Music and Words

September 23, 2011

About Those Meals…

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 8:23 pm

So I finally got around to making those Creamy Beef Taquitos – only I made them with ground turkey instead of beef – they were fantastic. Excellent. I loved them.

I pretty much love anything involving ground meat and taco seasoning. It’s good stuff, and I actually know how to cook ground turkey! Bonus!

In fact, I’m pretty good at cooking ground turkey/beef, if I do say so myself. Turns out very tasty. Throw that stuff into a tortilla, add a little freshly-grated cheese, and…fantastic. No, I don’t add anything else. I don’t really like vegetables, or tomatoes. Or anything else that usually goes in tacos/burritos/whatever. I know, I eat like a 5-year-old. You should see me with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

I’m also good with eggs, and I make a mean bowl of cereal. That’s about it. I’ve even messed up macaroni-and-cheese out of a box. I told a couple 7th-graders this the other night and both of them wanted to know how I managed that. Even 7th-graders know that’s hard to do.

I over-cook the noodles, if you’re wondering. Makes for pretty nasty macaroni-and-cheese. Probably better if you just trust me on that.

I don’t really have a whole lot to say tonight. It might be time to give up.

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September 15, 2011

Story of My Life

Filed under: Thoughts — melomania @ 11:39 am

This comic perfectly illustrates the story of my life.

The only thing I would add is that I tend to manage pretty well being super-responsible at work, and my brain can’t handle doing it at home all the time too.

So then I break down into a spiral of watching all 58 episodes of Castle currently in existence in three weeks.

Completely unrelated: the kitchen is a disaster and I refuse to admit how long it’s been that way.

September 12, 2011

Meal Planning Follow-Up

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 12:23 pm

My meal planning a few weeks ago wasn’t all that effective, if I’m being perfectly honest. I made a few of the meals I had planned (although not on the days that I had planned). On the bright side, I did go to the gym as often as I had planned, although again, not on the days that I said I would.

Oh well.

So this week I’ve got to come up with some ideas that might actually work. I went back to living on bowls of cereal for a few days. That was particularly problematic because I didn’t have any milk or cereal in the house after I got back from my vacation over Labor Day weekend. I lived on eggs for a few days, actually. That’s probably better than bowls of cereal, but I digress.

I have a busy week planned for this week, and since writing is the best way for me to process all the stuff in my head, that’s what I’ll do.

Monday

Tonight’s plan is easy. I’m going to a weekly Bible study that starts tonight. I’m taking the daughter of some friends with me, which means I’m going to their house to pick her up (and eat dinner) before the study. I rely on this family a lot to feed me dinner, actually.

Tuesday

I’ll be going to the gym on Tuesday, so I need a meal that will be quick to prepare. I’m thinking chicken and rice is a good plan.

Wednesday

Pasta with sauce and diced chicken. I’ll be sure to make extra so I can take some to work in the morning.

Thursday

My gym offers a cardio-kickboxing class on Thursday nights that I’ve been meaning to try. I’ll have to go straight there from work, however, which means I’ll need to make sure I bring lunch with me and eat it late, so I’m not starving when I leave work.

Friday

This is usually the day my meal plan totally falls apart because I don’t feel like cooking anything on Friday nights. Or Saturdays. Or any night really, but that’s not the point. Fridays and Saturdays are also the days that I often wind up eating out, either at a restaurant or someone’s house.

So, compromise: on either Friday or Saturday this week, I will make those creamy beef taquitos that I never got around to trying. (Side note: I’m planning to use turkey instead of beef. Because I already have turkey in the house.)

I’ll make another trip to the gym on Saturday as well. I use the weekend gym trips to swim in the pool, because I don’t feel like I have time for that on the weekdays after work.

August 20, 2011

Meal Planning, Week of 8/21/11

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 4:19 pm

So, meal planning. Yeah, that needs to happen. Because I need to stop spending so much money all the time, and I need to be eating a little healthier.

In some cases, this means I need to be eating something. In other cases, this means I need to not be eating bowls of cereal for dinner 3 days in a row.

Sunday

Frozen pizza from Schwann’s. Hey, I said a little healthier.

Monday

Tacos. (I make them with ground turkey.) This means I need to remember to buy taco seasoning when I get around to going to the grocery store. I’m planning to go to the gym on Monday night too. Tacos are quick and easy, so the gym might actually happen after dinner.

Tuesday

Chicken with basil. Not very descriptive, but I know I’ve got chicken in the freezer, and basil growing in the backyard that’s ready to be used. Also, maybe I’ll also throw together some bruschetta as a side dish.

Wednesday

Egg salad. I don’t like mayonnaise, so I’ve found some mayo-free recipes online for egg salad. The one I have in mind uses ricotta cheese and Greek yogurt instead. The gym is in the plan for Wednesday night as well.

Thursday

Pineapple chicken.

Friday

I’ll plan to go to the gym in the afternoon today as well. I’ve got this lighter version of fettucini alfredo in mind for Friday night. I love pasta, and I love alfredo sauce. I mean, I really love it. Also, it’s very likely that I’ll just be using whatever kind of pasta I happen to have in the pantry.

Saturday

Creamy beef taquitos. Isn’t it amazing what Google can produce?

This plan should provide me with lots of leftovers to eat for lunch at work during the days. (That’s where that whole no-spending-money thing comes in.) Of course, in order to make all this stuff, I need to go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of ingredients. I haven’t ever actually sit down and done the math to determine if cooking really is cheaper than going to Chipotle every day. Because it sure feels expensive when I’m checking out at the grocery store.

March 11, 2011

Post-Grad

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 1:09 pm

It’s amazing how much more I appreciate days off now that I work for a living. in college, I always had homework to do, or a low bank account balance to worry about. Today, I can sit here and smell fresh-cut grass, watch my dogs snooze, and be incredibly thankful for my job. No homework, no job search, no worrying about what I’m going to do after graduation.

My degree is in music theory. It was a valid concern, especially since I never did wind up marrying a doctor.

I spent so many years of my life doing homework and studying for tests that I honestly didn’t know what life would really be like when I didn’t have to do it anymore.

On a completely unrelated note: I’m pretty sure the application deadline for grad school has passed already, so that’s not happening this year.

Oh, darn.

January 9, 2011

Making the Giffords Shooting Personal

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 1:50 pm

Yesterday morning, US Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot at close range through the head during a political event here in Tucson. Actually, this took place at an intersection I drive through almost every day, although I was at home at the time. The bullet went all the way through her head, piercing her brain, and she has survived. She went through brain surgery yesterday and is still sedated but she was talking both before and after the surgery. 6 people were killed, and 14 others injured.

This event, although tragic, doesn’t seem like it affects my family personally. We don’t know any of the victims, we weren’t there, and I didn’t even get caught in the traffic caused by road closures. However, I knew that Rep. Giffords was involved in the process my brother went through to get into the Air Force Academy. I just didn’t remember how much.

When students apply to a service academy, the application process is long and involved (to put it mildly) and one of the things they have to do is get a nomination from a senator or representative from their state. Doug interviewed with John McCain, John Kyl, and Gabrielle Giffords.

Each congressman and senator is allowed to make five appointments per year, as are the US President and Vice President. After his interview with John McCain, Doug was told that he had received a nomination to the Naval Academy, but as McCain’s third alternate. Three people would have to decide not to go, or be denied admission, for Doug to receive the nomination.

John Kyl told Doug that he was not going to give him a nomination because he already had one from McCain. The competitive nature and limited number of nominations means the senators and congressmen guard them very carefully.

Doug interviewed with Giffords, meeting her husband, an astronaut, in the process as well. She gave him a nomination to the Naval Academy and the Air Force Academy. As it turned out, Doug was turned down by the Naval Academy, but accepted at Air Force. He’s in his third year there.

In talking to Doug yesterday, I summarized his experience by saying, “So, if it weren’t for Gaby Giffords, you wouldn’t be at the Air Force Academy at all?”

Doug responded, “If it weren’t for her, I wouldn’t be at any service academy.”

December 22, 2010

So this just happened

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 10:57 pm

A box arrived via FedEx at our house today with my name on it. It’s a Christmas present.

Dad: Aren’t you going to wrap it?

Me: What’s today, the 22nd? I’ve got plenty of time!

Honestly, the fact that I won’t be out Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve is an accomplishment for me this year.

July 13, 2010

Organization is Annoying

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 8:49 pm

I tend to be a little obsessed with being organized. My mother will tell you that I’m actually obsessed with ways of getting organized and not with staying organized (as evidenced by how often I was told to clean my room as a child). I’m also a little obsessed with office supplies – pens, post-its, notebooks, etc. Let me tell you, back-to-school shopping was my absolute favorite time of the year.

I’ve struggled to find a good way to keep track of a to-do list for years now. When I was in high school, I used a planner. At least, I did for a few months at the beginning of every semester. For a while I wrote all my homework assignments on the back of my hand. By the time I graduated high school, I was doing what most other people were doing – grab someone walking by and ask them if we had homework in [insert class here]. It was a small school, so that worked.

When I got to college, I alternated back and forth between keeping a planner and storing all my homework assignments in one program or another on my laptop. Of course, the problem with putting everything on a computer is that the computer has to be out of your bag and turned on to use it. Profs who threw out homework assignments at the very end of the period caused some problems.

I got through college ok, and now don’t have any homework to do anymore.

(By the way, that right there is the best part of graduating. Sometimes I find myself missing classes and free time and lunches with friends, and then I remember – once I get home from work, I DON’T HAVE TO THINK ANYMORE! It’s wonderful.)

My to-do list isn’t filled with assignments anymore, it’s filled with work-related things. Or reminders to take out the trash. (I forget that a lot. Speaking of things I forget, I should go get the mail.) Basically, there are two main ways I can go about keeping a to-do list: analog and digital.

Analog (paper and pen)

Pros: I can organize my stuff however I want. I can scribble stuff down without waiting for something to sync or load. I can create drawings and arrows to form my own shorthand. No spellcheck. (My iPhone is making me crazy with the way it doesn’t understand that ppwk is simply short for paperwork.)

Cons: A notebook stays in my purse/bag until I take it out, and honestly, that’s a lot of hassle for me. I have to pull it out and open it up, and I don’t have a very good memory. By the time I’ve done all that, I may have forgotten why I pulled the thing out to begin with. Of course, the pen is separate, and also in my bag, which means I have to find it. You see, girl pants are not designed for utility. Most of the pants I wear to work don’t even have a back pocket, and the front pockets are so short they’re almost useless. My jeans are ok, but I don’t wear them to work. Also, I’m left-handed, so a lot of notebooks just aren’t all that comfortable for me to use.

Digital (web app or phone)

Pros: Can sync lists across different places without carrying an actual notebook around with me. (This is a major bonus.) I type faster than I write, and my handwriting isn’t very good. I can set up recurring events which will remind me to take out the trash, give the dog her heartworm medication, and pay bills. My phone is always usually in my pocket, so it’s easy for me to pull out and use quickly.

Cons: I have to wait for stuff to load on my phone or a web page, which means there’s still a chance I might forget what I was doing in the first place. The physical act of crossing something off a list is very satisfying, and I miss that. My current system doesn’t really allow me to separate work and home items very well. I really don’t need to see my reminders to take out the trash while I’m trying to figure out what else I need to do before I can leave work for the day.

Current Needs

I need a to-do list that I use for work-related items. This doesn’t need to come home with me as I never take work home, but it does need to be transported between two different desks and computers. In the morning, I don’t work in my office. I move there about halfway through the day.

I need something for “home”-related items. This includes pretty much everything I don’t do at work – errands, reminders, notes to self, etc. This needs to come with me everywhere. I think of things I need to remember at the most random times.

Finally, I need a way to keep shopping lists, preferably organized by location because my grocery list is different from my Target list. I’ve had a running list of groceries going through my head for days now, and when I sat down to write it out, I could only remember four things. Trust me, there should be more on that list.

There’s probably no perfect solution to my organization issues, especially since I can’t usually stick to any one system long enough to truly make it a habit. My horrible memory doesn’t exactly help the situation.

(Actually, in my defense, the problem isn’t so much a horrible memory, as it is too many things going on at once. You trying getting stuff done while answering the phone to make schedule changes all morning. This is why I get more done later in the week – the phone doesn’t ring as much.)

Maybe paper really is the best option. It’s completely customizable, after all! I can make it do whatever I want! For someone who regularly carries around an iPhone and an iPad, that seems a little counter-intuitive.

And hey, it’s a fantastic excuse to go out and buy a new notebook.

Oh, and I need to go get the mail.

June 6, 2010

Multitasking

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 6:11 pm
Tags: , ,

So…Apple announced that they would have a limited amount of multitasking on the new iPhone OS to be released this summer.

Yes, I know this is old news. I’m busy and this is the first time I’ve forced myself had a chance to sit down and write about it.

I just have one thing I’d like to point out. When many people on The Internet talk about this new addition to the OS, they’re all excited about it, and their comments often end with this statement:

“Awesome, now I can listen to Pandora while browsing the Internet!”

Really? THAT is what you wanted to use multitasking for? You want to be able to listen to music while browsing the Internet? You can already do that with the iPod app! It just has to be music that you’ve already purchased and downloaded, but hey, you have the added advantage of being able to listen to what you want, when you want it, AND you don’t have to endure those stupid ads that Pandora forces on you.

I listen to Pandora at work. I know how it works. And those ads are getting really, REALLY, annoying.

So, let me get this straight. You’ve been whining and complaining and pushing for multitasking on the iPhone and iPad because you wanted to be able to do something that both devices fundamentally already have the ability to do?

Come on, at least talk about how cool it’s going to be to have a third-party app that can continue to track your location even after you’ve closed the app.

May 22, 2010

Apple Store T-Shirt

Filed under: Words — melomania @ 11:35 pm

I wore my iPhone T-shirt to a party tonight.

Friend 1: Did you beat up an Apple employee and steal his shirt?

Me: No, I dated one.

Friend 1: So…you did beat him up.

Me: Occasionally.

Later that evening-

Friend 2: Where did you get that shirt?

Friend 1: She beat up an Apple employee and stole it.

Me: My ex-boyfriend worked for Apple and they gave him one that was too small so he gave it to me.

Friend 2: So he worked for Apple and you broke up with him?! Didn’t you get free stuff?

Me: Well, he doesn’t work there anymore.

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