Sunday, February 24, 2019

Sunday Stealing--Compassion Questions

1. What is the most fun thing you have ever done?  Our trip to Puerto Rico in 2015.  Every day was an adventure!

2. Are you left-handed or right-handed?  Right-handed

3. What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you?  Forgive me. 

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4. What is the biggest animal you’ve seen in the wild?  Moose.  During the 3 years I lived in Alaska, I saw hundreds of them.  They are enormous.  They liked to graze on willows that were near where I parked my car on our property.  I would have to bang pots and pans at them to get them to move off so I could get to the car to go to work.  Get in a moose’s personal space and bad things happen…

5. What is the smallest animal you’ve seen in the wild?  A flea.  I’m assuming that being on a dog or cat is “in the wild” for the flea…

6. Do you ever have funny dreams at night?  I don’t remember my dreams most of the times, but the ones I do remember are either weird, or nightmares.  I rarely have “pleasant” or funny dreams.

7. If you could make a law for your country, what would it be?  Strict gun control, the second amendment be damned.  Something is seriously wrong with a country in which mass shootings don’t even last a 24-hour news cycle. 

8. What would you do if you were invisible for a day?  I don’t see the point of this one. 

9. If you could be someone else for a day, who would you be?  Not a clue, I’m pretty happy with just being me.

10. What would you like to change about yourself?  My perfectionism.  It really makes it hard to just relax and enjoy things as they are. 

11. What is your daily routine.  Wake up at 2am having a panic attack.  Get back to sleep finally, wake up at 4am, take the dog outside, feed the cats.  Make coffee, get dressed.  Grab a frozen dinner, and the coffee, and a water bottle, throw them in my work bag and drive 40 minutes to work.  Start work as a utilization review RN for a mid-sized hospital between 530 and 0600, work until noon.  Have lunch with my work buddy for 30 minutes.  Work until 230, head home.  Walk the dog to the park.  Take a bath, put on my comfy clothes, watch a TV show with hubs, surf, read the news, have dinner.  Watch another show or two, go to bed at 0800.  Wake up at 2am having a panic attack….rinse and repeat.

12. What would your perfect day be like?  Being on vacation somewhere fabulous with my husband, sightseeing, having unlimited spending money and staying in a luxury hotel. 

13. How old were you when you learned to read?  Three, according to my Mom.  I have loved reading all my life.  I sat at the kitchen table as a kid reading the back of the cereal box while eating my fruit loops.  I read encyclopedias and dictionaries.  Adult books and kid books.  The newspaper and magazines.  I was very fortunate to have parents that were big readers too—our house was filled with all of the above.

14. What is the most interesting thing you know?  Hahahahaha.  I am a collector of facts.  That is my hobby.  I think everything I know is interesting, lol. 

15. What makes you nervous?  I can’t tolerate being yelled at, other people yelling, angry voices.  It’s a huge trigger, and goes beyond just making me nervous…it’s more like panic.  

16. What is your favourite flower?  Iris

17. Have you ever ridden on a horse or any other animal?  I had horses from 12 to age 25.  I’d still have one if it weren’t prohibitively expensive to keep them.

18. What time do you go to bed?  On work nights, 8pm.  I’ll stretch it to 9 or 10 on the weekend.

19. What time do you get up?  4am.  I’ll go back to bed on the weekends after the morning dog walk and cat feeding, and if I’m lucky, sleep till 7.

20. Do you know how to swim?  Yep. 

Monday, February 18, 2019

Lovely Anniversary

Hubs and I celebrated our 14th anniversary on Friday with a mini-vacay.  We spent the night at Hotel Andaluz in Albuquerque (which is about 40 minutes from us).  This is a gorgeous, historic hotel in downtown Albuquerque.  It was the 4th hotel that the famous Conrad Hilton built, and has been beautiful remodeled with a Spanish theme.

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Joe and I love historic hotels, and this one really delivered.  The service was impeccable.  We went after work, got settled into our room, and then had an amazing, leisurely dinner at Mas Tapas Y Vino, which was in the hotel.  It was a great dining experience.  We had a plate of olives, roasted garlic, and grapes to start.  Then we moved to Spanish black pig "secreto", a super tender cut of pork shoulder grilled, on a crostini with carmelized onions.  Next up, perfectly fried oysters with chorizo, arugula, and a chile BBQ sauce.  Last, but not least, 2 perfect lamb t-bones on a bed of grits.  OMG, they were so tender, the grits were the best I've ever had (and being from Mississippi, I know grits), and the sauce, wow.  Sounds like a lot, I know, lol, but this occurred over 2-1/2 hours, and they are tapas--small plates.  For example, we each had 2 oysters. 

I can't wait to go back!  It was definitely a 5 star evening.  It was fun to dress up, get away from the animals, and have a luxurious evening.  We ordered room service the next morning, had a leisurely breakfast, and headed off to do our Saturday errands, lol. 

It was really nice to be close to home, yet have a magical stay.  I think next year we'll go back to Santa Fe, which is 40 minutes in the other direction from our house, lol.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sunday Stealing--Book Questions

1. Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?  Anything by James Patterson.  Any mystery actually….while they sound interesting in theory, I find myself putting them down after a couple of chapters.  Not my favorite genre.

2. If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?  Afternoon tea would be lovely!  I’d bring Lady Jessica from Frank Herbert’s Dune, Alessan di Tigana bar Valentin from Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana, and Naomi Nagata from James S. A. Corey’s The Expanse series. 

3. You are told you can't die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it's past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?  Atlas Shrugged.  What a snoozer.  And Ayn Rand’s politics definitely don’t match mine.

4. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you've read, when in fact you've been nowhere near it?  War and Peace.  Dostoevsky is just not my style.

5. As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to 'reread' it that you haven't? Which book?  I don’t think I’ve ever done this….

6. You've been appointed Book Advisor to a VIP (who's not a big reader). What's the first book you'd recommend and why?  The Martian, by Andy Weir.  It’s not incredibly long, the pacing is perfect, and there’s plenty of tension to keep our reader interested.  It could be an account of a real event, because it’s pretty near future.  It’s a great intro to sci-fi for someone who isn’t in to sci-fi. 

7. A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?  Chinese (both Mandarin and Cantonese).  There’s some great sci-fi coming out of China right now—it would be cool to read it in the original.

8. A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?  Shogun, by James Clavell.  I literally DO re-read this book every year, and have since I was a kid.  I am an inveterate re-reader.  My yearly list also includes Frank Herbert’s Dune, Guy Gavriel Kay’s Tigana, Philippa Gregory’s The Constant Princess, Mary Stewart’s Merlin trilogy, and more!  Rereading books is my ultimate self-soothing mechanism….it immediately decreases my stress levels and anxiety to fall into a world I know so well.

9. What's one bookish thing you 'discovered' from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?  I remember reading about The Girl on the Train in someone’s blog.  It was a good book.  Not re-readable, but definitely creepy good.

10. That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she's granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.  I’d love to have the library from Downton Abbey.  Comfy couches, crackling fireplace, big windows, and lots of leatherbound books.  They would be special, magical leatherbound books, because re-reading stuff is hell on books.  My dog at my feet, tea on the table, it would be wonderful!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Project Nineteen Check-In

Hubs was telling me something a couple of days ago, and he suddenly stopped and said "look at you, you're listening".  Which cracked me up, but also made me feel pretty good, since that IS my word for the year.  It's a struggle some days though.  Reading relaxes me, and I'm always reading something--a book, something online, something on my phone.  I have to literally force myself to stop, and look at the person talking to me.  Isn't that ridiculous?!  But I'm getting much better at it.

In other news, I'm eating healthier and have given up the whole diet part of this project.  I'd rather concentrate on eating more fruits and vegetables than having my whole world revolve around food.  I'm trying to move more and get stronger, however, the bum knee is making that difficult.  Hubs tried to teach me how to do mini-squats, and my knee couldn't' take it.  Nor can I climb stairs.  Too much walking and my gait gets all weird.  I know the knee needs replacing, but I'm putting it off as long as possible.  I'm hoping I can get another cortisone shot in the knee when I go to see the orthopedic surgeon.  On the up side, I'm doing upper body weight lifting.

So, the project is ok.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Sunday Stealing--Three Wishes #2

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16.) What is your favorite wild animal?  I love hawks of all kinds.  I see them daily all around us, perched on their favorite street lamp or post, waiting for a careless rabbit or dove to cross their path. We even drove into our driveway one day to a hawk munching on a dove in our front yard. 

17.) Name 3 of your favorite childhood shows:  Brady Bunch, Gilligan’s Island, and The Partridge Family

18.) If you could live as a character in a movie who would it be?   Well, that’s a tough one.  My first thought is Ripley from the Alien movies.  She is an absolute bad-ass, and we all know I love my sci-fi.
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19.) Favorite vegetable?  Cucumbers.  I love them quick pickled.  I recently discovered Korean pickled cukes, and OMG, are they good.  Spicy, sweet, little bit of crunch, and altogether just fabulous.  Here's a recipe.

20.) Favorite Fruit?  Honeycrisp apples

21.) If you had a dragon what would you name it?  George

22.) What do you put on hotdogs?  Brown mustard and chopped raw onions.  Mmmmmmm.

23.) Do you play online games?  Nope

24.) What's your favorite way to get inspired?  Reading.  Everything.  Magazines, newspapers, the Internet, books, the back of cereal boxes (I really did this as a kid), dictionaries, encyclopedias, Wikipedia.  You name it, I’m reading it.  Reading opens your world and your mind.  Remember this:  

25.) Do you have a middle name?  Indeed I do.  Very boring, very traditional.

26.) If you had to order from a kid's menu, what would you get?  Grilled cheese. 

27.) Do you speak any other languages?  I have a smattering of Spanish, but not enough to carry on a conversation.  It’s pretty pervasive here in New Mexico, so I’ve picked up some simple things.  I love Mija and Mijo, which is roughly “sweetie” here.  I think the direct translation is more like “my daughter” or “my son”.  The cashier in our cafeteria at work calls EVERYONE either mija or mijo.  Normally I would be offended to be called “sweetie”, but she smiles, and happiness just comes off her, so it feels sweet.  “Bueno, bye, mija!”

28.) Do you use Twitter?  Nope.  It’s not a platform I could ever get into. 

29.) Do you go onto YouTube?  Yes, mainly to learn how to do stuff.  I’m obsessed with dumpling pleating videos at the moment, because I’m making Chinese dumplings for dinner.  My last foray into dumpling making (below) went pretty well, those were pork and garlic and were steamed.  Tonight, we're having boiled seafood dumplings (shrimp and scallop).  Wish me luck!

30.) Do you play Angry Birds?  Never have, likely never will.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Saturday 9--Backfield in Motion

Saturday 9: Backfield in Motion (1969)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) This week's Saturday 9 has a football theme because there's a big game Sunday. Will you be watching?  Nope.  Not a big sports fan.

2) The Super Bowl is the second-largest day for food consumption in the US, second only to Thanksgiving. What's on your menu this weekend?  Just the usual.  We’re going out for Korean food again today, which I’m looking forward to.  Bring on the bibimbap!

3) Super Bowl Sunday is the #1 day for consuming guacamole. When did you most recently eat something with avocado in it?  About a month ago we had a nice plate of nachos with the requisite guacamole on it.

4) The Pro Football Hall of Fame is in Canton, OH. Have you ever visited Canton, or any other city in Ohio?  Ohio is one of the very few states I have never been in. 
5) This song mentions different moves that football players -- and, it seems, girlfriends -- can make that will result in penalties. What's the last rule you broke? What were the consequences?  Speeding.  The speed limit on I-25 (how I get from home to work) is 75mph.  I drive 85-90 mph, which is what the flow of traffic is doing.  Any slower and I’d be at risk of being run over, lol.  No consequences…yet.  I always slow down for the one speed trap.  The stretch of road I drive runs through 2 reservations and along a mountainside, so there’s only the one spot that they can really set up a speed trap, which is handy.

6) In 1969, the year this song was popular, the Colts lost to the New York Jets in Super Bowl III. The game is famous because of all the hype leading up to it, including Joe Namath "guaranteeing" his underdog Jets would win. Tell us about a time when you felt like an underdog.  I hated gym in school.  I was never athletically inclined, preferring books and riding horses.  I was one of those “last picked for the team” kids.  Uggghh.

7) This week's featured duo, Mel and Tim, are cousins from Mississippi. Tell us about one of your cousins.  I only have one cousin.  That shocks the hell out of most of my New Mexico friends, who all seem to have large families.  My cousin and I were born 2 days apart in the same hospital.  She is named after our parent’s sibling, who died at age 2 of diptheria during our family’s flight from Poland into Germany in 1945.  She lives in Texas, on a small ranch.  She raises painted desert sheep, and works as a vet tech.  She came out to visit a few years ago and we had a wonderful time.  We had lost touch for a decade or more, and thanks to the magic of Facebook, reconnected about 6 years ago.

8) The song is about a man who catches his girl cheating and he just won't put up with it. In romance, do you find it easy to forgive and forget?  I’m not a forgetter, and not super-great at forgiving either.  I have to work hard at it, and time helps.

9) Random question: You've collected a box of gently-used items to donate to a second hand store. What would it be most likely to contain: clothes, housewares, or books/video/music?  Clothes, definitely.  We NEVER give away books, lol!