Friday, November 30, 2007

55 Fiction Friday! November 30, 2007

It's time again for 55 Fiction Friday! All the details on what it is and how to play at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

MrWurdi's 55 for the week:

Love Story
In all of time and books of rhyme
A story is told of love unkind

Unkind for all who fail to know
How deep love can truly go

To love enough by worldly beliefs
May simply continue life’s grief

But to find them and give one’s due
Can be called “The Taming of the Shrew”

My 55 for the week:

Deep Thought
Hands lightly resting on her knees, she meditated. As the repeating single syllable of her mantra caused the corporeal world to begin drifting away, her mind put a picture of the spelled-out word before her.

As she contemplated her ultimate reality, she was distracted by a single thought.

“Do electricians use ‘ohm’ as their mantra?”

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here.. You can also click on the 55 Fiction label below to see what Wordy Bitch and Wordy Bitch readers have done in the past.
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The End Is Near...

Tomorrow marks the end of NaBloPoMo. It's been close a couple of times (like on Thanksgiving) but, assuming I'll be doing 55 Fiction Friday tomorrow, I did it. I feel like I've accomplished something but I don't know that I'll do it next year. At the very least, I'll do it differently. I may have to come up with a theme or something. It feels like I was really reaching on some days... I don't ever want to post something just for the sake of posting. Even if it's just for my own amusement, I want to have a reason when I post. That didn't happen every day this month.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Sinners Inc.


One of The Urban Dictionary's definitions is:
an internet information generator, especially of random or contentless information

That works for this.

I saw this out there in the blogosphere today and thought it was different and random enough to be at least a little bit interesting. Besides, it was either this or a conversation I had with my ex-husband about scrambled eggs. I think you might be better off with this meme.

MEME Rules:
1. Put your MP3 player on shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write the name of the song no matter what. No cheating!

What's Simple Is True - Jewel

Sex-O-Matic Venus Freak - Macy Gray (OMG! I nearly wet my pants when I saw this!)

Halo - Soil (um, based on the previous answer, I guess opposites attract??)

Get Gone - Fiona Apple

Sucker Train Blues - Velvet Revolver (yikes. That's depressing.)

If It Makes You Happy - Sheryl Crow (too freakin' cool; so true)

Goody Two Shoes - Adam Ant (hahaha!! I doubt that!)

Embrace - Korn


WHAT IS 2+2?
LoveStoned / I Think She Knows Interlude - Justin Timberlake

It's Been Awhile - Stained

Beg For Me - Korn (oh, my!)

Forgive Me - Godsmack

Dream a Little Dream of Me - The Mamas and the Papas (um, what if I'm already ~mostly~ grown up?)

Control - Poe

Crime For Crime - Ani DiFranco

Time - Pink Floyd

When Worlds Collide - Powerman 5000

They Can't Take That Away From Me - Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong

Tiny Daggers - INXS

Open Your Eyes - Staind

Sinners Inc. - Rob Zombie

Some of these were just weird and some of these were so right they were really weird. Anyone else want to play?

Oh, and I'm thinking I have some really diverse musical interests.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Chantix Works But I Can't Take It Anymore

Around 7:30 this evening, it will have been a week since I last smoked.

Now, when I get that "I want a cigarette" feeling, I just take a deep breath (it helps) and tell myself, "I don't smoke." And I don't. I thought about not going to play pool (temptation and all) but I really don't think I'll have a problem with it. I do believe I have it beaten this time.

I still occasionally have that little voice suggesting how great a cigarette would be but I don't want to take Chantix any more or again. It worked and it got me over the initial physical and chemical addiction. It just made me feel so awful that I had to quit taking it. I didn't take it for the recommended full 12 weeks. I only took it for one week. And while I had to stop taking it, I believe it really helped me quit.

While I was seriously depressed when taking it, fortunately, I realized it was because of the medication. However, I can understand why they're attributing it to suicide risk in some people. Nausea was a minor problem but nothing I couldn’t live with. The vivid dreams were okay. They interfered with my sleep but I didn’t have nightmares. I just woke up quite a bit. The headaches were pretty bad. The lightheadedness, shortness of breath, chest pain and palpitations were too much. I told MrWurdi on the way home from playing pool last week that if I hadn't read the info sheet and known that these were side effects, I'd be demanding he take me to the emergency room. The effects didn't get unbearable until the dosage doubled (after the first week). I probably could have stopped taking it a little earlier. It works so well in getting you off the chemical addiction. It was nice getting past that part while still being able to smoke (even though I wasn't getting any pleasure from it).

I probably could have continued on the week one dosing but I didn't (and still don't) think I need it anymore. I'm done.

My evaluation of Chantix? It's a great drug that really works to help get you off the cigarettes - if you can stand to take it. I’m concerned that there’s not been enough research done on it and there are going to be some really bad findings (think Phen-fen and Vioxx) before it’s all said and done. I hope I’m wrong.

Monday, November 26, 2007


I was reminded of this word and what it means earlier today and I wanted to share it with you.

"In India when we meet and part we often say,
'Namaste,' which means...
I honor the place in you where the entire universe resides,
I honor the place in you of love, of light, of truth, of peace.
I honor the place within you where if you are in that place in you
and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us. Namaste."

from Ram Dass, in Grist for the Mill

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Weekend Recap Haikus

Whining and crying
Shrieking and wailing non-stop
And that's just Grannie


MrWurdi dotes
My heart melts just a little
Good thing we are "fixed"


Grandgirls were enjoyed
Their parents have retrieved them
We're too old for this

Saturday, November 24, 2007

55 Fiction F---Aw, Damn It. Saturday, November 24, 2007

I can't believe I missed it. It was bound to happen at some point but I thought it would happen during a busy time at work - not on a day off. I missed 55 Fiction Friday! So, while it doesn't have the same ring to it, please feel free to play along with 55 Fiction Saturday! All the details on what it is and how to play at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

My 55 for the week:

Gathered solemnly, they paid tribute. Taken too soon by fickle Fate’s whim, his body lay lifeless, cold. Held gently by the man who brought him here, he was lowered for his final journey.

Speaking a few words of comfort to the children, the man leaned over and flushed the toilet.

“Rest in peace, Mister Guppy.”

MrWurdi's 55 for the week:

Submitted for your approval
Imagine if you will, a six year old boy home watching his TV in 1968. Left alone to entertain himself he has three choices, one is a children’s movie he innocently watches.
What unfolds will change his life forever, especially the S&M dungeon, safely from the mind of Dr. Seuss.

5000 Fingers of Dr. T

Plus! A Bonus 55 From MrWurdi

Thanksgiving Thankless Job
Bones lay amongst the uneaten flesh, waiting for the band of scavengers to pick it clean. But it has been un-attended too long and it starts to smell and attract the unwanted. I must remove it before it’s too late, in a silent procession that ends with a thump.

The bird rests until trash day.

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here..
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Giving Thanks

The “fancy eatin’ table” post is just going to have to wait.

I find myself unable to continue without giving thanks. While I’m very thankful for MrWurdi and the children he brought into my life, my parents and other family, friends, employment, home, and so very much more, there is one thing – today – for which I am most thankful.

I don’t give a lot of details about my personal life on my blog. Sure, I tell true stories and I write about things that are real but I’m, purposefully, short on some of the specifics. In order for you to understand the depths of my thanks in this post, I must open up my life to you a little more.

Earlier this year, I came face-to-face with the big Four…uh. um… the big FOUR… (deep breath) okay, here goes…. The Big Four-OH-MY-GOD-I’M-FORTY!!!!!!


Yep. I turned forty. Really, it’s not that big a deal. I just like being a little bit dramatic. I’m completely fine with it.

More pertinent details:
I have two grown children who I adore. My son will be twenty-one in just a couple weeks and my daughter is twenty-three.

Go ahead.

Do the math.

I’ll wait.


Okay. I started a little bit early. My daughter is married to a great guy and they live about an hour away from me. Together, they have provided me with The Grandgirls. These two Grandgirls make me glow with happiness when I see them. They are eleven months apart in age. The eldest was two in July; the youngest turned one in June.

My daughter and son-in-law have gone on a short vacation and MrWurdi and I are babysitting.

Did you know that there are women my age who are just starting to have their children? At my age?? On purpose!?!?!?!!!

Do you know what I’m truly thankful for today?

Spongebob Squarepants.

This guy (in yellow) with his friends:

I’ve taken a few liberties with the opening lyrics of his show:

Are you ready kids?
aye aye Captain
I can't hear you!
aye aye CAPTAIN!!!
Who lives in the cable-box in my TV?
Sponge Bob Square Pants
Absorbing and noisy and cartoon is he
Sponge Bob Square Pants.
If mesmerized children be something you wish
Spongebob square pants
Then turn on the TV and watch all the fish
Sponge Bob Square Pants
Spongebob Squarepants Spongebob Squarepants
Spongebob Squarepants Spongebob Squarpants!
do do do do- do-do do do!

I adore Spongebob. I really do. He gave me several minutes of blissful peace and quiet today.

Thank you, Nickelodeon. Thank you, Spongebob Squarepants creators.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

In Just Under the Wire

Rather than do the standard "I'm thankful for..." which I probably will do sometime this weekend, I'm racing in here to get my NaBloPoMo obligation satisfied. Today has been the hardest day to NaBloPoMo.

We ate and drank and made merry. The "fancy eatin' table" wasn't as Clampett-ish as I thought it would be and there'll be more about that tomorrow.

I was just about to whine about all the hard work but I won't. It was so worth it. I love having a houseful of people.

I'm still smoke-free. It's a good feeling.

That's all I have for now.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Eve Haikus

Wine gal consulted
American wines purchased
Can't wait to try them!

The foodstuffs are bought.
The store crowds navigated
The cooking begins.

Uh-oh. Big problem.
The oven's thermostat quit
Temp testing tonight.

I'm so glad we discovered the problem with the oven tonight. With a little testing, we should be able to determine how to adjust and still get dinner served on time (and not blackened). I hope to have a picture of our "fancy eatin' table" for you tomorrow.

Day One of not smoking is good. I'm having some minor urges/craves but I'm recognizing them as more habit that actual want. The Chantix has been bothering me. The dose went up to double yesterday and I felt miserable. Really bad. I don't think I'm going to continue taking it but I'll post more on that later.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Brining Your Turkey

Brine? That’s saltwater, isn’t it? Like really salty water? Well, yes. However, it is one of the very best things you can do to your turkey. But first, a little backstory:

When I roasted my first turkey for my then in-laws, I was terrified. If any of you are old enough to remember, it was back when Butterball had that commercial where the elderly women of a family were over at the new bride’s house for Thanksgiving and they were whispering, cattily, “I bet the turkey’s dry.”

I was terrified that my turkey would be dry. I was a really young bride and felt I had to prove myself. The Thanksgiving turkey was the way to do it. I bought my frozen turkey, I called the Butterball hotline for information, I consulted my mother. I thawed my turkey according to the instructions. I basted the hell out of that bird. Every 30 minutes, I had that bird on the counter with my basting bulb in hand, squirting butter all over it. The turkey had one of those built-in, pop-up thermometers and I had the timetable for all the sides down to a science. It was perfectly planned and all the sides were almost ready for serving as I began carving the turkey.

My turkey was not dry.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t done, either.

Oh, and did you know that you’re supposed to remove the “parts” before you roast it?

I don’t know if it was a faulty thermometer or the repeated removing of the turkey from the oven but you can’t serve reddish-pink turkey. As the side dishes cooled, I stuck the turkey back in the oven and felt like a failure. I think we ended up taking several slices of the turkey and popping them in the microwave. I know, I know: Blasphemy!

I learned some hard lessons that day. Don’t trust the built-in thermometer. Remove the neck and giblets before roasting. I also suspected that, maybe, the turkey hadn’t been completely thawed.

The following year, I was ready. I had a meat thermometer. My frozen turkey had been thawing, per the instructions, in the refrigerator for days. On Thanksgiving morning, I cut the plastic wrapping from the bird and went to remove the giblets. They wouldn’t budge. They wouldn’t budge because they were still frozen in the turkey. Nearly hysterical (I was such a drama queen in those days), I called my mother. She said I needed to thaw it in cold water and that I should probably call everyone and plan on having dinner a little bit later.

I lived in an apartment that had doll-sized sinks. There was no way I was going to be able to submerge my turkey in cold water and thaw it. The only container big enough was, ew, the bathtub but I had no options.

I went and scrubbed the bathtub. I scrubbed it again. I rinsed it repeatedly. I thawed my turkey.

It wasn’t dry. It wasn’t raw.

No one other than my then-husband and my mother knew that the turkey started it’s day in the bath and they weren’t telling.

I have used fresh turkeys every year since.

Oh, yeah, brining!

The short version:
Brining 101
This site has a LOT of information about brining (Q&A, recipes, brining times, etc.)

I use a cold brine and I rinse, dry, and put it in the oven. I still get crispy skin and I don't have to let it rest in the refrigerator after taking it out of the brine. One of the tips on the above site said you'd have to do that. I disagree but the rest of the information is really good.

Oh, one more thing. The turkey NEVER tastes salty. It's just moist and flavorful.

Here’s what I do for my brine:
1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 ounces cracked black pepper
Any other seasonings you want (I use a bit of sage, some garlic, and whatever else strikes me as I rifle through the spice cabinet)

NOTE: You may need to double this for a large turkey. I figure out how much liquid I need by putting my turkey in whatever I’m using as my brining container and, with a measuring cup, I pour in water until the turkey is fully covered. Then, I know how much brine to make.

Bring all ingredients to a boil in large pot then simmer 15 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

To prepare turkey: Remove contents in main and neck cavities, reserve for other uses if desired. Rinse turkey with cool water. Place bird in cooled brine, fully covered, for 8 to 10 hours in refrigerator (assuming a 20 lb bird).

Remove from brine and rinse turkey, inside and out, with cool water and pat dry. Roast as usual (although I've found my turkeys seem to cook faster when they've been brined).

Some sites say you can brine for up to 24 hours; others say that brining that long can mean mushy meat. 8-10 hours has been perfect for my turkeys.

I need to tell you something else. My dad has, in recent years, become THE bargain shopper. Seriously, we can’t let him go to case lot sales anymore. When we had to move everything to the center of their house for the de-brown-reclusing (long story), he had 1,120 light bulbs. Really. Not special lightbulbs, not Christmas lights. Nope. 1,120 standard light bulbs. Case lot sale. I’m never buying lightbulbs again. Ever.

I digress.

My dad called me last week from the commissary. They had turkeys on sale for THIRTY-FIVE CENTS A POUND. (He was so excited.) He really wanted to buy one for me.

They were frozen.

I was less than excited.

He was SO excited.

I let him buy the turkey.

I’ve been waking in a cold sweat every night since.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Letter to a Former Friend

Dear Virginia,

You’ve been with me through some of the darkest moments of my life. You’ve also been there with me to celebrate the most joyful occasions. I can’t remember a time that you weren’t there for me. It didn’t matter what time of day or night it was; you always had time for me. You were always there and, odd as this may seem by the time you finish reading this letter, I really appreciate that.

In those times when I felt anxious or awkward, you knew just how to ease my nerves and make me relax. When I was so angry I could scream, you helped me step back and re-evaluate the situation or just blow off steam. You were there as I became an adult. You even helped ease that transition. Oh, I know you didn’t make me any more mature but you had a way of making me feel like I was.

I would have done anything for you, too. I’d get out in the nastiest weather just to pick you up and bring you to my house. I’d scrimp and save during the lean years so we could be together. I’d leave the company of my family and other friends just to be with you. In fact, I’d even give up a little of my precious time with the grandgirls just to hang out with you for a few minutes.

We had our little rituals, you and I. Tap, tap, tap, a quick spin of the wheel with my thumb, a deep inward breath followed by a relieved exhale. Even though I began to realize that you didn’t always have my best interests at heart, I still hung out with you. I still welcomed you into my home.

Over time, our relationship began to change. It wasn’t so much that I wanted to hang out with you anymore. You even started hurting me but I always forgave you and welcomed you back. Yes, I’ve been burned more than once with you. It’s just that we’ve been together so long I had trouble imagining not having you around. I’ve wondered how I’ll deal with the nervousness or anger. How can I hang out at the pool hall without you by my side?

Our relationship has caused some problems. It got to the point where my family and friends didn’t want you around, either. MrWurdi didn’t want you in the house so I started hanging out on the front porch with you. I froze my ass off in the winter and fought the bees and other flying buzzy critters in the summer just to spend time with you. My mother let you ride in the car with us but made pained grimaces and coughed meaningfully even with the window down.

I hate to break it to you but they all think you stink. No, there’s really nothing you can do about it. Cologne or perfume won’t fix it. Although I love the way you smell when I haven’t seen you in a while, even I am beginning to find your particular scent offensive.

But that’s not why I’m writing this letter. I’m not writing this letter to you because you stink or because you’ve hurt me or because I’ve spent too much money and time just to be with you. I’m not writing this letter to say how bad for me you are. You already know that. I can’t even say you didn’t warn me that you were bad news. Hell, every single time I picked you up, the message was loud and clear.

I’m writing this letter to tell you that while I may miss you in the days and weeks to come, I don’t need you in my life. Not only that, I don’t want you in my life. So, here’s your notice. I want you and your stuff out of my house, purse and car by midnight tomorrow. As of November 21, 2007, you are no longer welcome in my life. I’m sure I’ll see you from time to time but I don’t want to reconnect with you. Ever. We’re done. Good-bye, Virginia.

Smoke ‘em if ya’… erm…nevermind.

Ima Wurdibitsch

P.S. If you see those friends of yours, Salem Slim or the Marlboro Man, tell them I don’t want to see them, either.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

From Ima's Kitchen - Cranberries and Sweet Potatoes

As promised yesterday, the recipe for the Bourbon-Spiked Cranberry relish (pictured above) can be found by clicking the link. It's from the folks at Farm to Philly, a group of folks who encourage eating locally.

Since I've never actually made the Bourbon-Spiked Cranberry relish, I wanted to give you a recipe for something I have made. A little history, first. We've always served sweet potatoes because my dad likes them. Sometimes, they'd be doctored up a little bit but they mostly went uneaten. One year, I found my ex-mother-in-law's recipe for sweet potato casserole and thought I'd give it a try. It couldn't hurt - after all, sweet potatoes were mostly ignored at our house.

It was really good. It disappeared. I've had to double the recipe in the years since to keep up with the demand. As you can see from the recipe, it's kind of like getting one of the desserts early.

Sweet Potato Casserole
3 cups sweet potatoes
1/2 cup melted butter
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
dash of cinnamon (I add a bit more)

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 cup nuts (I use pecan)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Heat the sweet potatoes to boiling, then drain. Mix the potatoes, 1/2 cup melted butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon to a smooth consistency and put in a baking dish.

In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, 1/2 cup melted butter, flour and nuts together. Spread evenly on top of sweet potato mixture and bake for 30-40 minutes.

Keep an eye on it so your nuts don't burn. You may need to lay a sheet of aluminum foil on top of it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I Plan to Plan My Plan

This time of year, I actually get a little bit organized. I probably need to stress the little bit part. My closet still is unorganized. My winter and summer clothes are all out in various places in the house. My home office looks like a filing cabinet exploded in it. You get the point.

On Thanksgiving, everyone comes to my house. We have a group that includes our kids, grandkids, parents, friends, ex-spouses (MrWurdi's and mine) and their new spouses (just MrWurdi's because my-ex hasn't remarried), ex-step-children (when they're available) who are counted among the ones we gave birth to but for the sake of this post and clarification we'll call them that and anyone else who doesn't have other plans. We usually have between twelve and twenty people and I love it. With that large a crowd, my normal winging it for meals has to take a backseat to my rather analytical side.

I have a spreadsheet (See Figure 1.). It lists all the food items - broken down by category; i.e., appetizer, main meal, dessert. It lists the serving dish that will be used to serve it and any special preparation requirements (stuff I might forget) or the recipe itself. The final column is the list of grocery items I need to pick up at the store. Then, it's shaded if someone else is bringing that dish.

Figure One. Anal-Retentive Spreadsheet

I'm working on the timeline. There are several things I can make or start making on Wednesday. With the oven being used for the turkey, I need to plan for what needs to go in it the minute the turkey comes out. I need to figure out what I can put in the toaster oven. I have to remember to brine the turkey (I'll probably be doing a post on this later in the week. I'm a brine-pusher. It makes the turkey so flippin' good). That's not something you can do at the last minute.

I'm also pairing wine with each course. My mom will try it and might have a glass or two, my dad might put down his beer for a taste, MrWurdi will taste it and proclaim, "It tastes like wine!" and I'm hoping someone (ehem... you know who you are) will be here who might appreciate the fact that I thought about this.

My mother has agreed to make the bread dressing because MrWurdi loves it (as does -ehem-) and will be preparing a few other things that she absolutely excels at making. I'm handling the rest of the food. I'm so looking forward to it, even if we are having cranberry sauce from a can and the green bean casserole. There are some traditions you just can't break. I will be adding a few new things, including the Bourbon-Spiked Cranberry Relish - I'll be posting that recipe and a link tomorrow. If you're at all interested, here's what's on the menu. Stop by! We always have plenty of food.

Shrimp cocktail
Hummus (homemade, spicy 3-pepper) w/ pita chips, warm pita wedges, jicama, celery
Crab dip
Almond-stuffed dates wrapped in bacon

Thanksgiving Dinner
Cornbread dressing
Bread dressing
Whipped potatoes
Green bean casserole
Deviled eggs
Mixed veggie casserole
Sweet Potato casserole (my ex-Mother-in-Law's recipe)
Cranberry sauce (from a can! with lines!) and kiwis
Bourbon-Spiked Cranberry relish
Sauerkraut (a traditional Thanksgiving dish for us)
Relish Tray (celery, olives, pickles, etc.)

Bourbon Chocolate Macadamia pie
Pumpkin Bars
Butterscotch Trifle

Friday, November 16, 2007

55 Fiction Friday! November 16, 2007

It's late but... it's time again for 55 Fiction Friday! All the details on what it is and how to play at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

MrWurdi's 55 for the week:

When We're Apart
“I’ll call you and tell you goodnight,” was the dish.
Promised later, with a dollop of love.

An elaborate dish, yet hazardous offering.
If left unattended, it poisons the heart.

Yet the call comes, in the wee hours.
Like an antidote, rescue for the heart.

The banquet was saved, lusciously consumed.
Love endures, once again.

My 55 for the week:

They had a mission to accomplish. One went for supplies. The second member planned while yet another built up his strength and a fourth abstained from food. The fifth member was a weak link with an incontinence problem who pissed himself all the way home. They were the members of the This Little Piggy crew.

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here..
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Do-It-Yourself Psychoanalysis

I was planning on writing a poem about my lack of planning for next week’s Thanksgiving Feast. Unfortunately, that particular muse is not with me today.

In honor of my new co-worker, I was going to create a How To Make A Bad First Impression on Your New Co-Workers post but I’m trying to keep from posting any specifics about my job here. It would suck to be Dooce’d.

I’d considered whining about how it’s cold here and expected to get colder but, for Pete’s sake, I live in Alafreakinbama. It could be worse.

I considered sharing some recipes but I’ve done that a lot recently so I’m trying to abstain.

Yesterday, my topic was “I’m Just Not Feeling It.” Today, I could write the same thing. So, I’ve been thinking about that. You know, a little of that Do-It-Yourself-Psychoanalysis. Here’s what I think is happening:

There’s nothing really wrong with me, yet I’m in a major funk. I don’t feel like I have the energy for a good rant and, believe me, there’s fodder for one. I am normally a very (obnoxiously, even) upbeat person. I’ve been out in the sunshine. ~sigh~ My weight is down. ~okay~ I have good music on my iPod and just recently figured out how to play it in the car. ~cool~

Everything is pretty good in my life but I’m overwhelmed with ennui.

I think I figured it out.


Don’t get me wrong, I think Chantix is great. I believe I’m really going to finally quit smoking for good. I’ve already noticed that even when I do smoke, I end up putting it out after just a few drags.

Chantix supposedly blocks the nicotine pleasure receptors in your brain. This stuff, because it keeps the nicotine from reaching those receptors (and releasing dopamine), makes that pleasure disappear. If I'm not getting any dopamine release from the nicotine, all I'm left with is the stench and the habit.

Apparently, I was getting A LOT of pleasure from cigarettes. MrWurdi said something that made sense to me. Since my brain isn’t getting what it needs to feed that addiction to the pleasure/dopamine, I’m already going through withdrawal even though I’m still smoking.

I’m hoping this means that by next week, the worst of it will be over. I just realized that I planned my quit day to be the day before Thanksgiving. That wasn’t too bright. Or, maybe it was.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm Not Feeling It

Dreary Day Haiku
Gray clouds overhead
Coupled with not enough sleep
I'm cranky and glum

Chantix update: Although I don't think the medicine is built up enough to be making a difference, I'm smoking less. I'm also experiencing one of the major side effects: Nausea. That's not so much fun but, maybe, it will help keep me from gaining weight as I quit.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

...And Awa-a-a-a-y We Go!

I started taking the Chantix today. I've heard so many good stories about how effective it is. So, I'm very hopeful that this time will be it and I'll finally kick cigarettes to the curb once and for all.

I think it's time. I'm not (yet) feeling that panic I normally start to feel at the thought of giving them up for good. I've, as suggested, picked a quit date: November 21, 2007 - next Wednesday. The literature tells me that I might feel like giving them up before then and that's okay. In the past, the quit date has loomed ominously and I've smoked almost frantically up until that date. I don't feel that need or desire this time.

It will be interesting to see how I feel at the beginning of next week. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 12, 2007

From Ima's Kitchen - Hearty Chicken and Corn Chowder with CORE-nbread

As mentioned previously, I'm doing Weight Watcher's Core Plan. Because there are certain foods allowed on the Core plan, I'm always on the lookout for recipes that fit my plan. If a recipe is close enough, I'll modify it to fit or just "count" the non-Core ingredients.

The following recipe (modified quite a bit from a friend's recipe) is Core, as is the Core-nbread recipe (just substitutions to make it be Core) that follows. Neither taste like "diet food."

Hearty Chicken and Corn Chowder

1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp onion powder (you could use an onion but MrWurdi has texture issues with onion, so I use powder or pureed onion)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 roasted red bell pepper, diced
1 15 oz. can diced potato
1 small can chopped green chiles
1 1/2 C fat-free chicken broth
1 C evaporated skim milk
10 oz skinless, bonelss chicken breasts, diced
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 C frozen corn kernels

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil until hot but not smoking, over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, roasted red pepper, green chiles and potato. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 mins. Stir in the broth and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Stir in the diced chicken, salt and black pepper, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 mins. Stir in the corn kernels and cook until the corn is just heated through, about 2 minutes longer. Ladle the chowder into bowls and serve with cornbread.

Makes 4 servings

I made this ahead of time and put it in a crockpot to heat the day we were going to eat it. It was very good. The next time I make it, I will "mash" up some of the corn and potato to get a slightly thicker consistency. The original recipe called for creamed corn but since it's not Core, I didn't use it.

For the Core-nbread, I just use the recipe on the bag of cornmeal and use skim milk instead of regular and substitute applesauce for the oil. You can't taste the applesauce at all.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Weekend Haiku Review

Old friends seen again
Truth clouded, revealed anew
Peace and happiness

It's funny how we can lose sight of what is authentic to ourselves, what's real, and what is integral to who we are. Sometimes, it's the simple things that revitalize us and make us cut loose the minutiae of our day-to-day and see clearly.

Sometimes, that simple thing is a romp in the woods.

~much thanks to the weekend speaker for helping clear the cloudy lens~

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Random Thought #9

There are two good reasons for clothing.

1. Extremely cold weather.
2. Wicker furniture.

Frolicking in the woods but still finding a way to keep NaBloPoMoing.

Friday, November 09, 2007

55 Fiction Friday! November 9, 2007

It's time again for 55 Fiction Friday! Details on what it is and how to play at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

MrWurdi's 55 for the week:

Parodying the Parody
And I've been lift’n and tote’n so long that
Everyone thinks that my back is gone
A man with a plan, I'm into discipline
Got a whip in my hand and a beard on my chin
But if you finish all my chores and you finish thine

This weekend we're gonna party like it's 1699

My 55 for the week:

He frowned. Squinting, as the sun rose higher in the sky, he sighed deeply and paced impatiently. This was supposed to be the start of a great weekend. Unfortunately, circumstances beyond his control were conspiring against him.

His woman was running late. Again. She had to write her 55 fiction and she had writer’s block.

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here..
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Here We Go Again - The Final Chapter

I've failed at this too many times. I will succeed this time.

I'm quitting smoking. Again. Finally. For good.

As I've said before, not counting a few unremarkable, short-term quits and one three-month quit, I’ve been smoking for over 26 years. That’s a long time and a lot of money - not to mention what it’s done to me health-wise.

So, I’m quitting.

I went to the doctor today. I got a prescription for Chantix. They say it has a 70% effectiveness rate. I'll let you know how that works out for me.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Behold, the Power of Cheese!

The following cartoon is from the archives of one of my favorite places to visit on the Internet when I need a good chuckle. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What A Bitch!

A few years ago, I was deliberately mean to someone.

I’m not talking about unintentionally hurting someone through a misunderstanding. Nor am I talking about physical hurt, either. For many, many reasons, I don’t do that. I’m talking about the deliberate, malicious, hurting of someone because that was my intent. I’m talking about hurting someone emotionally – of getting to that vulnerable part of someone and twisting them up inside in a way that hurts so badly they’ll never risk pissing you off again.

In my opinion, this particular woman had wronged me and she deserved whatever it was she got. So, I thought about it. I thought about what would hurt her the most and, when I had the opportunity, I did it. I really hurt her. I felt so justified in my meanness. I felt no guilt because, after all, she’d hurt me. That made it right; she deserved it. Right?


It took a few years before I realized I was wrong. In those years, I would gleefully recall my vindictive meanness. With pompous self-righteousness, I would justify my actions to myself and anyone who knew about what I’d done. I had every right – No, I deserved – to treat her as I did. I was still lily-white. She made me be mean.

One day, I dug a little deeper. I thought about what she’d done and what I’d done and how I’d justified it all those years. I thought about how I’d convinced myself that what she’d done made what I did okay. Except it didn’t. Sure, she hurt me and I’d used that as my excuse to hurt her – to be mean. She made me be mean? Bullshit. She didn’t make me be mean. That meanness was and is part of who I am. She was just the excuse for letting it out in the open.

I was horrified.

I’ve always considered myself to be a kind person. In high school, I was the teenage “Dear Abby.” I stood up for the underdog. I helped people. I rarely gossiped. I’d once written in a journal that if I died tomorrow, more than being funny or smart or anything else, I would want people to say that I was kind.

Kind people don’t maliciously hurt other people. No matter what.

It was a hard realization, this understanding that I could be that mean. I didn’t want to accept that about myself. Mean. Me. Hateful, spiteful, malicious, and mean. Me. Unfortunately, I’ve been on a never-ending quest for truth so I had to accept it.

When I got over the massive pity party of realizing I was so awful, I called the woman I’d hurt. I asked her if she’d consider meeting with me for a cup of coffee or something. She was, understandably, cautious but still agreed to come.

I apologized to her. I apologized sincerely and wholeheartedly. She, hesitantly, accepted my apology. She also tried to explain what she’d done and why and that she hadn’t meant to hurt me with her actions. Truth be told, I didn’t care about that. It didn’t matter whether she meant to hurt me or not. I can only be responsible for my actions. Only I can determine whether I will be kind or mean in any situation. Whether she meant it or not, I was hurt. That didn’t justify my being mean to her – or to anyone.

There may be a part of me that is hateful, spiteful, malicious, and mean but I get to decide if that’s how I will act. I have accepted that part of myself but I don’t let it define me or my actions. I choose, everyday, to be kind. Some days, that’s harder than others but the alternative is not acceptable to me.

I may be a wordy bitch but I am no longer a deliberate bitch.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Room 101

George Orwell’s novel, 1984, is a bleak and scarily prophetic look at the future, one where Big Brother watches everything you do. Your neighbors, children, and the two-way telescreens monitor your actions to ensure you do not commit “thoughtcrime.” Punishment for committing thoughtcrime is torture and, eventually, death. The torture is part of the re-education of the criminal. You see, you shouldn’t execute someone until they’ve renounced their criminal ways.

Why, you may ask, am I telling you about such a dark, creepy book? Two reasons. One, I really like it. Despite the dark, hopelessness of the tale, it’s a great book. The other reason, there’s a fantastic blog post topic in it!

The ultimate torture for everyone is Room 101. How can the ultimate torture be the same for everyone? Room 101 is where your greatest fear is forced upon you. Since everything you do your whole life is monitored by the government, they know exactly what would be the worst for you. For the main character, Winston, it’s rats. Cage on his head. Rats in the cage. This is doubleplusungood. If you want more details, go read the book.

My Room 101?

That would be being forced to eat pickled beets at the mall while listening to Celine Dion. Add some unruly children screeching all around me and I’d be willing to do just about anything to escape.

So, what’s your Room 101?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Lazy Sunday Haiku

Sleep late; brunch at will.
Don't be at all productive.
Make sure to take naps.

I feel refreshed.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

From Ima's Kitchen - Spicy Turkey Sausage

I love puttering around in the kitchen. Even when I'm exhausted, something about cooking appeals to me. Plus, I like to eat. I really enjoy food. As I've mentioned in the past, I do Weight Watchers. Right now, I'm doing their Core plan.

I made the recipe below earlier this week. We sampled a few patties. Wow. This stuff is really, really good. I'll be experimenting with the recipe over the next few weeks and months. I think a chicken, apple, fennel sausage will be next. In the meantime, you might want to try this one. It's unbelievably easy to make and as good as, if not better, than any sausage from the grocery store.

Spicy Turkey Sausage
1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey Breast
2 Tablespoons Onion, chopped finely
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Tablespoon Sage
1/2 Tablespoon Thyme
1/4 Tablespoon Allspice
1/2 Tablespoon Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper (less if you don't like hot and spicy)
1/2 Tablespoon Black Pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop out the sausage to make balls. Place each ball between 2 pieces of wax paper and flatten with the underside of a plate to desired thickness. Cook in a skillet coated with nonstick spray over medium heat until no longer pink.

Note: This is pretty spicy (hot), but you could cut down on the cayenne pepper if you don't like really spicy sausage. You don't have to cook all of the sausage at once. Just freeze each sausage patty between 2 pieces of wax paper and place inside a zip lock freezer bag. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze. When you're ready to cook, simply defrost and follow the cooking directions above.

Serves: 8
Per Serving: 90 Calories; 5g Fat (48.3% calories from fat); 10g Protein; 1g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 45mg Cholesterol; 454mg Sodium.

Core or 2 Points

We're having this with breakfast tomorrow.

Friday, November 02, 2007

55 Fiction Friday! November 2, 2007

It's time again for 55 Fiction Friday! Details on what it is and how to play at the end of the post. Come on, you can do it!

MrWurdi's 55 for the week:

Mirror, Mirror
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way to look into a brighter, improved universe?
A way to focus on goals to work towards, a way to see things like they are now but just a little better?
At least that would explain why I think this looks good on me in the mirror.

My 55 for the week:

I’ll Take What’s Behind Door Number Two
Reluctantly pulled from sleep by the need to relieve myself of beverages consumed earlier, I groggily regard the shadowy shapes in the unfamiliar hotel room. I shuffle, nude, through the darkness to the bathroom. As the door swings shut and locks behind me, horrified realization breaks through my sleep-addled mind.

“I’m in the hotel hallway.”

55 fiction is a very, very short story of exactly 55 words. It needs to have a character, conflict and resolution.

The Wikipedia article on 55 Fiction is here and some great examples are here..
Come play! Add your story to the comments or put it on your blog and I'll link to it. It's fun. You'll like it.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


This is my first post in nearly a week so I'm having a hard time believing I'm doing this but...

I'm participating in National Blog Posting Month (aka NaBloPoMo). This is how it works. You have to post every day for the entire month of November. Every day. Weekends, too.

I'm already a little concerned. I don't know if I'll have internet access next Saturday but I'm trying to work out that whole telekinesis thing. Other than that, you'll be able to read new meaningless drivel every single day! Aren't you excited? I know I am.

We'll continue with 55 Fiction Friday and I'm sure there'll be a haiku or two. Some folks come up with a theme for the month. I'm currently undecided. Lydia from Nothing Rhymes with Lydia, Well Except That... is doing NaBloPoMo and has a great daily plan. Go check her out and leave a comment!