Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Switch from Google Reader

For those of you who don't know, Google Reader will be gone July 1, 2013. So if you use Google Reader to stay updated with my blog, or any other blogs, you're going to have to find something new. I did a little research and found Bloglovin. It seems to be the best choice out of the available readers.

I just signed up and it was really simple (and they have nice step-by-step instructions for people coming from Google). My blog is also listed on there, so once you're signed up (or if you're already a Bloglovin user), you can follow my blog:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

If you want more info on the death of Google Reader or Bloglovin, well, you can pretty much find that info anywhere. But I found Hubby Jack's post on Google Reader and making the switch to Bloglovin to be the most helpful. Plus, he's hilarious.

A Few Not-So-Important Research Findings

So, I actually learned a few things while I was doing homework for my Research Studies class. Crazy right?

1. I get a lot more work done in less than half the time when I don't have a puppy throwing toys in my face in an effort to get me to play with her.

2. Apparently people thought (some still do?) that Mary Todd Lincoln was insane and her son had her committed at one point. My non-expert opinion? PTSD.

3. Google is superior. I had to use Yahoo! Directory to search for one of the answers to a question (because my teacher hates Google and Wikipedia--even though I'm pretty sure that's how we all finished undergrad, but whatev). I eventually found a reliable, accurate, and current source. Out of curiosity, I decided to Google the question to see how easy that same site would be to find. It was the second search result. As opposed to the sixth or seventh on Yahoo! Out of even more curiosity, I decided to bing it, because I'm sick of seeing those stupid bing commercials where they do a blind comparison between it and Google (and they always choose bing!). Bing was as bad, if not worse than Yahoo! So those commercials are lying to you. Just fyi.

And in case you were wondering, I used the exact same phrase in all three searches. I suppose if you're not concerned with the credibility of your sources or with how up-to-date they are, then Yahoo! and bing are the way to go.

4. I don't like change. More specifically, I don't like changes to websites. Especially drastic ones. I went to a site that I used several times last semester, but it looked completely different. I began questioning if I was going to the right site in the first place (I double checked with my boss and I was). I'm all for updates and stuff, but doing a complete overhaul is just too much. For me at least. I had a hard time finding what I was looking for because I didn't know where to look.

5. Seriously, Google.

6. My Research Studies class homework is so much more enjoyable when it doesn't involve lugging around a gigantic book full of gibberish. (Okay, it's not gibberish--it's English. But it may as well be in a different language because it's confusing as shit.)

7. I made my boss laugh by telling her how my teacher always uses this excuse for making us learn to use that book: "What if the power goes out and you don't have internet access to do your research?" Um, I'm pretty sure that if my power goes out, the last thing I'm going to do is research. Even if I'm in the middle of doing research. Power's out? I'm done. Let's tell stories or something.

8. I hope my teacher can appreciate sarcastic answers to her questions. That's not really something I learned. Deal with it.

9. Cuties are not just for kids. Adults like them too! Those commercials piss me off. And if you're wondering what the hell that has to do with research, it doesn't. Except that I was eating one towards the end of my research assignment.

That was more than a "few." Oh well. You survived! And I survived another round of Research Studies soul-crushing!

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Updates on Life and Such

Here's a few quick updates:

I've lost 7-8ish pounds in the last month or so. Could have something to do with me getting sick twice, or going gluten-free, or both. I do know that it's not from working out. This week is the first I've gotten to work out three days in a row in at least 3-ish weeks.

I did yoga on Monday and there were only 4 people in the class (I guess a lot of people were still Spring Break-ing). I always enjoy the class, but with just 4 people, the instructor was able to really pay attention to our form and correct us and that was really helpful. And we did a lot of plank poses. I was definitely feeling those yesterday!

Yesterday I did the elliptical. I felt like I was pushing myself really hard (and I once again forgot my inhaler--woops), but according to the screen, I didn't get anywhere near 2 miles which is what I normally do, and I burned just under 400 calories, and I can usually burn more than that. I don't know if it was because I was tired or what but I was exhausted after that.

I went home, skipped dinner for the second (maybe third?) time in a row this week, and just watched SVU with the pup until about 10:30. I don't know why, but I haven't had much of an appetite lately, plus I've been eating my lunches later too, so maybe that has something to do with it. But I figure there's no point in wasting my time making myself dinner/wasting food if I'm not hungry.

I've had zero motivation to get any homework done since, oh, about Saturday. And I have stuff due tomorrow. And just a ton of stuff to do in general with no real deadlines. So I keep putting them off. Which will bite me in the ass sooner or later. Probably soon because that's the way my luck goes. But I wrote a sonnet two-ish weeks ago and I wrote a book review which I haven't done in forever. I really need to work on revising my poems so I can submit them to a few lit mags, but it's such a daunting and overwhelming task. So I'm putting that off too. For now. I'm totally screwing myself. I know this. :p

My boss bought me a present:

From It's a lab (not labradoodle) and it's brown,
so she thought of me and bought me one. Cute :)
I think that's just about everything. Happy Wednesday!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Weekend Recap

This weekend was kind of...lame. I got a little bit of homework done. Not much though. I did thoroughly clean my house though and got all the laundry done. Go me! 

Friday night I went to bed pretty early after watching SVU for a few hours. My life is so exciting. Saturday I did homework, cleaned, and got gas/did the grocery shopping, and I'm super glad I did. 

By Saturday night, it was raining at my house. I woke up early Sunday morning because it was my little sister's 21st birthday and I was going to take her to breakfast for mimosas and then we were all gonna go to Fast Eddie's. Well, Mother Nature shit all over those plans. I called my parents at a little before 7 and they told me to stay home because the weather was starting to get bad up there (it was doing nothing at my house at this point). 

So, I put my pj's back on, threw the sheets in the washer, had some cereal for breakfast, put in a Disney movie and drank some chocolate wine. 

Yes, I did drink half the bottle. On a Sunday. Don't judge me. 
My power flickered on and off a few times, but never went out for more than a few seconds, thank god! We got mostly freezing rain/ice throughout the morning and then it turned into snow a little later. I'd say we got 2 or 3 inches, but it was so windy, most of it just blew around rather than sticking to the roads or anything. It was enough to make the roads nice and crappy this morning though.

Meanwhile at my parents' house in St. Louis:

Not sure what they finally ended up with,
but my mom said they had about 10 inches
around 8:30 last night when I talked to her.
A lot of other people had closer to a foot. Yuck. 
Pretty glad I ended up staying home yesterday, although I was bummed I couldn't celebrate with my sister. That's okay though. We'll just get drunk on Easter or something ;)

I got up early this morning because I knew I would have to clean my car off. It took me about 45 minutes to get my car cleaned/scraped off/defrosted and get the driveway shoveled. A barking puppy is very little help with these things. 

The roads in Farmington sucked (although they suck even when they're dry...), but once I got on 55, they were just wet mostly. The snow decreased gradually--Cape got nothing. On the one hand that's nice that I didn't have to drive in snow/ice the whole time. On the other hand, we have school today and everyone in St. Louis is off. Lame. Oh well, we're off on Friday, so I guess I can't complain too much. I'm going to get my hair cut and then go to the eye doctor and hopefully get some new glasses and contacts. 

I hope you all had a good weekend! 

PS Still doing this gluten-free thing. It still sucks. :(

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Long One

Brace yourselves, this is gonna be a long one. 

The short version is I got sick. 

The long version:

I skipped my workout Wednesday to meet a deadline. I knew if I worked out at my usual time, I wouldn't get the project done in time, so I decided I'd go once I got the project finished. Well, by the time I got it finished, I was exhausted and my throat was hurting. So I decided to just give it a rest and I'd get back in the gym on Thursday. 

I got through my class that night okay. My throat still hurt, but nothing terrible. I got home, had dinner with Chris (eggs, asparagus, and sausage) and then went to bed. 

By the time I woke up Thursday morning I felt terrible. If it weren't for my class that night, I probably would have stayed home that day. But I went to work and progressively got worse. I did however make time to stop by My Daddy's Cheesecake to get some cookies to bring to class. 

I'm assuming they were good since there were only
a couple left by the end of class. 

By the time my class started that night I was miserable. Sneezing, sore throat, body aches, chills, etc. And of course, not only did the class go the full time, but it went over. My friend Angi let me borrow her sweatshirt to use as a blanket, and everyone just kept giving me these pitiful looks all night. Not fun. 

I finally got home and went straight to bed. And felt terrible for not eating the dinner Chris had cooked for us. Unfortunately, I didn't have the option of staying home all day on Friday. I did get to leave around 1:30 though. I stopped at Walgreens to buy some Nyquil and then I went home and straight to bed. Chris came home later and brought me a Sprite and a York Peppermint Patty to make me feel better :)

Saturday morning we got up early to get ready for my friend's wedding. I would have taken some pictures, but I felt like crap. It was a small wedding and the reception was almost immediately after (pretty early in the afternoon). We stopped at the Schnuck's next door and found a nice little Gluten-free corner. So I bought myself some bread to try. Probably should have bought more, but oh well. 

I was only able to eat the salad at the reception, but it was pretty darn good. And everyone else's food looked good lol. After the reception we went back to my parents' house to pick up the puppy and head home. 

We ended up staying for dinner (I had another salad while everyone else had pizza--luckily I don't really like the pizza they got, so it wasn't torture or anything to watch them eat it). And we stayed until the end of the Blues game (which of course went to overtime). I'm glad we stayed though. Even though I felt like crap, I had a good time--and we got a free dinner out of it ;)

And Copper tried really hard to make friends with my kitty Cocoa: 

You can't really see her, but Cocoa is under the chair.
They stared each other down for a good ten minutes.
It was hilarious. 
I woke up Sunday morning from my Nyquil-coma to the smell of bacon. We had bacon and gluten-free bread/toast for breakfast. Super healthy :)

After that we headed out in the stupid rain to go do our grocery shopping. Thanks to Chris, we actually found some gluten-free stuff, like the Quaker rice cakes/snacks and stuff. (I swear those did not exist last week when I was there!) It was a pretty successful shopping trip. I got some new gluten-free snacks to try, and we bought corn flour tortillas for our tacos that night. 

The corn flour tortillas were interesting. They don't taste too bad, but they fell apart pretty easily. That could also be because we were trying to stuff too much into them ;) 

I went to bed Sunday night feeling a little bit better. We had done some laundry and watched a couple movies and I took a nap. At some point in the middle of the night that all changed. I woke up the next morning feeling terrible. I got up, fed the dog, and then texted my boss to tell her I wouldn't be in. 

Once Chris got up around 7, I took some more Nyquil and went back to bed...and didn't wake up until almost 5. After I got up though, I felt significantly better. I showered, watched some tv, and then made dinner. I made spaghetti squash with ground beef and tomato/alfredo sauce, and a side of asparagus baked in the oven with a little olive oil and parmesan cheese. It all turned out really good. 

After dinner we caught up on some shows and watched Bates Motel--not bad so far although kind of confusing since it's the prequel to Psycho, but it's set in modern-day. And then we went to bed. 

I woke up feeling quite a bit better this morning. Not great, but a pretty big improvement over the past few days. I spent most of today catching up at work and I'll spend the rest of my week at work and then at home doing homework. Lame way to spend Spring Break. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Daylight Savings Effects, Gluten-Free: Day 2

So while everyone else was complaining about losing an hour of sleep and that makes Monday suck even more, blah, blah, blah, I was busy being super productive.

I was pretty busy at work yesterday, but I got a lot done. Then I went home, cooked dinner (spaghetti squash with italian sausage--which is gluten-free, btw--and pasta sauce), did the dishes (and by that I mean I rinsed them and put them in the dishwasher), folded laundry, showered, fed the dog...about the only thing I didn't accomplish is write a poem for my class tomorrow. So hopefully I'll get that done tonight...

Copper woke us up at 3:30am Monday morning, which I suppose is sort of understandable since technically that would have been 4:30. I think. I'm confusing myself. And I still haven't changed the clock in my car...just when I had it figured out on my old car, I bought a new one and it will probably take me just as long to learn that as well...I digress. This morning she woke us up at 1:30am and then again at 3:30am. I had all sorts of mean things to say to her. She better get her shit under control because that is more exhausting than just waking up at 4:30am every day. Ugh.

It's my second day gluten-free. So far I see zero difference in my intestinal health. I know, I know, it's only the second day and I'm sure it will take more than a week to notice a difference (if any), but it's frustrating.

As I mentioned earlier, we had spaghetti squash with italian sausage and pasta sauce for dinner last night. Pretty tasty if you ask me. Chris liked it too even though he gets cranky with me for making him eat vegetables :p I had enough leftover for two lunches this week, so that covers today and tomorrow. Tonight I'm on my own for dinner because Chris has to be in St. Louis late tonight and then work early tomorrow. After I go pick up the milk I forgot to buy on Sunday, I'm going to make eggs with spinach and asparagus. And maybe throw in some tomatoes. And top it off with parmesan cheese. And my boss baked me more bread, so I'll probably have that with it too. :)

Since I'm going to be in St. Louis this weekend for my friend's wedding (really, really hoping for good weather), I think I'm going to stop by Trader Joe's. I know they have a lot of gluten-free stuff that most grocery stores don't have. Do any of you have any favorites I should try?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Gluten-Free: Day 1

Grocery shopping yesterday was basically a joke. I did some research online over the weekend to find out what I can and can't eat and found that most foods have a gluten-free option now. You can find a lot of gluten-free breads in stores, gluten-free cereals (which I was already eating anyway), etc. So I left the house with a semi-positive attitude toward this (minus the fact that I was going to Walmart).

I got my fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, frozen vegetables, etc. Basically everything I knew I wouldn't have to check the label for. Then I went for cereal because I knew what I wanted and knew that it was gluten-free. I got a box of Honey Nut Chex and a box of Cinnamon Chex. Both are delicious. And the Cinnamon Chex tastes kind of like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. :)

Then I went for the bread aisle. Long story short, I bought peanut butter and jelly for no reason because this Walmart (possibly all Walmarts?) doesn't carry gluten-free bread. They have a large variety of other types of bread which contain less than a certain percentage of gluten, but none are gluten free. This was discouraging.

I decided if I couldn't have bread, I could at least buy rice cakes or something to slather with peanut butter. Problem is, Walmart doesn't sell those either. Not the Quaker brand, not the Walmart brand. Nothing. I checked several different aisles I thought they might be down, twice.

So my plan for having a pbj with some form of gluten-free bread or whatever was pretty much ruined. Instead I'm having cereal for lunch. I guess I can at least be glad that I don't have to have the same cereal for both breakfast and lunch.

Because of all that discouragement and frustration and all the irritating people there, I left. Without several other things I needed. Like milk. For my cereal. And something to have for dinner on Thursday. And something to eat for dinner last night.

On top of all that, it was raining. A lot. Walking out with my cart and loading groceries in my car got me substantially wet. I came home to the mini lake in our front yard. And it was raining harder. By the time I got all the groceries out of my trunk and through the front door, I was dripping. My feet were soaked from walking through the lake, my pants were wet, my hoodie was soaked, my hair was soaked.

I did have McDonald's for dinner last night since it's the last time I'll be able to eat fast food for a while. Tonight I'm making spaghetti squash with italian sausage and pasta sauce. Obviously the squash is gluten-free, and the pasta sauce says on the label that it's gluten-free (among other things). The only thing I'm not positive about is the sausage, but I'm pretty sure it's safe. Guess I'll find out later.

Anyhoo, I hope your Monday doesn't totally suck! And if you have any easy gluten-free recipes or anything, I'm open to suggestions :)

Friday, March 8, 2013


So I was a slacker and didn't go workout today. I had every intention to, but my stomach has been a wreck all day which can make for pretty miserable workouts. Plus, I read somewhere that you're not supposed to exercise if you haven't had enough sleep (can't remember how much is "enough") and I'm exhausted. I think at this point any exercise would just make that worse rather than giving me a boost of energy.

Now on to the fun stuff:
Jan Morrill's book The Red Kimono just came out. I can't wait for the summer so I can read it! She was one of the contributors to our book Proud to Be: Writing by American Warriors and she came all the way from Arkansas for both of our readings (one in STL and one here in Cape). And she's super nice! I'm sure this book will be fabulous.

Me and my boss with Jan's book--isn't that cover gorgeous?!

In other book news, we sent our forthcoming book The Execution of Richard Sturgis, As Told By His Son, Colin to the printer this week. It will be available in May. I can't wait to see the finished product!

We also got some sample books from a printer in Illinois who wants our business. Their books are all really nice. And my boss gave me one of them--knowing I'm a Cards fan and all. The forward was written by Stan Musial, so I thought that was kinda cool. I can't wait to read this one as well (although I'm sure Chris will get to it before I do).

Free books is probably the best perk of my job. 
It's Friday, which means no meat. And I polished off the rest of the jelly for my pbj in yesterday's lunch. So I treated myself to Jimmy John's today and got the tuna sandwich. I've never had it before, but it's really good! 

Remember how I said I'm exhausted? Well, I have this little doll to thank for that:

I swear she has an alarm clock in her kennel...
Up at 4:30 this morning. And since I didn't want to risk getting dog pee on my face again this week, I got up to let her out. 

That's all I've got for ya this week. I've got plenty of homework to keep me busy this weekend to prep for midterms. Yay. Have a good one everybody!

P.S. Don't forget to head over to Amazon and buy The Red Kimono!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Health and Fitness Updates

I had yoga on Monday. The poses seemed a bit more difficult than they have been previously. I'm not sure if they were really that difficult or if they're more difficult because I missed last week since I was sick. I still loved them though. We've moved on to working on balance. Monday was not my best day for that apparently. I had a bit of trouble standing on one leg. I think I did okay though since it had been a week and a half or so since my last workout. I did hurt my hip at some point. I've been trying to stretch it but that's not helping much.

Yesterday I did the elliptical for 40 minutes. My first problem was that I forgot to take my inhaler. Second was that I haven't worked out in a week and a half and I could tell. Up until those snow days, I had the resistance up to 35 or so. Yesterday I put it at 25 and even that was really hard.

Today was core strength. We did more partner work than usual. I'm not a fan of partnering up with people in any setting. It's extremely awkward. But the girl I paired up with the last two times seems really nice. Plus she has pretty nail polish. Unfortunately, I forgot my inhaler again today, so class was rough. I've also been having issues with some of the exercises they have us doing--mostly ones that involve lying on your back and raising your legs in the air/straight/whatever. It's not really my thighs that are hurting, but it's like the front part of my leg where my hip and thigh meet. I don't know if that makes sense. It seems like a really weird place to get so sore.

Last night we stayed up late so we could watch Wreck It Ralph:

Yes, we did buy this the first day it was out. :)
It's probably my new favorite. I think it's hilarious. Totally worth staying up late for.

I've been checking foods I already have at home to see what's gluten-free and I was excited that my pasta sauces are! So even though I can't have regular pasta, I can still buy spaghetti squash and use those sauces (I was worried I'd have to make my own or something). I also checked my peanut butter and jelly because I practically live off of PBJ--gluten free! The only problem is the bread. But I will think of something! 

I'm trying to mentally prepare myself for this shopping trip. I know it's going to take forever. And it will be even more frustrating because it will be at Walmart. In Farmington. I'll probably need a drink after. Which reminds me, beer isn't gluten-free. Waahhh! :(

Happy Wednesday everybody!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


My stomach issues are not getting better. I have learned that the best way to deal with this is trial and error first--then go see the doctor. The last time I saw my doctor she said I might be lactose-intolerant. She said she wanted me to cut out ALL dairy for a month or so and see how I did. First of all, that was torture. I love milk and cheese and other dairy-based things. I hated soy milk. It was awful. I was just miserable. And to top it off, it made zero difference.

I'm thinking when I decide to go back to the doctor, A. I'm going to see a specialist rather than my regular doctor, and B. I'm going to be prepared. I've already tried cutting out dairy and that didn't work. The next possibility is gluten. Again, this pretty much sucks because it means no wheat. And I love bread. But I know if I were to go to the doctor tomorrow without trying it, that's what they'd tell me to do. No tests, no answers until I know for sure it isn't lactose or gluten that's causing me problems.

Luckily, there are a lot of foods that are gluten-free now, so that helps. I talked to my boss about it a few weeks ago and she told me she makes bread with some sort of rice flour and whatnot and she said she'd bring me some the next time she made it. She came in yesterday with a slice for me and it was delicious. Beyond my cooking skills? Probably. And I can't tell you exactly what's in it, but I do know she added poppyseeds and cranberries (and I topped it off with a little jam and butter).

Proof that not all gluten-free things will taste terrible. 

And now for the weekend recap:
I got almost all my homework done Saturday (or so I thought--I now have two days to finish the rest of my homework for my research class...grrr.). Chris came home and we had planned on going out for dinner and possibly trying a restaurant in downtown Farmington. After sitting on the couch for a while, we decided we'd prefer to just stay home. So he went to McDonald's and got us some dinner and a couple Sprites and we watched Saw. We also possibly watched Saw II that night. I can't remember. 

On Sunday, we did our usual routine--woke up, went to breakfast at the Factory Diner, went grocery shopping, and then came home to watch more Saw movies. I believe we watched Saw III-V. So we have another two or three to go. I don't know. Those movies are weird. But Chris likes them. And I make him watch Disney movies with me constantly, so I kinda owe him. 

 We also got Copper a nice big bone to chew on:

It apparently has a "real meat" center--that stuff stinks!
It's raining/snowing/sleeting/etc. I told Chris we should quit our jobs and move to a beach. His response? "I could just transfer to a store in Florida." Totally do-able. Except for the part where I asked him what I would do all day and he told me to take cooking classes--yeah right. 

First of all, I'm not a terrible cook. I just despise it with every bone in my body. And working full-time and going to school full-time makes me want to never ever cook. Seriously. I had ice cream for dinner last night because I didn't feel like making hamburger helper. And yes, I'm well aware that ice cream for dinner is probably not the best thing for my stomach, but let me remind you--I'm not lactose intolerant! :) 

Anyhoo. It's Tuesday. It's raining. I started my morning getting hit in the face with Copper's pea-soaked tail. Fun stuff. I imagine that's similar to parents who change their baby's diaper and the kid shoots pee in their face. It's hilarious when it doesn't happen to you. 

Have a good one everybody!

P.S. If you have any tips/recipes/whatever for eating gluten-free, I'd love to hear them! 

Friday, March 1, 2013

Where is Spring?

It's March! It's Friday! It's finally the end of an awful week! It's snowing (again). Nope. No exclamation point there. I had to scrape snow off of my car this morning. I hate winter.

I have a wedding to go to in two weeks. It better not be snowing. What the hell do you wear to a wedding in March if there's snow on the ground?! Any ideas? Because I'm clueless.

I didn't go to the gym on my lunch break yesterday. Instead, I spent it in my office doing my homework for my class last night. I also left work a half hour early so I could go to the library and work on it some more. I finally got it all done--and good thing too because we got through the whole problem I was assigned to present on. Thankfully these are super informal "presentations."

I'm feeling a little relief now that all that's over. Except in two weeks we're supposed to have a substantial amount of research done for our thesis to discuss in class. I haven't started that. I've barely thought about it. So I'll start stressing/freaking out over that now. Yay.

But like I said, it's Friday, and that means fish for dinner and doing nothing else but watching tv or a movie. I love Friday nights. :) And I've got zero plans this weekend (other than the usual homework...oh and researching my thesis apparently).

Happy Friday everyone! And enjoy your snow day if you got one--lucky ducks.