Thursday, February 19, 2009

I boiled it.

I was reading my favorite food blog, and she recently posted about oatmeal pancakes. Shauna was totally exuberant because she found gluten-free oats, which means she can eat oatmeal again. Honestly, I was a little grossed out by her desire to eat oatmeal.

I've never liked oatmeal. For me, that's a pretty extreme statement. I was never the picky eater. I've always eaten absolutely anything. But I always hated oatmeal. Part of it, probably, is the connection to one of my worst middle school memories.

It was October of my 7th grade year, and one morning I got up and my mom wasn't there because she was at the hospital delivering my youngest sister. My older sister made us breakfast, and she made hot oatmeal. I'm not sure why I ate it, but I distinctly remember eating at least some of it. Then I went to school.

I started not feeling well in 1st period, and then in 2nd period I threw up in class. The teacher was brand new that year, and he was just horrified, and had no idea what to do with me. So someone took me to the nurse, but no one was home (hospital - new baby) and so I had to stay at school.

Now, many, many years later, I realize that event, and the subsequent teasing, probably had absolutely nothing to do with the oatmeal. I was probably sick anyway. But I've never tried oatmeal again.

Until I read the Gluten-Free Girl's post about oatmeal pancakes.

I love pancakes! I make pancakes almost every Sunday - for lunch or dinner, never for breakfast. Pancakes are a special treat, and I get frozen fruit to put on top, or I have special exotic jams from the farmer's market. Once I even made my own strawberry syrup. And so, I decided to try the oatmeal pancakes.

They were fabulous! A little heavier, more filling than regular pancakes, good texture, good absorption of the frozen berry juices. Yum.

But in the process of making oatmeal pancakes, I had a little extra cooked oatmeal. So I ate it. Waste not, want not. A penny saved, and all of that. I just can't throw food away. Plus, I have grown to like sweet potatoes, which I also hated as a kid.

Oatmeal is gross.

You love me! You really love me!

I never did the 25 things on Facebook. Although maybe I should have, because now, even major news sources are doing 25 random things. (I'm starting to think we should boycott Facebook, it's becoming far too mainstream). This one, though, is an award, not just a demand for information.... Maybe I'll remember something interesting.

Here's the scoop...
1.Choose a minimum of 7 blogs and show the 7 winners' names and links on your blog, and leave a comment informing them that they were prized with "Honest Scrap", the nifty icon they can display proudly on their blog.
3. List at least 10 honest things about yourself.

here's my honest scrap:
1. I took a karate class when I was in college, and actually did learn 7 ways to kill a guy with my bare hands.
2. I hated to write in high school. And for most of college. Now I teach writing to students who hate it. It's a unique perspective, but the surprising part is they are surprised when I say I used to hate writing.
3. I never exercised until 4 years ago. Now I try to get everyone to join a gym.
4. My idea of a perfect Friday is to go home from work, get Thai food and ice cream which I then get to eat while watching the latest episode of The Office followed by a redbox movie. Perfect Fridays used to be better when I got to do all that with Becky.
5. I was telling a friend the other day that I am disproportionately sized, which makes it really hard to find clothes. After that conversation I realized it has been 3 years since I bought a pair of pants. (Is that abnormal?)
6. When I was little, I ran into my brother's head and knocked out my front tooth. I didn't have a front tooth for 3-4 years.
7. I lived in Italy, and I think catholic cathedrals are amazing.
8. When I tell people that I lived in Italy, they are always amazed. And then when they ask what part I always tell them, Como - which is where George Clooney has his villa, Torino - where the olympics were, Bergamo, and Verona - like Romeo+Juliet Verona.
9. When I was little, I told my dad I wanted to be a dentist when I grew up. He was really disappointed that I didn't actually do that.
10. I had my first job interview on my 16th birthday, even before I went and got my driver's license.

Blogs I tagged to get this award:
#1 Becky
#2 Eden
#3 Mandi
#4 Jamie
#5 Courtney
#6 Carla
#7 Heather
#8 Kim

And what I learned from this experience: I don't read enough personal blogs, because I had to repeat all the tags that Heather did.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

You have a solid point dear... but right now the lessons of my life are coming in handy for you.

I teach a 3 hour long class on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I love it. The class is super-small (only 10 students), and they really click together.

Of course it's hard to pick a favorite student when the class as a whole is so good, but there is one student that I especially like. He reminds me of a friend of mine and is just funny. I'm sure you are all thinking how terrible I am for having favorites, but let's face it, my only aberration is in admitting that I have favorites.

This particular student, let's call him Marco, was on a roll tonight. We were talking about writing with specific language, and for everything that someone tossed out as a more specific way to word a sentence, he added a note to "Marco's life lessons."

Lesson 1: You should take cash with you. Everywhere.
This first came up because we wrote about Audrey (a fictional person) going into a building. To be more specific I had the students select different places she could go and what she would need there. The first place was a courthouse, and Marco assured us that she would need cash, because tickets and bail cannot be paid by check.

Audrey continued her journey by going to Las Vegas, Florida, and the basketball game. At each of these venues she needed cash. Marco's point was validated.

Lesson 2: You should pack AirBorne when you travel to Las Vegas.
According to Marco, you will get sick when you come home. Just go prepared.

Lesson 3: You should never run a marathon. Ever.
He regaled us with the story of his sister who ran the Phoenix marathon and people who were being dragged over the finish line. In the 26th mile, their supporters would come out of the crowds and pick them up and carry them across the finish line. But for that to be "legal" their feet had to touch the ground.

I'm feeling skinny, Tony!

I'm procrastinating. I got kind of stressed last night because I feel less prepared for this week than I usually try to be. Too many meetings taking up too much of my time, plus an aversion to bringing home schoolwork on the weekends makes me less prepared.

And here I sit, blogging...

At work, we have a fitness person. I don't remember his actual title, but he coordinates things. So he has begun a new thing for everyone on campus: the fitness challenge. This particular challenge is two-fold, a walking challenge and a weight-loss challenge. For the next 7 weeks people on campus are participating in these two challenges that boil down to wearing a pedometer.

I joined one of the groups. Not because I am trying to lose weight, or because I am trying to increase my number of steps. I caved to peer pressure. But I was interested to wear the pedometer because I was curious about how much I actually walk. (I feel like my job is largely sedentary, which is why I keep upping my gym time).

Yesterday morning was the first morning of the challenge, and so there was a flurry of activity as people were trying to get their pedometers set, get signed up on the website that will track our progress, and figure out what we have to do. As I walked down the hallway (to pick up copies, not just to walk), two of my team members stopped me to talk about our walking. My boss was standing there and overheard us talking.

One of the ladies was focusing on the weightloss portion of this challenge, and my boss said to me, "You are trying to lose weight? What, do you want to disappear? You'll have to run around in the shower to get wet! There won't be anything left!"

My response, "You sound like you are in 6th grade. I think that's the last time I heard the 'run-around-in-the-shower' insult."

Which has never been applied to me before.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Don't worry people, no need for alarm, it's just a good-old fashioned, low-tech stick up!

New favorite line from student writing:
"For these two reasons being a college students and a fool time worker is not always a wonderful thing."

And I'll round out the post with another gym story. This morning, I had a great workout. Some killer squats, lots of lunges, and ran really hard. Then I jumped in the shower (of course not literally, that would be weird), and when I had just put up my hand to shut the water off, the fire alarm started to ring.

It was 28 degrees this morning, and I was soaking wet. I immediately hit my target heart rate again, and thought "What do I do?"

I decided there was no way I was going outside. So I grabbed my towel.

Fortunately, the fire alarm stopped ringing after four rings, so I wasn't in danger of being consumed by an actual fire.

Once my heart slowed back down, I started thinking of all those times in college when the fire alarm would ring in the dorm. All those most inconvenient times, like at 2 in the morning, or 7 when you were just getting in the shower, and how everyone did actually have to leave the building.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

And hell is just a sauna.

Today I walked down the hallway after a meeting, and had to duck and weave around a large group of students wearing "empathy bellies." Yeah, it is what you are thinking, if what you are thinking is that it is a pregnant belly that gets tied on.

The funny part of this was ... well, first, that both boys and girls were wearing the bellies. Second that they were walking up and down the hallway in an attempt to get a real feel for the bellies. And third, they were really into it.

But all I could think was

(you can skip to min. 8:44 for the part I was really thinking about).

Thanks Heather and Liz for the embedding tips!