Friday, February 28, 2014

Growing and changing

It was during a conversation today that I realized how different I am now from when I was eighteen. In particular, how outgoing I am these days, compared to back then. Yeah, I'm still on a tad the shy side in some ways. (Never mind that if I'm working then I'm fine asking random people "How can I help you?" That's different.) But looking back at where I was when I took my first class at PCC...

When I first started at PCC, I sat at the back of the classroom. I only participated in class discussion just enough to avoid getting my grade dinged, since that was a requirement. And I think I will always have branded in my memory the following: staring at my desk as though it was the most fascinating thing in the world while I shared my thoughts with the English class.

I also tended to hide in books during class breaks, though in my first math class (that was during my second term) I would practice math instead of reading. It got to the point where my math professor kicked me out of the classroom during our break once the weather turned nice. I am not kidding. My math professor kicked me out of the room so I would get fresh air, and maybe even talk to people, instead of doing math.

She was awesome.

Fast forward a few terms though, and I started sitting at the front of the classroom while happily taking part in class discussions. Especially in my English classes. I even stopped hiding in books during the breaks, so I could talk to people. Which is probably lucky, since that's how I met my boyfriend.

It's a bit interesting to look back at how I was when I first became an adult, and look at how I've changed since then.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Beware the Nigerian Prince...and Facebook Powerball

Well, I'd wanted something that would be good material for writing, but I hadn't exactly wanted something like this. The this is that someone tried to scam me on Facebook. Not only that, but they copied a friend's profile to do so.

I got a friend request from someone I haven't talked to in ages, and who I'd thought I was already Facebook friends with. I figured, ok, so she had deleted her account, or had accidentally unfriended me (that has happened with someone before), and was just trying to get back to where she'd been before.

But then the following conversation ensued. I'm sharing it because I find the idea that Facebook might try to compensate their users by paying out big bucks to only a lucky few truly hilarious. Um...yeah, sure. Seems totally logical and not at all suspicious to me.


Since I know I have had a blind reader, and may still have blind readers, I've copied it out below.

Idiot Scammer: hello
Me: Hey
Idiot Scammer: how are you doing
Me: Pretty well. How about you?
Idiot Scammer: I'm pretty good and extremely happy for my life. Facebook has really changed my life for good. I've a great news to share with you, Guess what??
Me: What?
Idiot Scammer: I was just wondering if you have heard about the Facebook Powerball Lotttery promotion that was imposed by facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to help and support retired, widow, unemployed, disable, full/part time worker's. Have you ever heard about this before??
Me: No, I hadn't
Idiot Scammer: Are you sure you haven't heard about this until now? The promotion was made to some facebook user in other to benefit from them its a randomly picked of profile on facebook and get $70,000.00. Did you get yours yet?
Me: No, I have to say I'm rather skeptical about whether it's real.
Idiot Scammer: i mean facebook is giving out the money for some randomly selected users for compensating all users
Me: So they're compensating everyone by only giving money to a few?
Idiot Scammer: A friend told me about this and i find out that its legit. UPS delivered the money to my door step. I even saw your name on the winner list with the shipping company agent.
Me: So...I'd assumed that [name] somehow deleted her FB account, and was just getting back online. But I now find that I have two friends named [name]...and a quick Google search shows that the Powerball thing is a scam. Bye.

I told the friend whose name, profile photo, cover photo, and basic info had been used for the scam. After all, I'd want someone to tell me. That led to me helping her by trying to figure out how to report the account copying hers, but it was deleted fairly quickly. I did report the above conversation to Facebook, but since the account is gone I don't know if they'll even be interested in it.

Even though I'm still laughing at the screwy logic behind the scam, I'm a little uncomfortable with the fact that I friended a scammer and gave them an opportunity to look at my profile. In retrospect I should have unfriended Idiot Scammer as soon as I started to think something was odd.

Live and learn, I guess?

I just hope that if my profile gets copied, my friends will figure it out and tell me.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Love

I've mentioned before that my boyfriend is a horror geek, and that he introduced me to the genre. Well, it was only a couple days ago that I realized how thoroughly he has corrupted me, and strangely enough it was due to something said on YouTube.

Someone suggested that a great idea for a horror movie would be giant ant mutants caused by human pollution. This person added that a similar movie was made in the 50's about giant ants created by nuclear activity, but that nuclear mutant stories are so passe.

I typically have little clue what people are talking about when they reference movies, so I was surprised to realize that I actually knew exactly which horror movie was being referenced. I certainly won't win a trivia contest in a room full of horror geeks, but obviously some of it is rubbing off on me. Or, one might say, a certain someone is succeeding in corrupting me. Not that I'm complaining. In fact, it may be part of why I love him. :)

(No, I'm not saying what the movie is. I'm curious to see if any of my readers can name it.)

This post is a couple days late for Valentine's Day, but I can tell you that we did watch the movie in question during our date. Which was wonderful, and also involved chocolate. Chocolate ice cream, to be precise. Yum.

I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I love that man.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Cats creeping me out

There isn't much that's creepier than waking up, rolling out of bed, and then finding your cat staring at something under your bed. Oh, yeah, I know what's creepier. You pet the feline in question, he gets grumpy with you, moves...and then goes back to staring at the same spot. So you look, but can't find what he's so interested in.

This is exactly what happened with Kokopelle today. He had to change position several times due to my attentions before moving under my altar, at which point I gave up trying to distract him. I resigned myself to the fact that I couldn't see whatever he was staring at, and decided to ignore him. And of course, I also ignored whatever it was I couldn't see.

Normally I would blame such behavior on fairies, but a little bit later I discovered that he was staring at a sort of centipede that had been hiding in the stuff under my bed. My opportunity to catch and release the thing came when it decided to wander across my bedroom floor. I know, I guess I could have killed it, but I didn't feel like doing that.

That said, I would have been very happy to let Kokopelle eat it. But no, he wanted to just watch it.

When I figured out that it was a centipede thing I explained to that cat that he's very lucky to be a pet. If he were on a farm and expected to earn his keep as a mouser, he'd probably die of starvation.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Tracks in the snow

Everything in the Portland area has pretty much come to a screeching halt since Thursday due to snow. Well, snow and ice, really. Snow by itself is bad enough, but add ice into the mix and suddenly things get a lot worse.

But enough about the city coming to a stand still! What about the tracks I found?

I ventured outside to investigate a bird that flew into my bedroom window (I couldn't find it, I'm going to assume it flew away) and found various animal tracks. I don't know what they are, but they probably say something to someone who knows about them.




Monday, February 3, 2014

Oven baked bacon

My delicious dinner

Oven temp
I was surprised at the idea of cooking bacon in the oven. Who ever heard of such a thing? But I read that it supposedly preserves the flavor, so I decided to give it a try.

The verdict? Not as much fun as cooking on the stove top, and I don't know that I like it better myself. But it tastes excellent, and my mom kept saying that I'd outdone myself. So I think I'll call it a success. Here's how I did it.

Ingredients

Bacon
Elephant garlic (real garlic would also work)
Mushrooms
Cayenne powder

The ingredients, minus cayenne -- it's lonely that it was forgotten :(

Instructions

Preheat oven to 365°f. Or as close as you can guess. (Really, how many ovens will show you exactly where that is?)

Rinse your bacon in cold (or cool) water and lay it in a pan.

Note: I'm not sure how important this actually is, but I also read that this is supposed to reduce how much bacon will shrink as it cooks. In any case, I was impressed at how little the bacon shrunk, but this is also the first time I'd cooked it in the oven. So, I'll reserve judgment on my opinion of rinsing in cold/cool water until further experimentation.

Next dice your garlic and cut up your mushrooms. I intentionally left the garlic in small chunks rather than chopping it finer because I remembered the joy of biting into garlic chunks at a favorite restaurant.

Sharp pointy things...

Scrape the garlic and mushrooms onto the bacon, and rearrange things so that they're underneath. The idea is for the bacon juices to seep into them.

Sprinkle cayenne powder on top.

Ready to cook

Close up

Cook for 10 minutes, enjoying how amazing it smells.

The finished thing

Close up

Doesn't it look amazing? And to my surprise, there wasn't a lot of grease lying in the pan.

I had the bacon with a baked potato. Hey, people put bacon bits on potatoes, so why not serve bacon on the side? And, it was a delicious dinner.

Delicious dinner

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Imbolc

Today is Imbolc, or Brighid's day. I haven't done much, other than experimenting with new ways to cook bacon and cuddling my boyfriend. No, not at the same time. Not sure how well cuddling and cooking would work if you tried them both at once...

I do want to share a song, though. It's the same one I shared last Imbolc, but it's worth repeating.



And now that Imbolc is here, it looks like the local weather is going to get colder. So much for the winter weather being past, as I'd thought it was. I'm just going to say that if it snows, I want an actual snowfall, not just the little bit that normally happens when people panic over snow in Portland.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Of "fish diets" and cholesterol

A doctor decided to check my cholesterol more than a year ago. I guess that's a strange thing to check in someone my age, but at the time I was really sick with some virus so they were doing various tests on me.

The results came back strange enough for the doctor I had at the time to actually allow me to see her shock. The HDL -- the good cholesterol -- was really low. I wasn't too upset when she told me to cut back on red meat, but I was very unamused when she told me to start eating fish regularly. Still, I did what she said.

So I've spent over the last year on what I have called the "fish diet." I've only eaten red meat once a week (in theory) and I've been having fish several times a week. Fortunately I've discovered that I can enjoy fish and seafood after all, if it's prepared well.

Yesterday I had my first visit with a new doctor. (My old one moved out of state, then I didn't like my first choice for a replacement doc, but this one I do like. I think I'll keep her.) When I asked about rechecking my cholesterol her first response was to ask why they'd checked it for someone who's twenty-four years old. I refrained from mentioning that I was twenty-three at the time, and instead watched her reaction to what she saw for my old test results. It was something along the lines of, "Wait, it's 8? When we talk about it being low it's normally in the 30's. I've never seen it like this before. I've never seen that before."

Gotta love it when the doctors let you see them like that.

The doctor told me to stop by the lab on the way out so they could check where my cholesterol is at now, and also that she would send me to a specialist if it hasn't changed.

Well, I've got my results back, and even though no one's called to translate them for me, the numbers look ok.

I think I'll keep eating fish though. Partially because I don't want things to get back to where they were before. But also because I've found that I really do like fish. In fact, I sort of want to celebrate at my favorite seafood restaurant. :)

Boiled Shrimp by yamada taro