Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"Dead animal"

In my last post about food I kept referring to the chicken as "dead fowl" or "dead bird." There's a bit of a story behind that...

When I was in my early-ish teens my mom started calling beef/steak/hamburger/etc. "dead cow." I don't know why, she just did. I think it turned into a sort of a joke.

But really, that's all that meat is. It's a hunk of dead animal.

Chopped up dead chicken, ready for cooking!

Then I turned vegetarian, basically for ethical reasons, and mom's coworkers said it was no wonder. After all, she would say "Dead cow for dinner!" I think I started something, because Tall One also became vegetarian. Mom tried it twice, but she couldn't stick with it. Some people need meat to be healthy, and that's the case with her.

As you may have noticed from my meat filled recipes, I'm not vegetarian anymore. My dietary needs changed and, like my mom, I now have to eat meat. (I also can't eat nearly as much dairy as I once ate and thrived on. A fact which can seriously annoy me.) I sort of was kicking and screaming about having to abandon vegetarianism when I started eating meat again, but I had always said that if you need to eat meat, then do so. So, I did.

Tall One is still vegetarian though. I'm sometimes slightly jealous of that fact, but I have to admit that my meat is tasty. Especially bacon...yummy bacon. :)

And although I usually don't call my food "dead cow" or "dead bird" or "dead whatever"...I occasionally still do. Mainly to be funny. But also, maybe, to remind myself where my food comes from.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Buttons

My (poorly supplied) sewing kit.

I wanted to sew a button back on a shirt, and also find a button to sew onto the shirt. Unfortunately I left most of my sewing stuff at my parent's place, so I had to abandon that task. But I did find some interesting buttons from when I started collecting them when I was younger.


Brightly colored sea creatures: a dolphin, sea horse, octopus, and two fish. Or is one of those fish a shark?


The cast from "the cow jumped over the moon" rhyme. A fiddle playing cat, a jumping cow (with a party hat), a moon in a nighty top, a spoon with a dish, and a laughing dog wearing a party hat.


Just one lone button, a lady bug made from wood. The antena are metal with something black on their tips.


This isn't a button, but I wanted to share it. It's a patch that says "I smile because I have no idea what's going on." That was sort of my motto when I was younger.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A chicken dish

The final product. Yummy.
I keep making up my own recipes. Who knew cooking could be so fun? The above is a yummy dish of chicken and mushrooms. Mainly chicken and mushrooms. :)

Bread box.

And here's my new bread box, that I got second hand for a mere $2. What does it say about me that I was so excited to get a bread box? Which I'm not actually using to store bread in?

Ingredients

Some chopped onion
Finely chopped garlic
Mushrooms
Basil
Cayenne pepper (my usual secret ingredient)
Olive oil
Chicken

Instructions

Put oil in a pan, and saute the mushrooms and onions with the garlic, some basil, and a pinch (or two) of cayenne pepper.

I'd recommend using a larger pan is shown in the photos. I wasn't being very smart.


 Chop up the dead fowl.


Once the onions and mushrooms have been sauteing for a while, add in the chopped dead bird and continue cooking. I think I may have added in another pinch of cayenne pepper. But I may also be a nut.


The results were delicious. :)

It's interesting, on one hand I can't handle the really spicy foods, and yet I like to use enough cayenne pepper that my lips tingle when I eat.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

New job

So this will be two posts in one day, but oh well.

You may remember that I mentioned I had a job interview the other day, and I commanded you to requested that you wish me luck. Well guess what? I've got the job.

I was actually sort of in a daze yesterday after I got hired, and got very little accomplished. Too amazed that I got the job I guess, even though I'd had a good feeling about it.

It's in a restaurant, and I'll be doing a bit of everything. Cleaning, food prep, whatever needs to be done. I start on the 7th, and unfortunately I won't know what kind of hours or days I'll be working until then.

But hey, it's a job! Never mind that I don't know my hours yet. And it looks like fun. And I've had a really good feeling about this from the moment I scheduled the interview, so hopefully I'll be given the maximum number of hours that I can work.

You know, it occurs to me that although it's hard for me to get interviews, those interviews usually lead to employment...actually they always have led to me getting hired. :)

Confused? No...

I haven't come across much of any nastiness about being bisexual. That could be because of the company I keep, or it could be because I've only been "out" for six months. And in that time I haven't told many people, simply because it hasn't come up.

But when I'm reading about bi-ness (or whatever you want to call it) I keep seeing that some people think we're confused. I especially keep seeing that on the Facebook group Bisexuality Is Real: teens (or adults) who are told that they're just confused, and that they need to choose one gender or the other.

Um, what?

Well guess what? I was confused. For years. Then I finally accepted that I'm bi, and I'm not so confused anymore. Now that I've accepted that I don't have to choose between men and women I'm not confused anymore when I can't keep my eyes off a hot woman. Yeah, for years I insisted that I was straight, I guess because I have a definite preference for men, and because of that I would get very uncomfortable when I found myself attracted to a woman.

So, far from being confused, figuring out that I'm bi has actually cleared up some confusion.

:)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sherwood library

I was only at Sherwood library for one day, but I liked it.

It's a smallish library,and I'm told it was designed by the same artitect who made the plans for the Beaverton library. That's was easy to believe when I saw the it. It is almost as grand as the bigger library, but in a quieter way. And, it has a fireplace! There was no fire while I was there, but the fireplace itself was painted green with some earthy designs/patterns to it. Quite pretty, and it's a place I would enjoy hanging out on a cold snowy day.

The library shares a building with city offices and a donut place. My coworkers and I agreed that the donut place had very yummy stuff, and I bought coffee for my favorite coworker because she gave me a ride to work that day. And although there is no park by the library, there is a nice outdoor place with benches. It's a good place to eat your lunch, or to hang out at with a good book.

The fireplace

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Beaverton libraries

I spent most of my life near the Beaverton library, and even remember participating in summer reading for the first time at its original location. Specifically, I remember getting a bookmark for participating.

When the library was moved to its current location I remember visiting it with a friend and her mom. At the time I thought it was too big and grand to really be comfortable, but I’ve had to revise that opinion. Either they’ve changed something to make it more comfortable in the years since it first opened, or I’ve changed. And I don’t know which it is!

It is two stories, with a grand double staircase to take people upstairs. Around the stairs and in the children’s area the walls are painted with fantastic animals reading and/or flying on books. I was tempted to get photos of the paintings, but never did. I did get a photo upstairs though, and you can see some "support beams" (for lack of a better term, though I don't think they're actually useful as supports) that remind me of trees. And, a port-a-poty seen through the window. Please forgive the poor quality of the photograph, though.

Recently Beaverton opened a branch, called Murray Scholls. The new one is a very small library, and is pretty cute. It’s also conveniently located close to a Starbucks.

Yep, a port-a-potty on the roof, due to construction.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Hillsboro libraries

As part of my previous job as an RFID tagger I got to visit numerous libraries in Washington County. Each library is unique, with its own feel and even its own history. Some of them I particularly liked, and I wanted to write about a few of them.

The first library we tagged at was Shute Park, which is the branch of Hillsboro library. Both have big windows, which I really love in a library. I like it when a building feels so open, especially when I can look out from between stacks of books and see a beautiful pond like I can at the main library.

In addition to the lovely view, Shute Park has a park (with swings!!!) in front of it and the main library has a coffee shop in the entrance. My employer said that all libraries should have coffee shops, and I’ve got to say that I agree with him on that. And a fireplace. All libraries should also have a cozy fireplace, which Hillsboro main library also has. If possible, they should also be cozy and homey, which Shute Park certainly is. The main library is a little too big to be cozy, but the view makes up for that.

I can’t really say which of the two are my favorite. One is cozy, but the other has coffee and a fireplace. I like them both.

Snowing at the main library

ps. I had a job interview yesterday morning for a restaurant. Wish me luck!

More snow! Outside the main library.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The zoo

I went to the Oregon Zoo with my boyfriend today. I got some good, or relatively good, photos of a few of the many animals we saw. Here are those good ones and some semi-good ones.


Ok, I admit it, my favorites are the cats. :) Above is a bobcat on the prowl.


When we came to the cougars one was lounging and the other was wandering sort of out of sight. That is, until my boyfriend got their attention...


The cougars were unimpressed with my meowing. But Murray...he knows how to imitate a jaguar. It turns out that cougars respond to that. (It also turns out that rhinos respond to the jingle of keys because it usually means that their keepers are there with food.) In response to my boyfriend the quiet cat started moving around.


...and while they were playing, other zoo-goers started talking about the sounds they had been making prior to getting active. I didn't bother to point out that it was Murray and myself they'd been hearing.


The sun bear exhibit. I could barely see any bears, but the flowering tree was so pretty that I had to get a shot.


An elephant, seen through bamboo and leaves.Not an ideal way to view the animals, but I got the shot from here instead of a more ideal location because I thought it might make a good photo. And I think I was right.


Not sure what kind of bird this is. But it's pretty.


And I was finally FINALLY able to see the cheetahs. They've always been out of view when I've gone to see them before.


I think they're the most beautiful of the big cats. And they remind me of greyhounds, probably because they're both built for speed.

When you go to the zoo, what are your favorite animals to see?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pìobaireachd

A couple posts back I mentioned the pìobaireachd, which is the classical music of bagpipes.
Traditionally it is done by a solo piper, but because I wanted to make sure that I got a good quality rendition to share on here I went for a band I know well, Simon Fraser University Pipe Band (SFU). So without further ado, here is SFU playing a pìobaireachd.



And yes, the guy was directing the band with his foot. And they started singing at the end! Traditionally pìobaireachd has been taught by singing. Pìobaireachd sung is called canntaireachd, and I think I want to learn it.

A lot of people don't like pìobaireachd, and it's said that it's an acquired taste. But I've always liked it. Which may be a good thing becuase it's something that Tall One has tended to be particularly good at.

SFU, by the way, took third at the world competition last year, but was consistently taking first for a few years before that. They're one of the top, and they're right here in my backyard practically. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Amazing sunset

This will probably be the last post about the Skagit Valley Games last weekend. And this isn't even about the Games, it's about the car ride up there!

There was some interesting weather, and around dusk it was getting sort of misty or foggy. It was the sort of weather that may not have been the most pleasant, but it was so beautiful and Otherworldly that I wanted to get out of that car and just enjoy it. It looked like the sort of place where the veil between the worlds was very thin, and where you might slip through and dance with fairies easily.

And yes, it looked like that from the highway. It must have been even better for those not stuck inside their cars, looking out of windows while traveling some 70mph. (Now I'm reminding myself of Clarisse from Fahrenheit 451...)

Then, there was the thunderstorm. At sunset.

I couldn't get a good photo, but Tall One had an app on his iPhone that handled the lighting better than mine did. So I eventually left the photography to him, and just enjoyed the view. The following photo is his, and yes it is lightning over the sunset.

Courtesy of my brother Tall One

FYI, Tall One has captured lightning with a camera before, though this time he was taking video on his iPhone and then got this photo from there.

There was supposed to be a thunderstorm the following day during the Games, but luckily the storm was a ways off and we only heard some distant rumbling. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Depression and pain

Don't you love it when you're reading and then you suddenly have an epiphany?

Two years ago I had severe depression, and when I was coming out of it I started hurting myself. I later realized that what I did was only minor, I didn't actually cut myself (I didn't want to deal with the blood) but I did cause myself pain by pinching myself really hard and doing other little things like that. Nothing serious, but very intentional and very unpleasant.

Afterwards, and even as I did it, I wondered: why? Why in the world?

It seemed like a way to physically express what was going on inside of me. Yet that didn't seem to fully explain it, and I've wondered about it.

Then, I found this passage in Songmaster by Orson Scott Card:

"...and he rubbed his face back and forth against the wood, and threw himself to the stone floor, so the pain would drive all the other voices out of his mind, would let him hear the one voice he searched for, because that was the voice that would save him from the terror that swam every moment closer to the surface where he watched and waited helplessly."

I was listening to the audiobook at work and actually stopped what I was doing for a few seconds as this sunk in, and as I compared it to how I felt.

In Songmaster the pain is used as a release. Maybe not intentionally, not with the character saying "Oh, I'm going to hurt myself and allow my frustrations out that way, so that it will help me heal!" But that's what it happened. And it occurs to me that I started hurting myself when I was recovering. Maybe it was part of the healing process?

NOTE: I have not properly researched this. This is only my own thoughts on the matter, trying to make sense of my actions two years after the fact. I would not recommend hurting yourself as a cure for depression. If you're depressed I highly recommend that you do what I refused to do at that point in my depression, and get help.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Triumph St. Pipe Band

Most of the photos I took at the Skagit Valley Highland Games didn't come out well. Really the only photos that did turn out well were of Triumph St. Band when they took the stage.

(All the other competition was on the grass, but for some reason this band wound up on stage.)

FYI, Triumph St. is the second best band locally, "locally" being the entire Pacific Northwest, and I'd say they're one of the top in the world. To sit down and let their music pour over me was pure bliss.

I wasn't able to get the whole band in one photo.





After their first (or second?) set one like piper stepped forward for a solo. As you can see, his band mates were passing around water behind his back. And rest of the pipes joined in after a minute or so.

This song was actually a pìobaireachd (pea-brok), which I was amazed to hear a band performing. It's sort of the pipe version of classical music, and...I'll just have to share a YouTube of it later. I can't explain it. But it's the sort that is usually played solo, and a band really has to work for it to come out well, and if they pull it off it's a sign of just how good they are.



They also did one rather non traditional music, with a shaker and other stuff. Here you can see one little drummer with finger cymbals, looking so adorable as she waits for her place to join in.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Spinning wheels at the Games

Mom, Tall One, and I went to the Skagit Valley Highland Games today. These are my favorite Games, partially because I learned to spin yarn there in past years. So I naturally dropped by the spinning tent today...and got called a nasty name. To be fair, though, I sort of deserved it. Sort of.

When I got to the another young woman was in the middle of a quick lesson about how to use the spinning wheel. I watched, then kind of almost wandered off when she was through.

"Don't you want to try?" I was asked.

"Yes, but I was also shy." I intentionally neglected to mention that I own my own spinning wheel and know how to use it.

So I was treated to a lesson in how spinning wheels work, and how to spin. I also learned a way of spinning more quickly than I have known how.

I would like to point out that, if I had been up front with my skills, I probably wouldn't have learned that bit. Which I now need to go home and practice. :)

Once that brief explanation and demonstration was over I was allowed to sit down at the spinning wheel. At that point it quickly became obvious that I knew what I was doing, and am certainly not a beginner.

That's when I got called names.

More details about the Games to come soon.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Driving and pumping gas

I had my first driving lesson today. On Friday the 13th! Nothing bad happened, though I thank the gods that my teacher had a break pedal.

It started out with us in a quiet neighborhood, and me scared to go even 10mph. Soon I became relatively comfortable, and my teacher got me on a busy street. "Let's live dangerously! Drive 40 mph." I refused. Too frightening, I said. But before two hours were up he had me going full charge ahead on a freeway.

I'd say the lesson was a success. I didn't run into anything or anyone, and driving is no longer so scary. :)

Now I'm on a highway in Washington (mom's driving), on my way to a Highland Game with mom and Tall One. Mom insisted on teaching me to pump gas just a few minutes ago. Yes I grumbled about it. No one pumps their own gas in Oregon! It's actually a law, we have to have gas station employees pump it for us. Not sure why. It can make things interesting for Oregonians traveling out of state, but that's another story.

So: my first driving lesson is done, and I now know how to pump my own gas. Something which many native Oregonians don't know how to do, I think.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Just curious...

Where are you from? Who are you?

I have three official followers, but I also have page views from the USA, Russia, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, South Korea, and Ukraine. And that's just in the last week, more countries pop up if I look back further. So unless the three followers I know of are doing an awful lot of traveling (in which case, will you pick me up in Portland and pack me in your luggage?) I have readers I don't know about.

I'm curious to know who you are, and maybe a little about you. :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Heart warming stories

Although I don't participate in it much, I'm part of the Yahoo (and Facebook) group RatsPacNW. It's a place for rat lovers to come together talk about how awesome rats are and to look for solutions to problems. Sometimes what I hear can be quite heart warming, and pleasantly surprisng.

A few months ago one experienced rat lover shared that she had just adopted two rats from a shelter, and that they were both biters. She made a video on her second day after bringing them home, where she shared their individual temperaments and how she worked with them. Her goal was to turn them into lovable pets that could be placed with her other rats and each other.

One step towards that goal was to have them neutered (yes, rats can be spayed and neutered!) but that wouldn't happen for two more weeks. In the meantime they were in separate cages by themselves, and she was working with them to try to encourage them to play nice with her.



Yes, she does make a mistake and gets bitten in the above video. It turns out that you need to keep your palm away from an irritable rat! Both they both allowed themselves to be petted some.

There have been several videos to share their progress over the weeks, but this is the latest one.



I am very impressed. These two went from biting the hand that fed them to being happy pets. They now get along with each other and they live with other rats without making a fuss. This is pretty amazing. I'd had no idea that a neutering and some loving patience (from someone who is experienced working with rats!) could make such a change.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another for the Evil Baby Orphanage

A couple evenings ago my dad asked a question: if you could change anything in our country, what would it be?

We came up with a few answers, and I eventually decided that I liked my dad's idea of removing bullying from our culture. That would solve a lot of problems! But my first gut instinct response was something very different. I wanted to send a particular person to the Evil Baby Orphanage*.

The individual who I have in mind is John Watson (1878-1958). He was a behavioral psychologist who made a lot of advances in the field, and he successfully taught a baby to fear a harmless white rat. However, as bad as the rat incident is, the reason I think he is worthy of the Evil Baby orphanage is for another reason all together; after a scandal that made Watson leave his job at John Hopkins University, he took up a career in advertising.

Yes, this guy brought all his knowledge of behavioral psychology to advertising. And that is a sin that cannot be forgiven. I didn't like this guy when I read about him last fall in my psychology class, and he's the first thing I thought of when dad asked what I would change.

*The Evil Baby Orphanage is a place for evil babies to go so that they can just annoy each other and leave the rest of us alone. This would probably include people such as Hitler and Osama bin Laden.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Autocorrect fails

Autocorrect on the iPhone can be quite useful. If you write something that isn't a word it'll change it to another word that you've used before.

Or anyways, that's how it's supposed to work.

I am fairly certain that I have never used the following words, yet somehow my autocorrect knows them and thinks that I want to use them when talking to my friends:

Hooghly
Fallon
Tories
Stegner
Jape
Inge
Geri
Bergen

These are either names or words whose meanings I don't know. If I ever wrote them it was a typo, and only once. Oh, and my iPhone also thinks that I might want a misspelled word autocorrected to "stab era" or "pro ledges". Yep, it's autocorrected a single word to both of those things.

And then it sometimes likes to change words that are spelled correctly. Such as changing "of" to "I'd". What the heck??

Oh, and for a couple days it was turning "brb" into "Ben". That was fun to explain to my boyfriend! "Sorry, if I call you Ben I actually mean brb..."

As useful as autocorrect can be, it can also be rather weird. And entertaining at times. I confess that my guilty pleasure is reading bad autocorrect fails online. :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Don't drink and take the bus

I found that there's a good sized section in the Oregon Driver's Manual about drunk driving, and that it also addresses what to do if you have been drinking and need to get home. Some of the options are having a designated driver, taking a cab, and taking public transportation.

I circled the "public transportation" bit with my highlighter and wrote "NO!" Allow me to explain why I think this is a bad idea.

A few years ago I was on my way home from school. I was attempting to do my math homework on the bus, and an obviously inebriated man decided to sit down next to me.

Why oh why did it have to be me? I'm told it's because I'm a young and attractive woman. If only I were a wrinkled old man...

I might not have minded the drunk sitting next to me so much if he had kept quiet. But he decided to tell me that I was doing my math wrong. I told the inebriate that no, I wasn't adding, I was dividing. He admitted that I was correct after all. Then a little bit later he asked "Where are we going?" I told him "I don't know where you're going, but I'm going home." And I tried to make it quite clear that he was not traveling with me.

He wasn't doing any harm at the time, but I was seriously worried that he might try to follow me home and that made me nervous. I made sure that he didn't get off at my stop, and was preparing myself to tell the bus driver that we had a problem if the drunk did try to follow me off. Luckily, he didn't try.

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I really don't think that drunks should be taking public transportation. Never mind that I now have a good story to tell. They cause a nuisance, and to be completely honest, I'm not sure that that guy was aware enough of his surroundings to get himself home safely home on the bus. I still wonder what happened to him, and whether he wound up in some random place that he didn't know.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cute rat pics

I just wanted to share some cute photos of rats. Or photos of one particular rat, Beka.

True, "my" rats live with my parents. And I still feel bad about leaving them behind. But I do still get to play with them, and if I had to do it again my independence would win out over keeping them. No, actually, if I had to do it again, I would do my research before getting them, so that I wouldn't get pets that I would have to abandon.

But anyways...

The following photos are of Beka drinking various substances that I also find yummy.



It turns out that Beka likes coffee. Look at how much she drank!

Ok, I'm joking. Well, she does like coffee, I wasn't joking about that, but she didn't drink that much. I actually didn't let her drink very much at all. I really don't think that she needs caffeine.



And here I am protecting my coffee by placing my hand over the mug. And of course, Beka trying is to get through my fingers. Yeah, this rat loves her morning coffee!


This photo, and those following, were taken in January. I may have shared them on my previous blog at the time, I don't remember. But I think they're worth sharing again. :)

These pics are from when Beka discovered that sake and ginger ale go well together.


I didn't let her have much, and soon enough was protecting my yummy drink with a hand over the mug. I'm not sure how well rats and alcohol mix.



Beka tried to push my hand off the mug...


...and she tried smothering my hand with kisses.


But no matter what she tried, the hand wouldn't budge.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Meeting Murray

I'm a little late, but I guess it's better late than never? Magaly put together a blog party of sorts where we talk about our first date with our boyfriend/girlfriend.


I met "Murray" at school. Specifically, in our effective listening class. I had arrived early to class before him, and had my back to the door. So I didn't see Murray until he was putting down his backpack with a camouflage pattern on the table next to me. I tend to take up a lot of space with my stuff so I automatically started to move my things, but he told me that I was fine. That was our first exchange.

He and I spent our 20 minute break talking. We discovered right off that we were both Pagans, so we talked about that. We also talked about his time in Iraq, since he's a vet who returned in 2006.

I was fascinated, but wasn't sure what to make of him. A lot of what he said went over my head, but either I've gotten smarter or he's learned to speak so that I can understand. lol I hope it's the first. :)

We sat next to each other a lot that term, and when we were separated into different groups Murray even sweet talked the professor into letting him join my group. Maybe I should have guessed he sort of liked me then.

Our first "date" wasn't until a year later, after we had seemingly gone separate ways and then found ourselves taking an ethics class together. He was calling it a date, but I was determined to make it clear that it was just two platonic friends getting together to hang out. I liked him a lot, but couldn't see myself making out with him.

For our "date" he took me to a sea food restaurant, and then to a local bookstore. Oh yes, he knew to woo me with books. And brownies, which he had brought to class. He's smart. Then he took me to his place to introduce me to old horror movies and he gave me a wonderful foot rub. After a vampire movie we spent a while talking, and I decided that he was my new best friend. I also had cause to tell Murray that he had no chance with me, sadly.

Then, maybe four days after declaring that I had zero interest in him I asked Murray to be my boyfriend. And (mom, stop reading) I learned how much fun it is to make out with a guy in his car. :D

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Two halves of one whole?

I've been catching up on reading some blogs recently, and found that Magaly talked about a creation myth where humans used to be two headed dragons who shared one heart. But some gods decided to smite the dragons, creating humans who only have half a heart. The result? We have half a heart, someone has the other half of our heart, and we need to find that person.

This reminded me of one of my favorite authors, Juliet Marillier, who talks about lovers being two halves of one whole. The hero and heroine need each other, and aren't complete until they have found each other.

I actually talked to my boyfriend about this recently, so it's funny that I found Magaly's post about it shortly after this topic came up between us. We were talking on Facebook, and Murray said that it was some of the best writing he's seen from me. Hopefully I can replicate that here. :)

Thing is, I don't feel like I'm half of a whole. As romantic as it sounds, and as much as I love that creation myth Magaly shared, I feel like I'm a whole myself. And yet, I feel like I'm a whole that's completed by another whole. Which doesn't entirely make sense, even to me. Maybe it's because Murray and I compliment each other. And no, I don't mean that he tells me I'm beautiful and I tell him he's wonderful. Though we do tell each other those things. :) Rather, even though we are similar in certain ways, we're also different.

Or maybe I'm a whole that needs another whole to lean on...

In any event, it's something that I was already thinking about, and Magaly's post prompted me to write about it. Tomorrow, how we met!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Freedom = Responsibility

Today we celebrate our independence here in the states. But with independence and freedom comes responsibility, and that's what I want to write about today. Specifically, the responsibility of knowing what the Oregon Driver's Manual says about pedestrians and driving safely!!!!!!!!!
...sorry, this is a sore spot for me.

I don't know what the Driver's Manual for other states is, but let me give those in my own home state a brief review.

For drivers to know

1) Pedestrians typically have right of way. Some of us yield it to the big heavy cars and trucks, but we still have it. So give it to us!

2) Do not block any part of a cross walk with your vehicle when your car is stopped. This can cause a dangerous situation for pedestrians who are trying to cross the road.

3) There is a crosswalk at all intersections regardless of whether it is actually marked.

4) Don't start moving until the pedestrian has "cleared your lane", and "If you are turning at a signal, you must wait until pedestrians clear the lane you are turning in to, plus 6 feet of the next lane."

(Yes, I had to resort to quoting, never mind paraphrasing.)

If you want to review the info for yourself, the relevant pages are 79-80. Just two small pages. It isn't much!

For pedestrians to know

Here are just a few of the main problems I see, which are also addressed in the Driver's Manual.

1) Stop, look, and listen. I thought we learned this as kids? This means, don't suddenly walk into the road when cars are coming. Very unsafe!

2) Dress to bee seen. Wear bright or reflective clothing at night.

3) Do what the pedestrian crosswalk signs say!!! If you cross when they say not to, you'll probably mess up traffic.

4) Use the sidewalk if there is one. If not, walk at the left side of the road so you face oncoming traffic.

5) You don't have right of way when you aren't at an intersection.

Relevant pages are 81-2. Don't worry, it's actually less than a page total. And the info there could keep you alive.

So...

Yes, two of my major pet peeves are...

1) Drivers who make life difficult for pedestrians.

2) Pedestrians who make life difficult for drivers.

These pet peeves would disappear if people would follow the rules and play nice.

Happy Independence Day! Play nice and use your freedom responsibly. :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Sarita Special

Since living alone I've discovered that I love to cook. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I can't just ask mom to fix me dinner anymore. (Actually that's not really true, I can and have successfully begged her to cook for me.) Or maybe it's because I'm generally only cooking for myself.

A couple days ago I invented a delicious sandwich, but I'm not sure what to call it. Maybe the Sarita Special?

The sandwich!

Ingredients
Bacon
Chicken breast
Cayenne pepper powder
Garlic powder (though I want to try real garlic...)
Onion
Basil
Chives
Mushrooms
Sourdough bread
Swiss cheese
Parmesan cheese


Top view of sandwich

Instructions
Slice some onion and mushrooms, as well as the chicken.

Cook bacon, sprinkling a pinch of cayenne over each batch. I usually make two batches of bacon, but that's probably overkill for this recipe.

Sauté the mushrooms and onion in the bacon grease. Include garlic, some chives, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and a generous amount of basil.

Note: Cayenne pepper is the secret ingredient that makes this amazing!

Add chicken.

When the chicken is almost done toast the bread. Ideally you'll melt the Swiss cheese onto it, but don't worry if you don't.

When the chicken is done place all the ingredients on the bread. Don't forget the Parmesan cheese! I like to put the bacon on bottom with the cheese on top. But do it however you want.


Another side view

Results

I fixed this for myself two days ago, then for my mom and dad last evening. No one dropped over dead from my cooking, and in fact, they liked it. It's also good if you cook too much and save it to put on a sandwich later. Yes, it was my dinner again this evening. It's yummy. :)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Another milestone

The last nine months have involved some major milestones for me. Here they are, in the order they occurred.

1) I'm in a serious relationship. WOW. And this is the first time I'm dating. Another WOW.

2) I got my first full time job. I want to say WOW again but I feel like I've already used up my WOWs...

3) I finally acknowledged that I'm bisexual. Funny, this only happened after falling in love.

4) I'm in my own apartment. WOW.

And now, milestone #5...

5) Today I got my learners permit. I'm finally going to learn to drive.

Yes I'm 23 and am only now learning to drive. Often I was asked why I never tried for my license, and I would sometimes try to explain. But finally I got tired of strangers telling me how to live my life ("You need to know how to drive! Your excuse is not valid!") and gave non-answers.

What it boiled down to, though, is that driving is a lot of responsibility and I didn't want that responsibility. Plus I didn't have the confidence.

But I'm finally living independently, and am sort of feeling like I can do anything right now. Plus my boyfriend encouraged me, and I'm not sure if I would have had the confidence to go to the DMV today without his support.

So here I come, I'm gonna learn to drive. :)