I will just consider myself beautiful at whatever size I remain. 

Reason #487,592,293 why I don't use Bing as a search engine:  it keeps trying to suggest that I am somehow interested in Jennifer Aniston.  Um, no.

And I am ridiculously addicted to this game:

$140 million and rising...

09 August 2012

And lo, the infrequent update commences

I tend to be a very internally-oriented person and a blog is something of a struggle for me.  I don't want to be a blog full of LOL! cats (although I do share a certain fondness for Despair, Inc and their demotivational posters) and I also don't want it to turn into some other blogs I've read where the default reaction is covering your eyes and muttering, "The TMI.  It buuurrrrnnnnnssssss!!"  I mean, there is a reason my blog contains the words "hermit" and "misanthrope" in the title :).

So, while I'm working to strike a balance I'm comfortable with, here are some updates in no particularly revealing order:).

1.  I have rediscovered my unholy love of homemade broccoli slaw.  Unfortunately, I have also rediscovered broccoli slaw's unholy side effects.  (pro tip:  blame the cats).

2.  Finished the summer with A's in both my courses and am waiting for the new semester to start in about two weeks.  I am finding myself singularly unmotivated with the idea of diving back in to another two classes/two nights a week of school and three-four hours Saturdays at the coffee shop.  I keep telling myself it's just residual tiredness from going to school every weekend in June and that, if I get through this semester, I will be over halfway to completing my Master's and have only six classes left.  But, yeah, not so much.  I am just feeling really...unenthused.

3.  The Spousal Unit and I went to see the boudoir pics I posted about in a previous entry and I was very happy with them - as was the SU :).  We made our picks and are currently waiting for the proofs.  The whole photo shoot thing remains very much an awesome experience even almost a month later (and if the SU's reaction to the pictures were any indication, they shall...provided dividends for a while).  I probably won't put any up to share Bug, 'cause I'm not too keen on making those pics public since you kinda lose control of them at that point, but I could probably share one or two with you :).

4.  I wrote about the SU and his issues in a post quite a while back.  All I'm going to say is that those issues have continued to make a return appearance, which also includes lying to me.  So, not so much fun in the Hermit household at the moment.  I have been seeking advice on how to be a Biblical wife in this instance (yet not a doormat) and what my responses can be.  We are both committed to being married - and not just 'cause it's hard to break in a new one after 20 years! - but it's difficult to try and respond respectfully and lovingly to someone when you're also pretty angry with them.  It doesn't mean I can't express my anger but I have been trying to find better ways to do it than just lashing out.  I have a hell of a sharp tongue that I inherited from my mother and I have done my best over the years to try and temper my responses versus just shooting from the hip.

So the SU is starting over again.  Part of me is wanting to be supportive and the other part of me is firmly in the "Yeah, that's what you said *last* time" camp.  In the meantime, I have also gotten advice that I should find places or people where I can talk about how I feel and what's going on.  Tall order (please note the statement re: internal orientation at the top of this post) but I agreed it's a valid one.  Ergo, I'll be checking into some options and working on extending my trust with some of the people I know.  I do know they're trustworthy but I have to overcome my suspicious, sure-I'm-going-to-get-screwed-over nature and remind myself not everyone that I will ever meet will repeat past experiences.

5.  I have three knitting projects going currently.  I swear, it's like crack!  I'm doing a long, multi-colored, multi-striped scarf out of four different colors of Berroco Remix, a couple hats that use cabling, and a very long (450 stitches!) linen stitch scarf out of multicolored Koigu.  The Koigu scarf will probably take me forever since you splice in a new string with every row but I'm getting the hang of the cabling pretty well and the new multi-stripe has a hiccup I need to correct but hopefully I should be shortly back on track.

6.  I also finally have a knitting bag to keep all my stuff in - a retro, military, paratrooper messenger bag.  In khaki.  No flowers or designs for me!  (Lord, I am so predictable at times...:)).

7.  The Spousal Unit passed his first college course in 35 years with an A!  Go him!

8.  And now back to trying to figure out why students request graduation when they still have multiple credits remaining...