Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The Great American Pickle Diet

"I think I need a new hea-a-a-a-a-art, oh-oh, I think I need a new hea-a-a-a-a-art, oh-oh!"

This Magnetic Fields' song is stuck in my head, and it made me realise, "I think I need a new po-o-o-o-o-ost, oh-oh!"

So, I'm going to post. About pickles!

See, every so often (like every time I step on a scale) I get on a health-food "kick". Meaning I decide I'm going to start eating this this and this and stop eating this this and this. Or sometimes I go so far as to sign up with WeightWatchers. But these kicks never last, usually falling to pieces upon the temptation of a huge slice of chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream scoops or some other such blessing of the beautiful sugar.

But! Today is different! At least it's different today! I started reading a book - it's not a fad diet book, it's not even a diet book at all, but simply a, what Scott would dub, a Common Sense healthy eating lifestyle book. It's got real, believable ideas in it, with lots of easy, realistic recipes and "instead of" options. Instead of that chocolate bar, have a hot chocolate with skimmed milk. Instead of fried chicken fingers, have a poached chicken breast. Instead of soda, have fruit juice mixed with sparkling water. I can do this, folks!!

But the best thing is all the IDEAS it's giving me. I'm such a boring eater, and this contributes to me and Scott eating the same thing every day (curry, mostly). I don't have a food imagination. I can't come up with new ideas, especially if they are hard and take a lot of time (and ingredients I don't readily have).

For instance, I completely forget about sandwiches. When I think of sandwiches, I think of deli meat and cheese. Ick. Or peanut-butter-and-jelly. Yum! but not healthy. But this book makes you think of yummy things like avocado and melted swiss and tomatoes (which I don't like but like the sound of), etc. And it's got clever ideas about getting fruit and veg in your diet if you're unaccustomed, like blueberries in your yogurt or kiwi and strawberries in your cereal. Yummy!

But. The Number One Best Idea this book has given me, or rather reminded me of, is pickles.

I used to freakin' LOVE pickles. But pickles aren't terribly popular here, aside from spreadable pickle which is basically a dark brownish-purple version of pickle relish, and dude, that's just wrong. But this book just mentioned pickles, and I was ready to change my whole life. In fact, it was on the pickles that made me finally decide to get off my butt and head for the supermarket to begin my new lifestyle. I was a bit worried that I wouldn't find any pickles in the supermarket, until I asked a guy unloading fabric softeners for help. He pointed me to aisle 4, Organic, Sauces, and something else (I want to say Chips, but that doesn't make sense). There at the end of the aisle was a modest corner labeled Pickles.

Most were sweet gherkins, which are okay, but not what I was salivatng for. Then, on the bottom row, I spotted the oversized jar that said The Great American Pickle. Bingo! I placed the jar in my trolley, and seriously, ya'll, I nearly skipped. And I kept thinking how not cool it would be to skip and how I'd totally have to explain myself to myself about the skipping, but even as I thought of how uncool skipping is, I still had to stiffen my legs to keep my feet from skipping. Pickles!!

Maybe you're thinking, "Pickles aren't, like, THE healthiest thing in the world, woman." No, they aren't. But dude. I've been without pickles for YEARS now and had completely forgotten how much I love them. Amanda and I used to stock UP on the pickles. I think we almost bought the enormous skating rink sized jars a few times before calming ourselves and realising there would be no room in the fridge for such a jar.

What else did I get, you ask? (I know, you didn't really, but I'm gonna tell you anyway!) I bought Danone Activia yogurts (kiwi and peach flavours), strawberries, blueberries, bananas, WeightWatchers malted rolls, WeightWatchers ginger and lemon cookies, Go Ahead apple bars (okay, so those aren't fantastic but I needed something for the flight) and of course, the pickles. And two £5 tank tops, what?

And the pickles - I fully intended to eat one when I got home, but I'd bought a new carton of milk and there was just a little left in the old one so I finished that off and by the time I drank that, I realised how totally gross a pickle would taste after milk.

Which makes this moment so much more special. I shall now crunch into the very first Great American Pickle:

* * * * * YUM! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! * * * * * *

Ok so they are SO NOT The Great American Pickle, as they are incredibly sweet and not dill-y at all, but they are so good anyway! And they compliment my Leicester cheddar sandwich on a malted roll perfectly!!

I think this kick is going to last about six pickles longer!

(The banana in my Sultana Bran (yes, Kellogg's over here calls it "Sultana Bran" instead of "Raisin Bran" because British people don't eat raisins apparently, nor do they eat grapes, but blackcurrants. Whatever.) and the handful of blueberries and strawberries made for a fantastic breakfast.)

Thursday, June 22, 2006

100 Things I Love About My Husband: 71-80

As I clicked through my Bookmarks Bar this morning to read the (few) blogs that aren't access denied (but will be as soon as the "intelligent filter", ie the IT guys, discover them), I thought, "Man, these bloggers are BORING. No updates in, like, two days?" Then I realised I haven't updated in, like, two years, so I decided I better get off me bum and write something, anything.

One week today is Prizegiving. This, in laymen's terms, means the end of the school session. They have this big, showy private school-type ceremony (I suppose like all schools do to some extent) were they give kids "citizens' awards" and crap. And awards like these:

Pool Rescue Award

(...which I made, thanks.)

So the main point of this is to say that one week today will be my last day of work. Then I'm off to the States! I'll be spending two glorious weeks in Arkansas visiting family and friends, and ya'll, I can't wait. I don't know what it is, but once a date is set for visiting home, I suddenly become entirely homesick, whereas I'm fine the rest of the year when a trip isn't planned.

But the terrible thing is I'll be away from Scott that whole time. It hurts my wee heart. We've been apart before for short amounts of time but never two weeks, not since we married. It sucks! So I thought maybe I'd continue on with these:

100 Things I Love About My Husband: 71-80
71. He gets really annoyed at me when I call myself fat, because I'm "insulting [his] wife".
72. He's becoming a big help around the house.
73. He'll say "I love you" on the phone in front of his pals.
74. He lets me take the car to work, even though it's inconvenient for him.
75. He actually (for some unknown reason) thinks I'm sexy.
76. He likes to buy me presents for any old occasion. ("For going to work all week even though you had a cold" or "For sending off a poem to a competition")
77. He doesn't mind eating curry most nights of the week since it's the only thing I like.
78. He supports the right team.
79. He carries my shopping bags (even the ones that say La Senza and Ann Summers on them).
80. He loves his family and is very protective of everyone in it.

[edit] LOLZ, Lori is a noob and left an open bold tag. Fixed [/edit]

Friday, June 16, 2006

Horror Among Sequel Horror

Garden Tomb
Originally uploaded by npapay.
The joke that once was kinda funny is no joke anymore.

Sony Pictures, that quickly going-down-hill production company which has been releasing flop after flop as of late, is actually doing it. It is actually releasing - oh my goodness, brace yourselves -

The Passion of the Christ 2.

The blockbuster film The Passion of the Christ 1 must've grossed so much that they actually did what we all joked (and seriously joked, because seriously? You can't actually do this) about - that it would be followed by the sequel.

The Resurrection will document the days after the crucifixion straight through to the ascension.

My first thought was, "Mel Gibson? I thought you took yourself and your movie seriously!" (even though I myself didn't so much). Then I discovered that it wasn't Mr Mel Gibson at all who had this "brilliant" idea or who is behind this new "serious", "inspiriational" film. No, my friends, it will not be Mr Gibson who directs "The Passion of Christ: This Time It's Personal". It will be our favourite advocat of the Christian faith, Mr Tim LaHaye!

Yes, that wonderful theologian Tim LaHaye (author of the "Left Behind" series - oh how my stomach turns!) will be directing this next major (?) blockbuster. That very serious Biblical scholar Mr LaHaye will be the Man Behind the Film, ensuring that it is a) Scriptural and b) Awesome and c) Awesome again. Oh yeah, and d) Totally Awesome and Packed with Apocolyptic Awesomeness.

How reassuring that the Christian community is finally being represented by such wonderful people and movies! Finally! No longer will be be plagued by the reputations of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell! No longer will people talk about The Last Temptation of Christ! No, my good Christian soldiers, THIS is The Sequel the Whole Church Has Long Been Waiting For!

Churches, book your local cinemas now! The Resurrection will be the next biggest teaching tool since The Passion! Unsaved friends welcome!

(Discovered via article on GetReligion)
(Photo via Flickr)
(Funny snarky comments ALL OVER the Google.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Housework Shmousework

I hate housework.

Someone wanna come over and clean the cats' litter box for me?
And do a few dishes while you're at it?
And if you've got the time, wash my seven loads of laundry?


Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Only In ... Erskine?

I was driving along the motorway (freeway) this morning around 7.30am on my way to work. As I pulled off onto the slip road (exit) leading to the Erskine Bridge, what did I spy meandering in the middle of the busy road but...

A highland cow (heilan coo, hairy cow)!

Hair and horns and all! Just mozying along in the middle of the street.

I carefully and quickly slowed to second gear, afraid to startle the cow and have those massive horns ram into the side of my car and possibly lift it off the ground and shake it all around and heave it to the side, and waited for it to move far enough over for me to overtake. The cars behind me assessed the situation, too, and followed suit.

I considered calling the police but the only police number I know is 999, and I didn't imagine 'heilan coo in the middle of the road approaching the Erskine Bridge' was quite appropraite for an emergency call.

I hope that poor coo (and all the drivers passing by) is okay.


1. How can I look and feel so skinny right now, yet weigh half a stone more?
2. Why don't I have the energy or interest in fixing my hair anymore? Even blowdry?
3. Why do I keep buying fruit and vegetables when I know I won't eat them?
4. What am I going to do in the airport for nine hours?
5. Why do I have to wait until August to see Imogen Heap again?
6. Where are we going to put our new condenser dryer we are purchasing from Bryce and Ashley?
7. Would it just be easier to take all my dirty clothes to the laundry mat rather than trying to wash a load each day?
8. How can it be so warm in Scotland?
9. Why did I dream about Mrs Balgavy, my high school forensics coach, and Patrick Wilson, a totally random forensics friend, last night? And why were we all in the woods?
10. Are my cats being sweet right now to fool us into thinking they aren't trying to take over the world, just to make the conquest even more exasperating when it actually happens?
11. What movie should Scott and I go see tomorrow night?

*And just for Amanda who called me annoying, one of my big secrets is no longer an issue, which is a total relief! Less to think about!

Monday, June 12, 2006


I hate secrets. I mean, I like it when people trust me enough to tell me secrets, and I have no problem with keeping other people's secrets, but I hate keeping my own secrets. I tend to not keep too many secrets. I'm not good at having secrets. Especially big secrets. Especially secrets that take a lot of your thinking time. I also hate things that aren't secrets but shouldn't be discussed for whatever reason so I have to keep them to myself.

So... I'll talk to you later!

Friday, June 09, 2006

Finally, A Plan

Now that it's officially officially official, I can say with confidence:

I will be in Arkansas in three weeks.

The wedding date has finally been decided (1 July, Canada Day, incidentally*), and my brother Danny and his ladyfriend Kristen are tying the knot. I am flying out the day before (30 June) because the school term ends on 29th. I will fly back out of Arkansas on the 13th of July. SO. Dudes. If you want to see me, have your people call my people, and we'll see if we can pencil you in. Keep in mind that DEVON IS SO TOTALLY ABOUT TO HAVE HER BABY so I'll probably want to spend a fair bit of time snuggling her little offspring, and oh, yeah, of course, I'll want to spend time with my family as well, so you know, book early.

(I jest. In fact, like none of you even live there any more.)

I'm quite excited.

Except for that whole 9 hour layover at Newark... yeah, I'm not so excited about that. It's called fluffy pillow, headphones and sleepy music. Oh and Duty Free. I can spend a great deal of time in Duty Free if I absolutely have to.

NOTE: This news is NOT the Interesting Things I Have Been Thinking About And Refusing To Tell You About. That is still to come. I just can't say when or how. (OK, I'll admit it. I'm just trying to be like Murrye with her "big, enormous, gigantic, secret news that could potentially change my life that I can't tell you about yet but I might tell you later". Dang it.)

*Ashley, we'll be in touch about an alternate date to pick up the stuff as soon as Scott has gotten work off the brain and can think of a logical plan. Possibly the 30th when he drops me off at the Edinburgh airport. Let us know if that's no good. Will email you soon.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Dude, It's June

Like, it's already time for Wal*Mart and Target to start planning their Christmas promotions.

Scott and I are trying to think of something to do with the rest of this beautiful Sunday evening.

I say we head to Tesco and buy plug-in air fresheners (because cats smell), Draino (because our sink is clogged) and weed killer (because the weeds are growing up in the cracks of our porch).

We are fun.