I love a clean house. The light spell of bleach with a hint of Lysol and glass cleaner makes me weak in the knees. I enjoy taking off my shoes and walking across the linoleum floor without gathering a following of cat litter. But I actually don’t like cleaning. It’s dirty, hot, sweaty and usually no fun.
Today it was house cleaning day. Andy and I had three loads of laundry, vacuuming,and a bathroom and kitchen to clean up. With three cats and two active adults, our house gets pretty gross if we don’t stay on top of it.
Andy helping out!
The soap scum in our bathroom is amazing. No matter what I use or how often I clean the sliding shower doors, a thin layer quickly accumulates. This seemingly innocent looking layer quickly builds up a thick coat that is a indelible to environmentally friendly cleaners. Instead I am forced to use a bleach based cleaner that rearranges my DNA each time I use it. Taking Andy’s advice, I cover my face.
Aleta versus soap scum
This is a short blog post as I am focused on adding more photos to the random photo page. Take a look!
Usually at 7:15 in the morning, I am on the #4 bus headed to work. But this morning I had an appointment to get an ultrasound on my knee.
Dr's Office ahead!
Dr. Pham thought I might have a Baker’s cyst (please note: it isn’t filled with cookie dough or pie crust. I asked). According to Wikipedia
A Baker’s cyst, otherwise known as a popliteal cyst, is a benign swelling found behind the knee joint. It is named after the surgeon who first described it, Dr. William Morrant Baker (1838-1896) n adults, Baker’s cysts usually arise from almost any form of knee arthritis and cartilage (particularly the meniscus) tear. Baker’s cysts can be associated with Lyme disease. Baker’s cysts in children do not point to underlying joint disease. Baker’s cysts arise between the tendons of the medial head of the gastrocnemius and the semimembranosus muscles. They are posterior to the medial femoral condyle.
The synovial sack of the knee joint can, under certain circumstances, produce a posterior bulge, into the popliteal space, the space behind the knee. When this bulge becomes large enough, it becomes palpable and cystic. Most Baker’s cysts maintain this direct communication with the synovial cavity of the knee, but sometimes, the new cyst pinches off. A Baker’s cyst can rupture and produce acute pain behind the knee and in the calf and swelling of the calf muscles.
Both myself and the ultrasound technician agreed that based on the image we saw on the very cool computer screen, it’s not a cyst. It was actually pretty cool to see your knee on a monitor. The technician said that these type of cysts come on slowly and based on the information I provided her, it didn’t sound like that’s what it was. Now, I don’t know if she’s allowed to give out that type of information so I’m not saying who she is or where she works. The next step looks like an MRI. I’m not sure if I want one though. I have a feeling they are pretty spendy.
Me @ my visit
Andy has been incredibly busy with school. His chemistry class has been out of control. Rather than the ten hours a week of homework he expected, he is doing about twenty to twenty-five hours. He wakes up at 4:45 am and starts working on homework until he goes to school. He’s also worked on a few group projects. Andy has been so busy he hasn’t had anytime to brew beer this year. Yes, I just said that he’s been so busy, he hasn’t had any chance to brew beer. I miss the brewing (as does Andy). It was interesting to watch the warm, moist air from the kitchen hit the cold dry air from the living room. Andy and I use to joke that this would create a tornado in our apartment.
Here is Andy in the greenhouse at school:
Andy in the greenhouse
After class he does more homework until he goes to bed. He does get brief breaks to eat and watch Jeopardy (he multi-tasks!), go to the bathroom, and ride the bus to school. He also is working on a project for the biology department that includes maintenance of specimens which includes relabeling, remounting, rearranging, and changing out formaldehyde. Here he is in action:
Andy in action
Here is Andy’s office at school:
Here is Andy's office.
Andy takes a variety of odd photos of dead animals, spider webs, and things from biology class. Here are some of them!
Bovine Spinal Cords
Only a few more weeks of school and then he (and I) get a break. Stay tuned for more!
When I was younger I did not appreciate the body I had. Rather than jumping and playing, I chose to hang out, drink beer, and stay out late. Now that I am older, I want to jump, run, and play. Unfortunately, my poor knees cannot keep.
Several years ago, I was hanging out and drinking beer with a good friend of mine. It was a super hot muggy night in July. Andy had rigged up several house fans to promote air flow in the apartment. I was running through the apartment and tripped on one of extension cords. I heard a loud pop! My lower leg went one way while my knee went another. It hurt really, really bad.
I went to my doctor who advised me to stay off of it for a few days but with 101.1 KUFO’s Mayhem at the Meadows happening in less than a week, this wasn’t possible. I used crutches for a few days but the day of the event I tossed them aside. After twelve to fourteen hours of running around, I finally sat down and noticed that my left knee was the size of a small melon. And it ached. Badly.
I have since visited a few doctors who all recommended that I develop my leg muscles to help support my poor knees. It’s worked very well although my knees (especially the left) ache after a hard run or several flights of steps.
Tonight I went to Punk Rock Boot Camp at Studio X Fitness. Janan was in the process of kicking our collective asses when during a good jump, I heard the dreaded pop again. I lurched forward into the mirror trying to prevent myself from collapsing on the floor in front of 9 fellow boot campees. I hobbled over to the couch trying not to cry.
Now I am laying on my couch with a trashbag full of ice on my left knee while Andy is making dinner. Getting old sucks!
I remember my first beer. I was about seven or eight years old and hanging out in the backseat of my parents Monte Carlo at the city dump. My father enjoyed target shooting at the city dump probably because of the wide array of objects to choose from and there weren’t other people around. I have fond memories of the dump: playing in the HUGE tractor tires, looking through stuff, and playing hide-and-go-seek with my brother and sister.
Anyway, we were at the dump in the car probably tired and definitely bored. I think this is where we probably started whining about being thirsty. My dad handed a lukewarm can of Budweiser into the backseat. I remember my sister opening it up, taking the first drink, and making a face that conveyed exactly how much she did not like it. I vaguely recall my brother taking the next drink. Honestly I don’t remember if he enjoyed the experience or not. But I remember taking that can in my little hand, taking a big drink, and loving it. I took another hearty swig of that Budweiser and smacked my lips in appreciation. I loved the smell and taste of beer. It reminded me of some of my favorite family members: Nana, my Uncle Greg, and of course my dad.
Growing up in New Mexico, beers like Corona, Budweiser, and Coors were immensely popular. Homebrewing belonged to the hippies that lived out in the country on their communes. In high school, I tried hard alcohol with disastrous results. I won’t go into it as my mom reads this blog. I always came back to my beloved beer.
Eleven and a half years ago I moved to the Pacific Northwest and got to try my first craftbrew and homebrew. Since then, I had learned to appreciate a wide array of different beers, hops, brewing methods, and cask beer mostly thanks to the efforts of Andy. Now I love beer events such as tastings, festivals, and contests.
I encountered my fair share of sexism at bars while trying to order a nice craft brew. I remember once being at the Yardhouse in downtown San Diego and ordered a 22 ounce craft brew. The bartender remarked “That’s a pretty big beer for a lady.” I gently assured him I could handle it. A year or so ago, I was buying a few bottles of beer from a reputable selling and the clerk remarked, “Oh you’ll want to share this.” He lifted up a bottle of beer (I can’t remember the brand) and nodded at it as if it were a lethal brew.
So gentlemen, have no worries. Yes, I am a woman and yes, I love beer.
When I was a child, I remember being told things like “you’ll understand when you get older” or “it’ll make sense when you’re a grown up.” For the most part, I do understand and it does make sense. The one thing that still stings and hurts is: disappointment. It still sucks.
As an adult, I try not to get my hopes up. But sometimes you just can’t help it. As much as you try not to, it does happen sometimes. Then you’re left sitting there with that look on your face that says “I’m about to puke” or “Just leave me alone”.
I very recently tried not to get my hopes up about a certain something but it was inevitable. I tried to dampen my enthusiasm by pulling out “The Voice of Self Doubt” (Thank you Wil Wheaton for creating and developing this character so thoroughly in your book “Just a Geek”.) The Voice of Self Doubt carefully outlined all of the reasons this wouldn’t come to fruition by detailing each point in excruciating and painful language. But I didn’t listen. I’m not trying to dramatic (okay I am) or feel sorry for myself (yeah I guess I kinda am). But disappointment sucks.
Disappointment is a feeling that all humans can understand. I neither special or extraordinary in my feelings. Some people don’t get the promotion they want, some people may not get the mate they desire or more seriously get the organ transplant they need. What I’m trying to communicate to myself is that this may just be a bump in the road and there are more important things out there than my little thing. Keep it in perspective.
I wrote my first blog post for Beerporn yesterday. It was an interesting experience. Andy and I went to Belmont Station and stared longingly at the local beers (we both decided to stay at that cooler and not venture further as that added too many choices to the mix). We both chose seasonal ales. Andy got a 20 ounce Sierra Nevada while I choice two 12 ounce beers: Brrr (from Widmer) and Jubelale (from Deschutes).
It was hard getting started on my blog post so Andy suggested that I do more than sip and sniff the beer. I took a couple of good swigs of the 7.2% ABV beer and the writing muse slowly appeared. I provided all the background information on holiday ales but still had a rough time coming up with the actual body of the blog post. So I continued drinking the Brrr.
I finally was able to finish the post and hit publish but it wasn’t finished. In my slight beer buzz, I had made a few simple errors that were almost embarrassing. I finally was able to upload the photo that I had taken into the top of the blog post and finish editing it. I am rather happy with the fiinished product. Here take a look at Beerporn: “100 Writers, 1 Blog, All Beer”.
Tonight I made a Carrot and Dill Soup that I found in “1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes” written by Sue Spitler. It’s okay. Like I said in an earlier post, I had over five pounds of carrots to use. The recipe suggest to puree the soup. I didn’t want to do that because I was afraid of baby food soup. I used my stick mixer to puree part of the soup. Yep, it’s okay but think I might add some salsa or hot sauce. I’ll let you know.
As some of you know,I am involved in Twitter and by that I mean I am really activate in posting tweets and responding to other Tweople’s tweets. I follow a lot of people involved in the beer industry including bloggers, podcasters, and actual brewers. I saw a tweet advertising that @AlphaKing was starting up a new blog on Beerporn. The tag line is “100 Writers, 1 Blog, All Beer”. I jumped at the chance to participate and was very excited to be offered a role on the blog.
So yes, it will be a challenge to write for two blogs, participate in Twitter and Facebook, along with all my other activities but I think this is a great way to get more involved with the Beer World that Andy and I love so much. Andy is excited because this means that we get to run out to Belmont Station today to pick up a new beer. I think it would be easy to write about a beer I’ve all ready had, but I wanted an excuse to run out to our favorite beer store.
Stay tuned, folks! It will be a lot of fun! Cheers!
So I’ve been making a lot of soup lately. Two weeks ago, I made Andy a rich potato & leek soup. Last week, I made a spicy Thai soup that was pretty good. It had a sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, curry paste, onions, green beans,red peppers, and tofu. I added coconut milk for a bit of sweetness. Take a look:
Spicy Thai Soup
Soup is not only a great cold weather dish but it can help you to clean out your fridge. My soups are usually determined by what I have on hand. My next soup is going to be a carrot curry that I hope turns out well. I’m going to add a russet potato and a sweet potato. (I love sweet potatoes and hope to find more recipes that give me a chance to eat more of them.) Food 4 Less had a sale on carrots that I just couldn’t pass up. They were selling 5 pounds of carrots for under $2. I bought the 5 pounds even though I knew I had 2 pounds in the fridge. So I just finished making a carrot cake to help use up even more of them.
I went to Eugene for the day earlier this week to take care of some work stuff. I had to go over to Capella Market to take care of some business when I noticed that they had local organic leeks for $1.29 a pound. Now I could not pass that up! At Fred Meyer or Food 4 Less, leeks are about $3.00+ a pound. So, tonight I made some stir fry and will use the balance tomorrow to make another potato & leek soup for Andy. Hmmmm…soup.
Andy and I went to listen to Dr. Brian Greene last night at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. According to his page on Wikipedia:
Greene’s area of research is string theory, a candidate for a theory of quantum gravity, which attempts to explain the different particle species of the standard model of particle physics as different aspects of a single type of one-dimensional, vibrating string. One peculiarity of string theory is that it postulates the existence of extra dimensions of space – instead of the usual three dimensions of space, there must be nine or even ten spatial dimensions to allow for a consistently defined string theory. The theory has several explanations to offer for why we do not perceive these extra dimensions, one being that they are “curled up” (compactified, to use the technical term) and are hence too small to be readily noticeable.
Somehow I thought the astronomy class I took four years ago and countless hours of watching Nova had educated me enough that I would grasp what Dr. Greene was lecturing about. Yeah…..no, it didn’t. Add that and a really long work week and I was actually having issues keeping my eyes open. But I did learn a few things. Although I did know that the universe was expanding, I didn’t know that it was continuing to expand at a faster rate than it originally started at. I learned that the Large Hadron Collider will probably not create a black hole that the Earth will be sucked into. I also learned that although you might discover something first, someone else might win the Nobel prize for it. Dr. Greene shared an instance where a scientist discovered background radiation but didn’t get credit for it because no one took him serious. He also briefly described what string theory is. Please, do not ask me about it.
All in all, it was a great lecture. Dr. Greene was funny, passionate, and well a hottie! I really liked how he talked about how great scientists retain that childlike questioning of ‘why’. He gave several examples of how children sometimes force us to rethink about the ‘why’. I think I enjoyed this lecture more than Music and the Mind.