Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:49 pm

Thanks for all the interesting comments as of late, everybody. I really need to comment on people’s blogs more. It’s very enjoyable to read and participate in that kind of discussion.

So I’m back on a healthy lifestyle plan after that Trivia-based long weekend of arteries-be-damneditude. I saw a recipe that looked good on Cookinglight.com that I’m going to try; tonight, however, is orange roughy with pineapple salsa. You don’t want to let your orange roughy sit around too long, or it will get a little too roughy, if you know what I mean.

I might make this tomorrow, though. I’ll post the recipe here in order to thwart those jerks who make you log in as a subscriber before you can get to the recipes. It’s like they don’t want you to misuse their proprietary information. Can you believe the nerve? Well, I’ll show them!

Glazed Pork

(note: I will probable halve this recipe and save the other .5 pork loin for another use, like burritos.)


  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp grouund cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Cut pork crosswise into 16 pieces
  2. Combine flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, salt, cumin, cardamom, and pepper; rub evenly over pork.
  3. Combine 1 tablespoon sugar, raisins, juice, vinegar, and capers, stirring until sugar dissolves.
  4. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 2 minutes. Turn pork over; cook 1 minute.
  5. Add vinegar mixture. Cook 1 minute or until sauce thickens and pork is done.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 4 pork pieces and 2 tablespoons sauce)

Nutrition per serving: CALORIES 234(25% from fat); FAT 6.5g (sat 1.5g,mono 3.8g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 27.9g; CHOLESTEROL 67mg; CALCIUM 20mg; SODIUM 482mg; FIBER 1g; IRON 2.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 15.5g


Home again

Filed under: — Aprille @ 6:06 pm

We’re home from Trivia. Actually we left a bit early and got home last night, which is a good thing because Denny had a pretty rough night of coughing. He actually went out and slept on the couch part-way through the night so as not to disturb me. That was very nice of him.

We’ve both been sick for an entire week now. Surely it’s almost done. I feel like I’m making progress; my head no longer feels full of cement at least.

Oh! Last night as we were driving home, we were trying to exit off the 12/18 Beltline around Madison onto 151 south, but the exit was blocked off. Traffic was all backed up on the other side, too, and it looked like that exit was closed as well. We ended up getting off at the next exit and getting directions at a little Mexican grocery for an alternate way to 151.

It turns out there was a fatal hit-and-run on the Beltline right around that time. I guess they caught the guy, fortunately. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if you cause a five-car pileup seriously enough to kill someone, fleeing the scene is not the best course of action. It’s very bad manners.

Apparently he went to call for help. I guess that was a good idea, because probably nobody around had, say, a CELL PHONE.


Things that annoy me

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:05 pm
  1. People who refer to their spouses or significant others as “my better half.” What, you’re only half a person on your own? And worse yet, you’re a crappy half-person? Get some self-respect, JERK.
  2. How the only nasal decongestant that really works is the spray stuff, and you can’t keep using that or you’ll get addicted and be an Afrin junkie. Weak.
  3. “Conversations” that are not actually conversations at all, but opportunities for someone to perform and show off how clever he/she is while having no interest in the contributions of the other person in the conversation.

Come to think of it, if someone who is inclined to #3 commits #1, it may well be accurate. Hm.


Trivia update

Filed under: — Aprille @ 3:07 pm

What would I be doing right now if it were a regular weekend?

I might be…

  • Shopping at JoAnn’s.
  • At a matinee movie with DC.
  • Grocery shopping
  • Reading a pleasant library book (right now I’m reading Haunted: A Novel of Stories by Chuck Palahniuk) in my favorite chair, the Kaspar

Instead, I’m answering trivia questions. For example:

“In Independence, Missouri, in the 1800’s, according to the PC game Oregon Trail 3rd edition, what are your first three options or tasks before setting out?”

Answer: Join a wagon. Form a wagon. Visit the hotel.

Trivia: Hour 13

Filed under: — Aprille @ 11:56 am

…though it’s really only about hour 4 for me. I admit that I took my stuffy-headed self to the hotel around midnight, and I just got back here about an hour and a half ago. So far I think the Holy Brogan Empire (the team formerly known as Bank of Kaukauna) is ahead by about 10. That is not a very comfortable margin. I shouldn’t complain, though, because I haven’t exactly been a lot of help.

Here’s a sample question: “The man responsible for discovering Lynard Skynard was in a popular group. What was their hit song?”

Answer: “Short Shorts”


I don’t want to be a stupid girl

Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:57 am

We’re headed out to Trivia pretty soon here. I hope I survive.

Pink’s new video is pretty funny. The only part I don’t like is at the end, when the correct answer is obviously for the little girl to choose the football over the Barbies. Some of us just suck at football, OK?


Congested sinuses and pretty dresses

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:41 am

Hi. I’m still not feeling great, but I’m back at work. I didn’t have much choice, since we’re understaffed already due to a training session, plus my usual backup is out sick too. I’d like to thank all those pharmaceutical geniuses who invented decongestants, and I’d like to shake my fist in rage at those jerks who make meth out of them and therefore make me have to sign away my first-born child just to buy some damn Sudafed.

And yes, we’re still going to Trivia tomorrow. That’s the 50-consecutive-hour annual Trivia contest. It’s very important to Denny. It may well be the last one; there have been some changes with the way the contest is run that may or may not work out very well, and not to count clichés before they’re hatched or anything, but a year from now I might be gestating a human and not feeling inclined to attend.

We did get a hotel room; there’s not a chance I’m sleeping on the floor under these circumstances.

What else is on my mind: I know that I don’t actually get to choose Sara’s wedding dress for her, but wouldn’t she look pretty in this?

Or this?

Or this?

The whole Pronovias line makes me think of Sara: kind of antique (she was a history major) and artistic (she’s currently studying arts management) and elegant (just because she is).


Wedding mania

Filed under: — Aprille @ 12:35 pm

So here I was, thinking that I haven’t been to a wedding in a while (come to think of it, I think the last one I attended was ours). Then, all of a sudden, people started setting their dates, and now we’ve got quite the line-up.

June: Angie and Ransom, right here in the Iowa City area
August: Kaspar and Sabine in Norway
September: Denny’s cousin in Washington, D.C. (we’re not sure if we’re going to that or not; it depends on finances. I’ve always wanted to visit D.C., though)
October: Mark and Natalie in California
November: Sara and Joe in Minneapolis

It’s all so exciting! I’m especially thrilled because I am going to be an attendant at Sara’s. She’s the one who’s studying in London right now, whom my other friends and I are going to visit next month. Too bad the exchange rate is so bad; it would really be fun to go wedding dress/bridesmaid dress shopping in London. I’m sure it’s all terribly fabulous there, fashion-wise.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:56 pm

I had to take Denny home at noon because he’s sick. When I left the house to come back to work, he was lying on the couch, still wearing his coat and hat and gloves. Poor puppy. I’m making him some Self-Pity Chicken Soup.

TOP SECRET: I’m not feeling so hot myself. I’m going to keep Zicam-ing and hoping for the best. It doesn’t feel like the beginning of anything full-blown horrible; I’m just feeling kind of sinusy and groggy. Don’t tell. I have tons to get done this week.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 5:00 pm

I found a site with interesting stereotypes about different nations.

Who knew that Kenyans were good with metaphors?

Here it is.

Get yer hands offa me Lucky Charms

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:29 pm

The weekend was pretty nice. We had a very-belated Christmas get-together with my dad’s side of the family, including my cute cousinlet Maxwell. He’s three. The funniest thing he does right now is mix up the phrases “You crack me up” and “You drive me nuts.” It’s pretty hilarious to hear a three-year-old say, “You crack me nuts!”

He sounds like a leprechaun who got hit in the groin.


Slooooow brain

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:17 pm

Man, I am really dragging today. Technically speaking I’m healthy, but several little things aren’t quite right with my body. On last night’s run I managed to cultivate myself a meta-blister (that is, a blister on top of a blister), and I feel it every time I take a step. My running shoes are a little too big, but they’re still fairly new so I don’t want to go spend more money. I wear two pairs of socks and try to lace them up pretty tightly, but they still give me blisters. I usually wear a size 8 shoe, occasionally a 7.5, but when I tried these on, the 8s felt too small so I got an 8.5. MISTAKE. Apparently they stretched out.

But anyway, all is not lost. It’s Friday. I’m going to hang out with my cousins this weekend, which is always fun, and then on Sunday I have the last Christmas celebration of the season. It was hard to work out the schedule with that side of the family, so we’re finally getting it done. Which reminds me, I have some gift-wrapping to do.

I was hoping to go to a movie tonight, since the film Sarah Silverman: Jesus is Magic is playing, but I may have to wait until next week since there are things I need to get done tonight and I’m feeling kind of low-energy. I’m really glad it came to town, though; Sarah Silverman is my total hero.


Home improvement plans

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:12 pm

I’m getting tired of my banner image. I hope I get some good photos in London and can use one of them.

Denny and I are trying to get motivated to make some improvements to the house. We need to finish painting the kitchen. Right now they have the hideous wallpaper mostly removed and the walls are primed, but not painted. Also, when the previous owners put in the wallpaper, they did an extremely thorough job. For example, they seem to have actually moved out the stove and refrigerator, wallpapered the walls, then moved the appliances back. That means that to finish the wallpaper removal job, we’re going to have to move those bad boys somehow.

We also want to paint the living room, put laminate floors down in one of the rooms in the basement, and do something to the basement walls other than that creepy ’70’s paneling that’s there now.

We also really need an entertainment center or two, because one TV is sitting on the floor in the living room, and the other one is sitting on an old end table handed down from my parents.

I don’t really know where we’re going to find the time or money to do these things, but I guess we’ll figure it out somehow. Denny recently went to a seminar on how to be a millionaire, so I’m really hoping that pans out for him, what with his money being half mine and all. We could buy a really great entertainment center for a million dollars. It would be made out of solid diamonds and saffron.


Phone phone work work phone work phone

Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:56 am

Hey, guess what? My welts are gone and I don’t feel weird anymore. And, best of all, my phone isn’t ringing as much today as it was yesterday (a bold claim to make at 9:23 a.m., I know).

One bad thing about the start of the semester is that our graduate assistants go back to part time (they often work full-time over breaks). The first week of classes is still a busy time, yet we suddenly have fewer employee hours to work with. Yikes. Yesterday I turned off my phone to try to work on conference planning. The problem is, my phone has a little light that flashes when it’s ringing, even when I have the ringer turned off. I made the stupid mistake of answering once when nobody else could take it, and that phonecall created a situation that made me need to call product support, and product support said they’d call back. So from that point on, I had to answer the phone every time it rang because maybe it would be product support.

It never was. The product support guy emailed.

Regardless, I got a fair amount done. I have to decide what conference schwag to give away. If you were attending this conference, which of the following would you most like to get? Naturally, all of the below will be emblazoned with the ICON logo and possibly the support line phone number. Not my phone number.

  • Carabiner highlighter (aka a highlighter with a metal clippy thing that you can attach to a belt loop or a backpack or whatever)
  • Insulated lunch bag
  • Magnet (plastic with logo)
  • Business card magnet (rectangular with a business card on it)
  • Stainless steel mug
  • Little tins with tiny mints
  • Post-it notes

I think the stainless steel mugs and little tins of mints are the coolest, though unfortunately they’re expensive. But if I were attending the conference, I might rather get one cool thing than a bunch of little crap. What about you?



Filed under: — Aprille @ 9:19 am

I went to bed last night feeling perfectly fine, but when I woke up this morning I felt a little odd. I just shrugged, squirted some Zicam up my nose, and hit the shower. Then, after my shower, as I completed my grooming rituals, I noticed that I have a crescent-moon-shaped series of welts on my chest. I’ve had intermittent chills and hot flashes all morning (which is only like 2.5 hours so far, but still).

Can spider bites do that to a person? I try to be nice to spiders. I don’t usually kill them. I try to divert them outdoors or just ignore them completely, under the perhaps misguided illusion that we can coexist.
And this is the thanks I get. Can spider bites cause vaguely feverish symptoms? I’ve heard that all spiders are poisonous, just most of them aren’t powerful enough to hurt a human much. But I have like 8 welts that might be spider bites. Maybe it’s a cumulative effect.

P.S. If you leave comments, please don’t be discouraged by the fact that the comment total doesn’t increase in number. It’s there, I promise. My stupid site is just being stupid.



Filed under: — Aprille @ 10:38 pm

My stupid site is worse than ever. It’s showing an inaccurate number of comments. For example, the previous post actually has three comments on it, but would you know that? NO! And the ante-previous (I made that word up based on the Spanish word anteayer, which means “the day before yesterday”) post has three comments as well, but it’s only showing one.

Grr. When I first tested it, it seemed to be working fine, but now I’m seeing that error again, along with the inaccurate comment numbering. STUPID.


My lunch

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:09 pm

For Christmas, Denny and I both got generous gift boxes from Penzey’s Spices, which included lots of different spice blends I’d never tried before. Just for everyone’s information, Fox Point Seasoning is really good in tuna salad.

I will de-Hasselhoff your life

Filed under: — Aprille @ 8:42 am

I thought I ought to post something so that scary David Hasselhoff picture isn’t my top entry for the whole three-day weekend.

Denny and I saw Brokeback Mountain last night. It was quite good. The cinematography was beautiful, with lots of pretty landscapey mountainy stuff. Heath Ledger’s performance was great. At first when I heard that there’s a lot of Oscar buzz for him but not for Jake Gyllenhall, I felt bad for J.G., but Ledger’s performance really was the standout. To be fair, he had a more interesting character written for him. Restraint is a very interesting trait, and his understated performance really communicated the internal struggle he was feeling trying to resolve restraint versus indulgence.

Best supporting actress should go to Anne Hathaway’s hair. Holy crap, she had some hilarious hairdos.

OK…now I am going to be brave and try to upgrade to WordPress 2.0. I have a haircut at 11 a.m.; I hope I’m done in time.

See you on the other side.


Weekend weekend weekend

Filed under: — Aprille @ 1:27 pm

Congratulations to ME on getting through a long and difficult work-week. I still have lots to do on this one project, but I may just block off my entire schedule on Tuesday and not answer the phone or email so I can work on it.

I’m even working through lunch today, not so much because I’m so terribly dedicated, but because there were bagels at work this morning and I ate two of them, so I wasn’t hungry for lunch. Maybe I’ll leave early. That’ll teach ’em to buy bagels for the staff.

In other gross news, David Hasselhoff is getting a divorce. Denny had better consider himself lucky that he married me when he did, because if I were a single woman…rowr!


Theme? No, there’s not. Why do you ask?

Filed under: — Aprille @ 2:48 pm

Well, Diana’s out, which is a shame, but she was kind of wishy-washy. And at least she took Marla down with her. Marla has no vision. I don’t mean she’s blind, though. I’m pretty sure she can see.

It’s 50 degrees outside. It might snow tonight and tomorrow morning. Will the weirdness never cease?

So, got any plans for the weekend? I don’t. I might try to see Brokeback Mountain. I really want to see Transamerica, but I haven’t heard about it coming to a theatre near me. Maybe I will finish up that jacket I was working on. I kind of ran out of steam when it came time to add the lining. Lining is boring.

Today is January 12. It is nearly halfway through January, which makes us 1/24th of the way through 2006. Dang. It’s weird to know that this is my last century. I guess I should consider myself lucky, since some people only get to live in one century and I’ve already been in two, but it irks me a little that I’ll never get to say that I’m 1/24th of the way through 2100. I suppose it’s possible that I might live to be 123; I have some long-lived genes floating around in me.

And for those of you who get uppity about centuries starting in xx01 instead of xx00, keep in mind that our dating system is completely arbitrary. It’s based on the birth of Jesus, who for the sake of argument I will stipulate was an actual historical figure. But his exact date of birth is unknown; most scholars believe it was sometime in the spring, and Christmas was moved to December to coopt pagan winter solstice celebrations. What’s more, it wasn’t until quite a while after his death that his religious movement caught on, so who knows what the actual year was? Time and dates are all about approximations and context. This may be why I didn’t particularly relish history classes, except when they let us do essay exams instead of multiple choice.

In summary, it’s silly to get fussy about a detail that’s based on an arbitrary starting point anyway.

Regardless, I might just live to 124 so I’ve got my bases covered.

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