30 May 2008


That was the expiration date on our salad dressing.

I discovered this just as I was about to pour my buttermilk ranch over the salad I had slaved over for at least twenty minutes, boiling eggs, filling our bowls with spinach, chopping up green peppers, avocados, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms and my hard-boiled eggs.  James even grilled chicken; I chopped it.  

Wow, this healthy dish sure looks tasty.

I barely finished sprinkling the salads with bacon bits and croutons when James pointed to a small pile of yellowish goo on his salad, "Uh oh. This doesn't look right."  I tried to convince him that this was peppercorn ranch, it's supposed to be clumpy and discolored.  Though it looked, smelled and tasted just fine, my buttermilk ranch was expired, too.  They both bore the same expiration date: 30-JUN-2007.  


While we were hiking around on the Big Island of Hawaii, our ranch dressing was slowly beginning to rot away in the fridge.

Wow. I'm observant.

I didn't use it even though I was slightly tempted.  As James pointed out, I just dipped my chicken in it on Monday.  It tasted fine then.  How much could it have really changed in the last four days?  

I immediately washed the bottles, placed them in the recycle bin and headed to my nearest grocery store.  The drive gave me plenty of time to contemplate how, for the last eleven months, I've enjoyed expired buttermilk ranch dressing on everything from salads, to veggies, to chicken.  Great.

The new bottle expires in January.  I've marked it on the calendar.

29 May 2008

Insert witty-yet-somber-title here

It seems that I've had nothing to say for about ten days now.  Lots has been happening, but all I can think about is the passing of my aunt, and the husband and young daughter she leaves behind.

She had cancer. I knew death was a possibility, but I truly did not expect her to die.

My Aunt Sandra had been sick for the last few years, originally diagnosed with Diverticulitis.  Her doctor, Dr. Brady, seemed rather busy, and in some ways annoyed by incoming patients.  He just wanted Sandra to take her pills and disappear.  When she complained the pills weren't working and she was in pain, he told her to "suck it up and go to pain management."  My uncle met the doctor and verified Sandra's story: this guy had a horrible bedside manner.  He was kind of a jerk, actually.  

She found a new doctor, Dr. Feldman, and he was a blood hound.  Rather than make one diagnosis and run with it, he performed test after test until he exhausted his resources.  Finding nothing conclusive, he sent tissue and blood samples to the Mayo clinic where, even they had a hard time identifying the problem.  They discovered she had a form of cancer called Mantle Cell Lymphoma.  Not only is it rare, but it's typically found in old men - not middle-aged women.  

She began chemotherapy on August 31, 2007, very soon after she was correctly diagnosed.  She went through two rounds of chemo and a stem cell transplant.  The treatments worked; last month she was declared cancer-free!  

As these radical therapies completely wiped out her immune system, she was in the hospital recovering to protect her from infection.  Despite all of this she was doing much better than expected. On Saturday, May 17, they made plans for her to go home in a week. 

Then sometime after midnight, Sandra went into cardiac arrest and they were not able to revive her.  Before she had time to recover from her battle with cancer, she had a heart attack.  

Dude!  A heart attack!?  That was NOT supposed to happen.

My silly aunt, the shit-disturber, the feisty one, the one I got together with to misbehave, make inappropriate jokes and share secrets - she wasn't supposed to die at 46.   

But it happened.

15 May 2008

At first I laughed

But then I thought I should maybe try it before laughing.


I decided to save my money and laugh anyway.

Oh goodie!
It comes with or without Organic Dandelion Root!

No, wait. I got all excited for nothing.
The boxes look slightly different. Stupid similar packaging!

Watching: Telecourse videos

14 May 2008

Thank you Dryer, for not turning off automatically

We have an old dryer. One of those clunky models with a circular dial instead of a new-fangled digital panel of some sort.

This dial is broken

The dryer no longer turns off when the timer runs out.

Regardless of what's in the dryer, I always use the Timed Dry setting and set the timer for 30-40 minutes. At the end of the cycle it will buzz quietly for a few minutes and then go on to the next setting. After air drying the contents for thirty minutes, it buzzes - again, quietly - and then moves on to the next cycle.

It will do this for hours and hours. Like if you leave the house and head to the zoo on a Saturday.... when you return three hours later the dryer will still be on.

And this is why I've posted a note-to-self on the main exit door.

What does this remind you of?

The only way to stop this cycle of madness is to open the dryer. So before you leave the house, ask yourself, "Is the dryer on?"

13 May 2008

April photos bring May blog posts

I take at least one photo every day. I have no idea of what, or why, since I don't edit my pictures on a regular basis.

Over the weekend I began organizing photos from last month and upon closer review I've noticed a pattern: I like to take pictures of stuff that doesn't really matter. Sure, the month started off great with a trip to the zoo that resulted in some fabulous photos. However, along with the good, I tend to take pictures of things that make you go, huh? Or, why? Sometimes, even Ewwwww!

So what kind of things did I photograph in April?

I apparently was still on some sort of funky Post-It glue-high from the Obsessive Compulsive Post-It Disorder post. I took more pictures of Post-Its. What's up with that?

A portion of my post-it collection

About a week later, I attended the StlBlogger gathering at Atomic Cowboy. I only took two photos the entire night. One of them was a self-portrait of me doing a last minute mirror check for anything that might be stuck in my teeth. The other important moment I just had to capture: this coaster.

So if you're looking for someone to document meaningful events, maybe you should talk to Raquita, Tojosan or my friend Teresa. If you're interested in circles, food, flowers or maybe the condiments at Home Depot, then maybe you should contact me for your photography needs.

Condiments?  Anyone, anyone?

Listening to: Bjork - Big Time Sensuality

08 May 2008

Spaghetti in a Coffee Pot

I've been getting a lot of hits lately (and by a lot, I mean like one every few days) for Spaghetti in a Coffee Pot.

After months of this nonsense, I had to search for it myself and it turns out, there's some dude named Jacob Kurtz in Houston who's like a full-on dorm chef. Oh yeah, this cat is talented. He totally makes homestyle Spaghetti using fresh veggies, canned sauce, noodles (for obvious reasons), a microwave and coffee pot.

Whoa, dude.

You're bad ass.

You're like the Rachel Ray for people who don't have access to a normal kitchen.

One tip: when adding fresh veggies to canned sauce, add just a tablespoon or two of flour to the sauce (before it's hot) to thicken. Because I hate watery sauce. So if you try to give me watery sauce I'll give you an Indian burn, Swirley, or Monkey Punch. Choose your poison. But you've been warned.

And wait until you see him grilling a sandwich using nothing but an iron. I don't even own an iron for clothes-ironing purposes, let alone for food-ironing purposes.


This dude is all hi-tech and stuff.

07 May 2008

Mental Hospital

To distract me from homework I sent my mom an email and shortly after she responds with a different subject: Mental Hospital. I immediately think, "Great. Who went crazy this time?"

It was a joke, whew, that went a little something like this...

I was walking past the mental hospital the other day, and all the patients were shouting, "13! 13! 13!" The fence was too high to see over, but I saw a little gap in the planks and looked through to see what was going on.

Some idiot poked me in the eye with a stick.

Then they all started shouting, "14! 14! 14!"

Thanks, Mom!

Listening to: Man Man - The Ballad of Butterbeans


05 May 2008

Let's do the time warp again

It’s strange how time, in your mind, is totally warped when you compare it to real time. My brain thinks so many things at once, so fast, that it’ll take me five minutes to explain to someone what was happening in my head in only a fraction of a second.

I found on my desk a small pile of mail.

On top was a handwritten note-to-self that began:

There’s a thousand reasons I shouldn’t drink,

My. Mind. Starts. Racing.

What the hell!?

Uh. Oh. This is some sort of private thought I drunkenly wrote down, months ago. I’ll bet it’s fucked up, too. This is just great. James found it and he left it OUT IN THE OPEN to like, send some sort of message. Oh man, this is bad, bad, BAD. Oh Spaghetti, what did you? Think, think, think. When was the last time you got drunk, like really drunk. Black out drunk. Hell, if I'm black out drunk I might not even realize I was ever that drunk in the first place? Okay, take a deep breath, you're freaking out...

My heart is pounding.

I suddenly feel warm all over.

My pits get a little sweaty.

Somehow, I was also thinking about the picture below.


The note continues:

but I can’t think of one right now.

- Shemp

OH YEAH!!! Now I remember!!!


Things to do today
There's a thousand reasons I shouldn't drink,
but I can't think of one right now.
- Shemp

No, really, duh.

And stop being paranoid, you weirdo.

It was late one Friday. James and I were sitting in the living room reading home remodeling books, drinking cheap red wine and watching DVR’d reruns of the Three Stooges. I love quotes so I jotted this down to add to my QuoteBook NoteBook. That’s all.

No big deal.

But can you believe I thought about all those things during the time it took me to read the first seven words of a fifteen word quote?

Listening to: Man Man – Big Trouble

03 May 2008

Happy Birthday

to me!

Greetings!  From Mexico!

Whoa, dude! You're THIRTY!

01 May 2008

Yelling Mayday! on May Day is utterly ineffective

Today is May Day. For me this signifies one thing: a spring celebration involving grade school kids dancing and weaving ribbon around a Maypole.

I’ve always wanted to do that and I have no idea why. I think as a child, I was relegated to the sidelines and forced to watch other kids do the dance and weave. Ever since then, I’ve unconsciously felt deprived as if I’ve missed out on some amazing life experience. (Whoa, dude! Lay off the sauce Abnormal Psychology homework.)


In all seriousness, May 1st means only one thing to me… only two days until my birthday! This May 3rd is a little more special than all the other May Thirds I’ve experienced because

Mayday! Mayday!

My roaring twenties are about to come to a screeching halt as I'm turning the big Three-Oh!

I don’t feel old, but I seem to be morphing into an old fart as we speak. That’s what happens, right? All week my body has been undergoing changes in preparation for Saturday’s transformation into Old Hag Levingston. Every day I’m waking up crabbier and crabbier, nearly murdering James over an early-morning butt pinch.

So what are my big plans to ring in the new era?





And that’s all I have for this post. I think I just wanted to announce to the world that my birthday is almost here.

Listening to: Gnarls Barkley – Charity Case


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