Saturday, February 26, 2011

Still Sick

Kinda gross so I apologize in advance.  Last night I went to sleep before 10pm.  I genuinely cannot remember the last time that happened.  Definitely years.  I had been cold (probably a result of a fever) and was layered up.  It took practically no time for me to pass out.  I had a very vivid dream (I think related to making videotapes of events related to the book I was reading ... sadly I cannot remember details) and awoke at 1am.  Knowing I was not going to get back to sleep, I went into the living room to allow D the opportunity to sleep and finished reading my book (I'll post a review another time).  By 2am I had finished and back to bed for me.  I was no longer cold and took off all the extra layers.  There I stayed until 12:20ish pm.

You'd think I'd feel rested and ready to'd be wrong.  Now the congestion has spread to my sinuses.  D and I went to the store to get some milk.  And some medication.  I am now taking Robitussin for chest/cold.  I have noticed a slight improvement.  Every slight cough is less likely to turn into a full blown cough.  Here's hoping another day and I'm repaired (ha!).

I have a few important things I am working on but only one that would require my presence in the office on Monday.  I may wind up having to make an appearance, make a few phone calls, then head home.  I am hoping not.  Too much to do!

Friday, February 25, 2011

No Real Blog Tonight

So my lovely hubby D decided his germs were lonely and wanted another body to infect ... mine.  As such I am feeling very ill and not up to blogging.  So good night dead blog world.  Hopefully this weekend I will recoup.  Too much to do to skip work today and too much to do on Monday to skip so I have to rally.

As a side note, when D got sick I joked after the night of no sleep that I would make him sleep on the sofa. D doesn't seem to catch my germs but I caught his.  Which means the next time he gets sick ... he's sleeping on the sofa!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Am I Allowed To Be Tired?

I am not a mother.  I do not own a house.  I have fish but no pet that demands to be walked or requires a lot of attention.  I have a husband who does *help* around the house.  And yet there are times, like now, when I am tired.  Exhausted.  Amazed I am still functioning.  But it makes me feel guilty, or ashamed.

Why should I get to be tired?  I have it relatively easy.  I can go to sleep when I want and wake up when I want (although work kinda dictates when I wake up).  If I want to take a nap, I can.  I don't have someone or someones demanding my attention.  I only have to cook food for two people.  I also work with people who at times can have very difficult and demanding lives.  In comparison, I have it easy.

It goes back to something I've thought before: no matter how happy you are, someone else is happier, and no matter how bad things are, someone else has it worse.  (There was a girl I knew when I was younger ... let's call her N.  She was always trying to 'up' other people.  No matter how good a day you had, she had a better one.  No matter how bad things were, it was worse for her.  I only beat her once.  She said she had one tooth pulled and I'd had four teeth pulled.  She then turned to me and said "Sara, it's not a contest."  Oh irony. Anyway, back to my blog...)  Does that mean we aren't allowed to feel what we are feeling?

I am still allowed to be tired.  I am still allowed to feel what I feel.  Even if my "bad" could not in any way compare with your "bad," does that make it "less" bad?  I say no.

And yet ... there are days when I still feel guilty.  There are days when I feel as though I shouldn't be allowed to be bad.  People tell me "it will be worse when you have kids."  Maybe so.  That doesn't mean I am not tired.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

TV Time is my Time

I love D.  I love my work.  I love my family.  But I need my downtime.  I need a chance to relax.  I need to decompress.  I have two means of doing so: reading and watching TV.  No, television is not the most useful or insightful way to spend your time.  But it is my relaxer, not yours.  It is my method of calming down after a stressful day.

So how does D accommodate me?  Does my perfect husband give me quiet during that time?  Does he allow me to watch my shows with my full attention?  Nope!  That is when he decides to have conversations.  Maybe I should have conversations with him during his quiet time?  His earphones are in right now inevitably listening to some music.  Should I interrupt him?

We need to work on this people!

(Disclaimer: of course talking to my husband is more important than TV so I always mute it when D starts talking ... just wish he'd wait for commercials or a more convenient time!!!)

Dinner Time!

Tonight was another chicken experiment.  I made one of my favorite weight watchers recipes: herbed pesto chicken with linguini.  I took pictures but my camera is acting up so I cannot post today.  However, let me tell you, it is yummy!  And unbelievably easy.  I would recommend cutting up the chicken into bit size pieces and adding it to a bowl of pasta.  Since the sauce is mostly dried, I would recommend drizzling just a bit of EVOO over the top.  Super yummy!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011


So tonight was fish with brussel sprouts.  I finally remembered to take pictures of the fish!  They are yummy packets from Sea Cuisine.  Our ultimate favorite is Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia followed by Lemon Pepper Tilapia as a close second.  After looking at their website I am wishing our store stocked Macademia Nut Tilapia!  My brussel sprouts: cut off ends and cut in half, discarding extra leaves.  As you cut them, place them in a large ziplock bag.  Place a few T of EVOO and a few T of balsamic vinegar along with a pinch (or two) of sea salt into the bag.  Move everything around so it is coated.  This can marinate as long as you want.  350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes, shaking the container 1/2 way through to move them around.

Parmesan Crusted Tilapia

Lemon Pepper Nutritional Info

Took a bit before I remembered to take a picture!

A Sick Hubby

My husband has been sick for the better part of a week.  Congested mess.  Earth shattering sneezes.  Poor guy.  Last night was torture.  More for me than him.  When he came to bed around 1:30am (because even though he is sick he refuses to stop working until the wee hours of the morning) he woke me up to tell me there hadn't been an announcement about my office closing yet (it didn't but I decided to work from home ... our neighborhood doesn't view plowing snow as a priority!).  Then for the next 5 hours his sneezes, coughs, congested breathing (D is not usually a snorer) kept re-waking me up.  Now I know he is the sick one.  And during the day it is he who suffers.  But last night?  As my lovely husband slept peacefully through the congestion/nasal symphony he produced, it was I who had it worse.  Way worse.  I am functioning today.

But barely!

What do you do when your spouse is sick?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Snow is Falling

Whenever there is snow in the forecast I feel like a kid again!  Makes me remember when I was in school and would go to bed praying for snow.  I'd wake up and rush to the window to usually see the green grass, convinced that G-d didn't hear or listen to my prayers for snow!  Nowadays it is definitely different.  Thanks to telecommuting, there is quite a bit of work I can do from home so even a "snow day" is usually not 100% off.  Ever since my brother moved out, when snow was in the forecast, D and I would pack a bag and go stay with my parents to help with shoveling.  Unfortunately, (a) I didn't realize snow was in the forecast and (b) D is sick.  Really sick.  As in should not be shoveling.  So we didn't go to my parents.  Here's hoping they don't get too much because I'd hate for my dad to have to do it all!

Mixed Marriage?

I finally accept it.  After almost 9 months of trying to deny it I cannot any longer ... D and I have a mixed marriage.  You've seen photos of us and are probably confused.  But it's true I tell you.  So how is it a mixed marriage?  Simple.  D likes skim milk whereas I like 1%.

Ok so maybe I used a bit of dramatic flair.  But it is still true!  For 9 months I have purchased skim milk and allowed my own milk consumption to go by the wayside.  I figured since I rarely drink milk and on the rare occasions I have cereal I can stand skim milk, it made more sense to allow D his preference. 

But no more.  I think I am slowly starting to feel the effects of reduced milk consumption.  I used to love drinking milk (it is a great with pretzels ... trust me!).  And have missed it.  So on Sunday when I went grocery shopping I did what I told D I would do...I purchased a small thing of 1% milk for myself (small since I doubt I'd go through an entire gallon before it went bad!).

And oh how I have enjoyed it.  There are other non-traditional ways in which D and I are a mixed marriage.  I'll write more about those later.  But for now ... I am going to go get a glass of 1% milk!

Dinner Tonight

So I apologize in advance ... I forgot to take a picture of dinner!  D had to get to class by 6 so it was an early dinner for us!  Early means quick!  First up, a salad.  My recipe? Take a head of romaine lettuce, slice it length wise twice and then chop it.  Put it into two bowls (can also make one large-ish salad).  For D's salad I put in some cherry tomatoes and Poppy Dressing (until that runs out then a Goddess dressing my brother recommended from Trader Joe's).  For my salad I add 1T chopped walnuts and 1T feta cheese and 2T Newman's Own light balsamic dressing.  I used to make the same salad for D but he declared a few weeks ago that after such frequent consumption (we usually have a salad with every meal), he couldn't stand it anymore.  So I bought the poppy for him to try and he likes that.

Then dinner.  Tonight I had intended to do a WW (weight watchers) chicken dish but forgot to defrost the chicken and didn't feel like microwave defrosting.  Instead, I had a frozen package of gnocchi (I am not Italian ... does that make it ok to not use fresh??) which after cooking I mixed with 2T pesto sauce (I have made my own before but lately just get the store variety).  But gnocchi does not a meal make.  Giant (our local grocery store) has these frozen fish packages (I'll have to post a pic another time).  They come in a few different varieties.  After some testing we decided our favorites are Parmesean Encrusted Tilapia and Lemon Pepper Tilapia.  They come two to a package and usually cost $6 but I got them on sale for I think $4 and change.  So of course I bought a couple!  The Parm is really our favorite but it takes 25-30 minutes in the toaster oven, time we did not have!  Instead, the lemon pepper takes 7 minutes in the microwave.  Perfect!

Delicious meal for probably ~$11.  Not bad.  Especially considering start to eating was under 20 minutes.

And now D is at class and I am sitting waiting to see if the projected snow falls.  Good thing I have a full fridge/pantry if we are snowed in tomorrow!

A Royal Wedding

My take on the royal wedding.  So I have already mentioned that I am obsessed with all things Royal Wedding.  I cannot wait to see her dress and what he looks like and how she arrives and whether they kiss on the balcony afterward.  Yes, I am obsessed.  But there are also a number of things that are bothering me, but probably because I am still somewhat thinking of this as a 'regular' wedding.

In no particular order:
1. The invitation.  I know I mentioned it before, but Kate's family isn't mentioned.  Traditionally it is the bride's family that invites guests.  Now I know that the Royal Family is footing the majority of the bill for the wedding and Kate's parents, even though they are millionaires, probably couldn't afford what this wedding is going to cost.  I get it.  But to me, it makes it seem like her identity is intentionally being swallowed up. 

2. This going along with number 1.  Almost everything you see references the royal family and/or William "teaching/training" Kate.  Is it really that difficult?  Aside from a long lineage, are there really that many things she needs to learn?  Has she never gone to a charity event before?  Does she not know how to act around sick people?  Or is she having a very difficult time learning which fork to use with which course?  (Kate: perhaps a viewing of Titanic or Pretty Woman would help with this!).  I don't understand.  There is talk of her training taking years before she can do charity work on her own.  Why??

3. Perhaps this is wishful thinking (D ... don't read too much into this.  I love you and wouldn't leave you even if Prince William asked me ... most likely. ;)) but I don't think William is too interested in getting married.  Right now that is.  He dated Kate for the better part of a decade.  There is something about it that makes you feel like there is external pressure (Read: Queen Elizabeth) on him to get married.  I don't doubt that he loves Kate.  Truly.  And I do disagree with an entertainment show that recently said since he is starting to lose his hair he wants to secure a wife. (Come on people ... he's the future king of England.  He could be completely bald and paint leopard stripes on his head and still land someone).  But it does feel forced.  Case in point, once they got engaged it is almost a race to the altar.  What's the hurry?  I think it is to ensure someone's cold feet don't freeze!  I am certain there is also pressure on him to have kids.  Kate just turned 29.  The Queen probably decided that since Kate was his inevitable queen, time to ensure she can have lots of kids!

4. Lastly: who receives one of those invitations.  I am on the fence about Fergie not being invited.  But am still so surprised President Obama is not invited.  Technically, no other heads of state are invited either, but still.  I think it is in poor taste.  I understand not inviting the leader of Chile (I was going to say Tuvalu, but upon further research, I realized Queen Elizabeth is technically the leader of that country...) but the US?  Really?  The US you decide to not extend an invitation?  But Kanye West can come?  As was said on The View this am, here's hoping he doesn't crash the vows!

Benefits to Being Married

So I have been posting the Benefits to Being Married one to a post.  But then I realized it is going to be difficult to make sure I don't repeat myself ... and for you to read the entire list!  So I decided to compile them.  If some readers think it was better the other way, let me know!

14. Someone to hang out with on your day off!
13. There is always someone to give you a hug!
12. Someone to make you feel better after fighting with your sister.
11. Someone to tell you it's time to say good night to twitter and go to sleep!
10. Having someone to make you smile when you are sad.
9. Getting to make your hubby feel better when he's feeling sick.
8. Know that "anti-slip" liner you can put into the bottom of the shower?  When you lift it up from the shower floor it makes a large noise.  My hubby heard it and came running to the bathroom door to check on me!
7. When I forgot something in the car, D will volunteer to go get it!  (And actually get it!!)
6. To have someone who supports you starting a blog to the point that they apologize when they click on your post as it will mess up your stats total!
5. I can say "D ... are you going to eat dessert tonight" and he knows that is code to get me ice cream from the freezer!
4. Having a guaranteed Valentine!
3. Someone to buy you flowers on Valentine's Day!
2. Having someone to buy a Valentine's gift for!
1. Someone to get you dessert when you are comfy on the sofa!

A Book in Review

As you'll recall from a previous post, my coworkers E and T recommended a bunch of books and authors for me to read!  I just finished another one and couldn't wait to tell you about it.  The book is "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt" by Beth Hoffman.  This book is the story of a young girl with an absent father and a mother with a psychiatric diagnosis (alluded to as psychosis in the book but not definitive).  Her only positive is an elderly neighbor but accepts CeeCee as she is.  The result was a girl with no friends who had to take care of a mother who preferred to pretend she was in a beauty pageant.  When her mother is unexpectedly killed (it says as much on the book flap so not giving too much away!) her father cannot care for her and allows her great aunt Tootie to take her home to Georgia. 

Once in Georgia, CeeCee's life is forever changed by the women her aunt surrounds herself with.  There are funny moments and many sad moments (read with a box of tissues!) in this very well written book.  What drew me in mostly was how she characterized CeeCee's understanding of the world.  CeeCee, when praying to G-d and not getting any answers, wonders if the prayers are being stacked up outside his door so one day when he opens the door will he be crushed by her prayers.  Perhaps I like the book so much because I can relate to CeeCee.  When I was younger, parents/grandparents/teachers/etc. used to tell me the world was black and white until the 1960s.  Now what they meant was there was no color TV/movies until the 1960s.  What I heard and interpreted was the ENTIRE world was black/white.  So naturally I thought one day in the 1960's G-d took a big bucket of paint and colored the world. 

This book is intended as a story about a little girl's struggle to redefine normal and figure out her place in the world.  My one real criticism of the book is that it only touches on the racism that would have existed in the South during the 1960s.  All the main characters, save one, have a completely positive experience toward black people.  The three (that I can count) moments of blatant racism all spring up and resolve themselves quite quickly.  Perhaps racism for a "Northerner" (CeeCee was born in Ohio) was not a part of the story that the author wanted to tell.

All in all a great read!

A Book in Review Grade: A

Sunday, February 20, 2011

President's Day

Tomorrow is President's Day.  My office is closed .  There are lots of shopping opportunities, of which I will not be participating.  It always makes me wonder how holidays became associated with sales.  Although I am lucky to love my job, I am happy to have a day off.  Why you might ask?  Well, as a newlywed I have a very stereotypical newlywed day planned tomorrow: cleaning the house.  Laundry, dishes, countertops, etc.  Aren't you jealous?  And how stereotypical a wife am I?  Now before people start wondering "why isn't D doing any of it?" be calm ... D does a lot of the housework.  Probably more than I usually give him credit for (hope he doesn't read this and get a big head!!)  I've spoken to my friends about what their husbands do and I am quite lucky (I'll elaborate more in another post).  As D will be working at home tomorrow he will help some.  But he needs to work.  And he's sick (still ... poor guy!).  So this time the majority will fall to me.

Maybe spending a good portion of the day cleaning will make me really excited to go back to work on Tuesday!

Benefits to Being Married

13. There is always someone to give you a hug!

Benefits to Being Married

12. Someone to make you feel better after fighting with your sister.

A Royal Wedding

And so I have been given something to further fuel my obsession with the royal wedding. The invitation!  Perhaps it looks prettier in person but it does seem a bit plain ... in my opinion.  I also notice that Kate's parents have been left off.  Seems strange to me.  But maybe completely normal for a royal wedding...  Every thing I seem to read talks about having to "train" Kate and "introduce" her to royal life.  She's been dating Prince William for 9ish years.  That's not enough of an introduction?  Possibly not.  But does it have to be described as though you are teaching a preschooler to color in between the lines?

Hopefully my invitation will arrive soon! ;)

Benefits to Being Married

11. Someone to tell you it's time to say good night to twitter and go to sleep!

Benefits to Being Married

10. Having someone to make you smile when you are sad.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

When Parents Grow Up and Move Away

D and I do not have any kids...yet.  But we do have parents.  Our respective parents have each been married for 33 (this year 34!) years.  Atypical by today's standards perhaps.

D and I have both gone to college, and then to higher education meaning our parents have had to see us move out.  I remember when I went to college in another state.  Now I was still on the east coast but about an hour flight (or 7 hour drive) away.  I knew I wanted to come back to my home state to live so it seemed like a good idea to go away for a few years.  My parents were both excited for me.  For the opportunities I would have and the adventure I was undergoing.  They knew my intentions were to return to my home state, but there was always the chance that wouldn't happen.  And so they said good-bye.  Although I am sure both were sad to see me go, my father had a harder time.  But I came home for all the holidays, called quite frequently (first time I owned my own cell phone!) and lived at home during the summer.  I did eventually go to grad school and actually lived at home with them during school (that could be a whole book about that experience!).  I met a great guy, D, got married and moved to the next town over. 

Now to put this blog in perspective, I grew up with all of my grandparents no more than a 25 minutes drive away.  This was what I had expected for my kids.  When I met D and fell in love, I realized this was not going to be our reality.  The best I could hope for was to live near one set of grandparents and visit the other often.

One other thing, my father has a close relationship with his brother.  Really close.  They talk multiple times a day.  So when my uncle moved to Florida, it was hard on my dad.  Once my uncle moved there full time (instead of 1/2 the year) my dad started talking about moving to Florida himself.  For years he discussed it but my mother kept saying no.  Finally she agreed.  Now he just had to wait for my brother to move out.  About a month ago he did.  The next week, my dad had a realtor come to the house.  And now their house is on the market.  Once it sells, they are heading to Florida.

So I am in the reverse position.  Now I am dealing with parents who are moving away from me.  And let me tell you, it is difficult.  I support my parents selling the house and moving into a condo.  I support my dad being able to retire.  I do.  But I'll be somewhat selfish, I want them here.  I am now left with ZERO grandparents close by for my kids.  Yes I know with technology they can skype and chat and email all the time.  We'll go visit them and they'll come visit us.  It isn't the same.  When my kid is sick and I need an "experienced" mother to offer a second opinion, they won't be nearby.  If my kids really want to see grandma and grandpa (or whatever they want to be called ... TBD) it won't be possible.  There will have to be planes and tickets and vacation days involved.  I was lucky.  If I wanted to see my grandparents, I did.  I don't remember ever missing them (until they passed away obviously).  And what about my parents and in-laws?  If they want to see their grandkids it won't be so easy.

I want it all.  I understand families are changing and everyone living in the same town for their whole lives is less likely.  I do.  I get it.  But I still feel sorry for myself (and my siblings).  But mostly, I feel sorry for my future kids.  I think I am a better person for having involved grandparents who lived so close.

Benefits to Renting

There are many days, more often than not, that I wish I lived in a house we owned.  Instead, we rent.  This makes more sense financially for us right now, but that doesn't change the fact there are a lot of times I'd prefer we owned our house.  However, I may have to stop thinking that way!

My coworker, I've mentioned her before, T, owns her own home.  Her gas and electric bill at times is higher than my rent!  (And don't forget, she still has a mortgage payment to make.)  Probably one of the biggest benefits right now is our rent includes gas.  That means during these cold winters, our bill is really low!  Huge benefit.

And then last night, our microwave broke.  As a frequent microwave user (popcorn is an addiction) we had to replace it.  My father had purchased it two years ago so I asked him where he bought it: BJs!  So off I went and spent about $55 (far less than anything we saw advertised online) and wound up buying the exact same model.

Now D and I are not wealthy by a long shot, nor flat broke.  Rather, we try to be very careful with our money and spending.  Spending $55 on a new microwave was definitely not in the budget.  However, and the other reason that for now I prefer renting, the microwave is the ONLY appliance in the home we are responsible for replacing!  It is the only appliance not provided by the landlord.  That means should we have a problem with the fridge, freezer, garbage disposal (which we did last week), oven, stove, washer, dishwasher, dryer or the plumbing, we don't have to handle it.  I love it!

Though I still hope to one day in the not too distant future own a home, I love the benefits of renting!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Benefits to Being Married

9. Getting to make your hubby feel better when he's feeling sick.

A Movie May Well Have Ruined My Life!

When I was about 8 years old, I went to a neighbors house to play (way back in the late 1980s/early 1990s kids still played!).  A group of neighborhood kids were there and the kid whose house we were invading, his or her (cannot remember) parent was home.  The parent asked if we wanted to watch a movie and we all said sure and piled onto the couch.  Now seeing as this was over 15 years ago, I cannot remember if we agreed or selected which movie to view.  Regardless, the movie was chosen: Arachnophobia.

If you've never seen the movie or cannot remember what it is about, the title is a good hint!  Very brief synopsis: an exotic spider hitches a ride in a coffin and comes back to the US only to attempt to kill off an entire town.

Now you are probably wondering how on earth a movie could have ruined my life.  Allow me to explain.  Prior to this movie, I have no memory of being scared of bugs.  My parents are not afraid of them so it is unlikely I picked up this fear.  In fact, a few summers before the viewing experience, I unintentionally "shared" a bed with a spider at sleep-away camp.  I still managed to go to sleep every night.  Rather, until I watched that movie, bugs existed but did not impact my life.

And then Arachnophobia.

Ever since then, and getting progressively worse, I have an immense, almost unhealthy, fear of bugs.  The bigger and faster the worse the reaction.  A few years ago I moved into a basement apartment ... only to move out a week later.  Or more accurately, after being chased out by insects a week later.  Including a 3-4 inch (my dad saw it and confirmed its size!) water bug or roach (debate still remains).

Since moving with D to a new apartment, the bugs are few and far between.  And D, fortunately, is not scared of them!  Now even though I am scared, I don't need bugs dead.  I just need them gone.  Out of sight.  Away from me.

I have done some self therapy.  I realize that the teeny, tiny ones, I can kill myself.  Flies and even bees (usually) are annoying, but don't instill fear.  Ants I find annoying (and at times fascinating), not scary.  In this case, size does matter. 

Another part of the fear is the threat of touching the bug.  If the bug is small enough and there is no one else around, I can take my shoe and smash the bug against the wall.  I cannot, without exception, take a tissue (or equivalent) and scoop up the bug.  Cannot.  Nope.  Not at all.


I May Die

Heading to my parents for dinner.  When I return I may be compelled to explain my extreme fear of insects and how rodents do not create the same fear in me.  Suffice it to say, this news report on stink bugs has me near hysterics.

Benefits to Being Married

8. Know that "anti-slip" liner you can put into the bottom of the shower?  When you lift it up from the shower floor it makes a large noise.  My hubby heard it and came running to the bathroom door to check on me!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Benefits to Being Married

7. When I forgot something in the car, D will volunteer to go get it!  (And actually get it!!)

A Book in Review

One of my main means of relaxing is by reading.  I have always been a reader.  Usually, I am a fast reader too.  While I was in graduate/professional school (wow that sounds fake) I had so much official reading to do I didn't do much pleasure reading.  I am really starting to get back into it and after exhausting a few authors the librarian recommended, I turned to my colleagues.  T and E read a LOT.  They seemed like good sources of referrals. 

One of the books E recommended was The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri.  Let me say, it is a great book.  Amazingly well written.  As someone who has a unique name (disclaimer: Sara is not technically my name) I can relate to Gogol.  When I was growing up I wanted to change my name.  Not completely unlike The Namesake, I wanted to change my name and looked to a literary character for inspiration.  (Now my choice was Mimi from the Babysitters Club ... but regardless.) 

As the reader, we get to see how tradition plays a role in naming a baby.  As an Ashkenazi Jew, we have naming traditions as well.  For instance, you name after someone who is deceased.  You use either the first letter or the sound of that persons name.  Now we also have Hebrew names.  These can be the English version of your Hebrew name or similar or something entirely different.  Completely depends.  Regardless, I can relate to having traditions around names.

It is also interesting how the author manages to change the point of view.  Gogol, the main character, is not born until later in the book.  Initially the story focuses around his parent's relationship.  I commend Lahiri for weaving the focus of the stories.

One concern, I think there may be an error (disclaimer: I didn't go back and reread before returning the book to the library so I am uncertain).  In the book, Lahiri mentions that one day Gogol will return to the same apartment his parents lived in when the story opened and will be immensely happy.  I don't recall this ever happening.  Ever.  Maybe it was meant as more general foreshadowing that we the reader are not included in knowing? 

Regardless, I would definitely recommend this work. 

A Book in Review Grade: B+

I did also just finish reading her first book, Interpret of Maladies.  This book I would not recommend.  I think she tried to fit too much story into short stories.  A few of them have great characters that could have been developed more and made into full length works.  Some others fell far short of the greatness she exhibits in The Namesake.

My Own Money Saving Meal!

And it is dinner time again!  Now that D will eat chicken (though only free range) I am trying to cook it more.  Last week, when he first consumed chicken after many years, I was unprepared, having made dinner for myself as he was at class.  Once I knew chicken was a possibility, I knew exactly what recipe to make:  Sandra Lee's Guava and Rosemary Glazed Chicken!  I found this recipe in one of her cookbooks that I had taken out of the library.  When D was at a conference late last year, I made it for myself and my mother.  My mother, I might add, who is not a huge chicken fan.  She couldn't get enough of it.  And actually asked for seconds!  My father was shocked!  (My father is an incredibly picky eater so I had to make him a hotdog.)

So tonight I told D I knew exactly what I was making for dinner and he agreed!  On Sunday when we went grocery shopping, the free range chicken was buy one package, get a second package free!  So naturally I purchased two.  If we act as though we are on an episode of Money Saving Meals, that means my package of chicken's total cost was $3!  Now although I love the recipe, I do make a few changes.  First, D and I are not rosemary fans.  I live for parsley (not literally) so I substitute that.  Second, to keep costs down, I use bottled lime juice instead of fresh.  I can't taste the difference but someone else might be able.  Lastly, I use a large teaspoon of minced garlic (the large plastic bottle you can buy at the grocery store and keep in your fridge for months!).  Since I strain the sauce after heating it through, the bulkiness doesn't matter.

In the cookbook, Sandra Lee paired the chicken with Saffron Rice.  Now let me say that this recipe looks delicious.  However, saffron is a very expensive spice that I have never had another occasion to use.  In its place I use tumeric.  I like the subtle flavor and the color!  The first time I went to the grocery store I wasn't able to locate currants so I used dried cranberries.  Since it worked the first time I keep using it!  I also use a rice cooker and Uncle Ben's brown rice (healthier).  I find if I put the rice up first, it's pretty much done when the meal is.  (How much tumeric and cranberries?  Eyeball it.  Probably a teaspoon of tumeric and 1/3 c cranberries.)  You could also use other spices/additions as well.  I didn't think I had dried cranberries so I was going to skip the tumeric, use another spice (hadn't decided what yet) and put in pine nuts.

Anyway, below is a picture of our meal.  We both had seconds.  How could you not?

Guava Chicken and Rice!

Now to tally up (approximately) the cost of our meal:

Chicken: $3 (thank you sale price!  Otherwise about $6)
Guava Jelly: $1 (used approx a third of the jar)
Lime: $.25 (if even that! benefit to using bottled)
Parsley: $.05 (I bought a HUGE container at BJs--think Costco if you are without a BJs--and had a coupon. Spent next to nothing!)
Garlic: $.10 (estimate.  I buy the large container at the grocery store and it really does last months even though I use it a lot!)
EVOO: $.50 (estimate again.  Again I bought a LARGE thing of EVOO at BJs and received as a wedding shower gift a container to pour it into to keep on my counter.)
Salt and Pepper: $.05 (though technically zero since these were cute gifts from Target!)
Flour: $.25 (again an estimate ... I know I am doing that a lot!)
Rice: $.10 (this is a HUGE bag ... I'll have to take a picture eventually)
Tumeric: $.10
Dried Cranberries: $1.00 (approx 1/3 of the bag)

TOTAL: $5.40 for dinner for 2 of us.  And enough leftovers for lunch tomorrow.

If you make this recipe, let me know what you think!

Not another today like yesterday!

Yesterday, if you recall, I got to hang out with D for a few extra minutes and then didn't get a chance to eat/drink anything until late in the afternoon (but I did get a good workout in!).  Not so today.  I am heading to the office where my breakfast (frozen waffle) and free coffee await.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Blog!

Thank you to The Cutest Blog on the Block for the great templates! 

Special shout out to for getting me started!

Under Construction

Please excuse the mess!

Guilty Pleasure

I have a handful of tv shows I follow.  One particular series makes D roll his eyes often: Real Housewives of OC ... and NY ... and NJ ... and Atlanta ... and DC ... and Beverly Hills.  And starting next week Miami!  I also love watching all the Top Chef versions.  I am currently obsessed with Top Chef: All Stars.  (Go Antonia!!!!).  Now D usually rolls his eyes, smiles at me and puts in his ear buds.  (Although with Top Chef he will sometimes will watch ... but not for an entire episode.)  Yesterday, out of the blue, he informed me we HAD to watch Top Chef: All Stars tonight.  Having already planned on doing so this presented no problems.  But I was curious why the sudden interest.  He told me the reasons: Sesame Street characters are appearing on the episode.  And there you have it.  Talented chefs being put to crazy tasks in small amounts of time gets a glimpse and eye roll.  But bust out Sesame Street characters ... and you've got his undivided attention!

Oh Canada!

So have I mentioned I am obsessed with all things Royal Wedding?  I am around the same age as Prince William.  So naturally I fantasized about marrying him when I grew up.  I didn't pay any mind to the fact that I'm American, I'm Jewish, I'm not rich.  Eh.  Our love was going to overcome all of that!  Sadly our future was not to be.  But that's ok ... I found my own prince (intentionally corny!). 

My Eyes are Closing!

So I had a big client meeting early this morning (allowing me to spend a few extra minutes home with D!).  As I usually eat breakfast/drink coffee at the office, I didn't eat anything at home before I left.  Now when I lived with my parents (as I did until I got married .... many blogs on that later!) there was a Dunkin Donut's with a drive through on the way to the highway.  Whenever I had a meeting out of the office in the morning, I would treat myself to a coffee and bagel (toasted w/ a little butter ... D forever teases me about that as he believes cream cheese is the proper bagel topping).  But alas, I no longer have that luxury.  So I arrived at the meeting location and spent 10 minutes finding the entrance to the parking garage (ah ... gotta love city buildings!).  To then get to the room where my meeting was I had to walk the equivalent of at least 3 football fields--but probably closer to 4.  Sadly, this was not an exaggeration.

Then the person I was meeting with wanted to go talk to someone else so off we walked.  About a football field to another building.  And then as he couldn't remember which floor her office was on, we walked up 4 flights of stairs.  Suffice it to say, I was exhausted, thirsty and drained by the time we go to the second meeting.  So much so that the woman we were meeting with had her intern bring me a glass of water!  Then, it was back to the original meeting location.  And then back the three+ football fields to my car.  I sighed (literally) with relief when I reached my car.  But then I had to go pick up some lunch and head back to the office.  Before I could eat (or drink) I needed to debrief my supervisor (my preference ... I wanted her expert opinion!) on my earlier meeting(s).  Then finally I got something to eat.  No shock but I have felt off and tired all day.  Now sitting at home, D is at class, debating if I have the energy to get up and make dinner.  Being somewhat lazy.  Going to cook some premade, frozen cheese tortellini (grocery brand .. gotta save the $$) with store bought pesto and a salad.

I'll eat eventually!

Guilty Pleasure

Wanted to update you all to a guilty pleasure.  I have a meeting out of the office this morning (otherwise my tush would be in my office and no posts would be out of me!) so I got to sleep in a few minutes this am.  My hubby is a grad student and usually does most of his work at home.  What is my guilty pleasure today?  Sitting in the living room with him while we both post on our blogs.  I really do love him and love having him in the same room with me for just a few more minutes!

ps. D just looked at me and asked "what are you blogging?"  When I asked how he knew I was blogging (I could have been web surfing!) he said I had a really intense look on my face.  Good to know!

Benefits to Being Married

6. To have someone who supports you starting a blog to the point that they apologize when they click on your post as it will mess up your stats total!

For Technorati


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Watching TV

So D often shakes his head while we are watching tv together.  Anything possibly scary and/or extra sappy, I cover my eyes.  I always have, I likely always will.  I get scared easily ... and grossed out easily too!

Does your loved one have a funny habbit?  Or does your partner have a habit that amuses you?  Let me know!

Benefits to Being Married

5. I can say "D ... are you going to eat dessert tonight" and he knows that is code to get me ice cream from the freezer!

Dough Cans

Does anyone else get nervous/scared opening the Pillsbury dough cans?  Each time I have to hold it away from myself and somewhat close my eyes.  Weird?


So I work in a city and as a result have to park in a garage.  It is a relatively small garage necessitating double parking.  To accomplish this, we have to park behind other cars and leave our key with the attendants.  Left work a bit late tonight, went home and made dinner (see previous blog for yummy recipe!).  Had to go pick D up.  As I arrived to pick up my hubby I moved the umbrella on the passenger's side.  That's when I saw it ... a key for another car!  In my car!  NOT where it should be!  I quickly explained to D that we were taking a car ride and off we went, back to work. 


So I am mildly obsessed with all things cooking shows.  D constantly teases me about it.  But doesn't seem to mind come dinner time! Tonight it was a Rachael Ray recipe.  D especially teases me about Rachael Ray.  Apparently I make the same statements/gestures that she does.  I don't necessarily agree but it pleases him to tease me about it and doesn't make me mad.  Best of both worlds!

I am always looking for new recipes.  I was a late blooming cook (details in another blog) so I don't cook much without a recipe.  Whenever I find a recipe worth sharing I'll post it here.  If you have any suggestions, please leave a link in the comments!

Benefits to Being Married

4. Having a guaranteed Valentine!

Morning After...

So it is the morning after our first Valentine's Day as a married couple.  Did the day live up to the hype?  As a bit of background:

Monday, February 14, 2011

Benefits to Being Married

3. Someone to buy you flowers on Valentine's Day!

Be My Valentine?

So like a good girl I did not hunt through the house looking for my 'hidden' gift.  Turns out it would have been for naught ... D had the gift 'hidden' with him!  So what did I get ..... a dozen red roses :)  Slightly over our $10 budget but c'est la vie!

D loved his Weyerbacher Fifteen.  As usual, he encouraged me (read: all but forced) me to have a sip.  Though D loves his beer, especially a good stout, I cannot stand the taste.  It was so strong (which I understand is usually a good thing in a beer!) that I quickly had to open a nearby can of PepsiMax (generously provided by my father). 

Enjoy the picture below of my flowers and D's beer.  What did you get for Valentine's Day?

Hope it was a good one!

Benefits to Being Married

2. Having someone to buy a Valentine's gift for!

A Gift For My Sweet?

So D and I have always budgeted for gifts (as in we decide ahead of time what we can spend).  Now I know some who absolutely hate this idea.  Fair enough.  D and I are far from poor but even further from rich.  Budgeting gifts ensures two things: no one is expected to go overboard, and both gifts are approx. the same (i.e. I am not buying him a tie and he buys me a diamond bracelet!).  Now that said, I have on occasion gone a bit overboard.  We are saving up for a weekend away so we wanted to do a minimalistic Valentine's Day.  Originally we weren't even going to get each other gifts.  But then D said he wanted to so our $10 budget was born.

Who Should be Married?

When D and I got married, we decided in lieu of gifts/trinkets to our guests, we would make donations to charities that meant something to us.  Having recently lost my aunt to thyroid cancer, one of the organizations we chose was the Light of Life Foundation.  You can read more about the organization here:

The other organization we knew would create a bit of a stir.  We chose Freedom to Marry.  If you follow me on Twitter, you will see that I follow a few "gay marriage" or "marriage equality" Twitter users.  This is not by accident.  D and I are both avid supporters of marriage equality.  Now we knew people would react to choosing this charity.  Fortunately, all the feedback we heard was positive.  There probably were people who didn't agree with our decision, but they chose to keep it to themselves.

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Happy Valentine's Day!  Post how you are going to celebrate with your special person!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Benefits to being married...

So I decided to start a list of the benefits to being married!  As reasons come to me I'll post them.  Feel free to post your thoughts!

1. Someone to get you dessert when you are comfy on the sofa!

How will you celebrate?

According to the First Lady, Valentine's Day is not a big deal for them ... though there is jewelry involved.  What are you going to do??  How the President Celebrates Valentine's Day

A haircut can be an emotional experience!

Almost a year ago I last got a haircut.  Now I wouldn't say D and I are "frugal" but we don't spend tons of money on ourselves.  D is probably a little better about spending money on himself that I am...  However, I finally decided it was time.  The woman who usually cut my hair is taking some time off so it was off to the internet to find someone else who could cut my hair for what I considered a "reasonable" price.  Now, to put it in perspective: for the past 10+ years my haircut consisted of a trim.  Chop off the dead hair and we were good to go!  I figured anyone who was licensed could do this.  I found a hair place listed online and gave them a call.  The price was right so off I went.

What's In A Name?

As I mentioned in my first post, I didn't think marriage would happen for me.  However, I thought if it ever did I'd probably be well into my mid to late 30s and "taking my husband's name" wouldn't even be a consideration.  I then went and got married in my mid-twenties.  Now it was decision time.  I don't consider myself a feminist (though some may say I am).  I guess I am somewhat of a 'modern woman' but not to extremes.  My husband, D, is what I would consider a feminist.  As a result, he didn't want me to take his name.  Or more accurately, he left the decision to me all the while secretly (or not so secretly as he told me multiple times) that his preference would be for me to keep my married name.

Now I did like my maiden name.  I'd lived 2.5 decades with it.  But it was my decision to make.  Although I didn't know whether marriage would happen for me, I knew kids would.  The idea of having kids with my husband and not all having the same last name sealed my decision.  Taking D's last name became my decision.

An Introduction

Growing up I'd always believed one of two things: I would never get married, or I would eventually find someone to marry but wouldn't stay married very long.  Many months ago, but less than a year, I married a great guy. I don't believe in fate, though there are times I wish I did.  I don't believe in "everything happens for a reason" though I will sometimes say that trying to convince myself it is true.  That said, there are moments in my life that had to happen in order for me to have met D.  I know that had I not had certain past romances, or gone into the profession I did, or attended the schools I did, I would very likely have never met him.  I also realize many things in D's life that needed to happen for him to be in the right place to meet me.  He's not 'from' my town so it really was a convergence of circumstances that led us to meet.  And meet we did.

I like to call our first date a 'marathon' date as it lasted much longer than either of us thought it would.  I'll dedicate another post (or three) to our dating history, especially that first date.  Suffice it to say, although I didn't know when I first met D that we would wed (Hollywood fairytales lie!), I knew something had changed.  I knew this would be an important person in my life.  Little did I know how important. 

Although I am a very happy newlywed, I have been craving a creative outlet.  Something to occupy my time.  I saw friends with mommy blogs and thought 'well, one day when I am pregnant I could do that.'  Then I realized, I didn't have to wait.  Although not an expert on all things matrimonial, I have a voice, opinions, life experiences, and a desire to write. 

I hope you enjoy what I write and ask questions if there are things you want to know that I haven't explained.  I think this is going to be a positive experience and I look forward to writing more!
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