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I’m Lovin’: Lemon Blueberry Muffins August 21, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in From the Kitchen, Lovin'.
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My mom recently bought a Cooking Light cookbook that she bought on sale at a resale shop.  Since I’ve been looking for ways to eat healthier, I borrowed it on the condition that I would test recipes and let her know whether the book was any good.

This book comes straight from Lowfat Cooking Heaven

This book comes straight from Lowfat Cooking Heaven

Anyway, I’ve made a few recipes from the book so far, though I’ve only taken pictures of one: Lemon Blueberry Muffins.  When I looked at the recipe, the muffins sounded delicious despite it calling for buttermilk.  I especially liked that each muffin was under 200 calories (180, to be exact), so I thought I’d try them.  Here’s how they turned out.

Don't they look delicious?

Don't they look delicious?

After tasting the batter, I began to have reservations about the whole thing.  The batter was positively unappetizing (again, because I don’t like buttermilk), so I popped them in the oven totally prepared to scrap the final product.  Boy, was I wrong.  Once I iced them with delicious lemony icing, they were FABULOUS.  John loved them, too.  We even took some to Tulsa with us and got rave reviews.

I had no idea that cooking light could be so good.

I’m Lovin’: BLIK August 20, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Lovin'.
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The owners of our townhouse won’t let us paint, which has been driving me up a wall (har har). Anyway, I’ve been looking for creative ways to cover walls in order to create interest. So far I’m leaning towards BLIK wall stickers.  I had originally fallen in love with the stickers you can find at Ferm Living, but they’re just so expensive.  Over $100 for a piece of sticky vinyl?  I’d rather chew thumbtacks.

Blik is much more reasonably priced (look at this 117 piece set for $30, for example) wall decor, and though it’s not quite as chic as Ferm’s options, they certainly complete.  The company promises that their stickers are easy to put up and just as easy to come down, which is a Godsend for renters like me.  I’m not sure how many of these I can actually see in my house, but almost all of them are really modern and aesthetic.

The one’s I’m really loving right now are the blocky, graphically-clean designs like these chandeliers–which I would love to see in my guest bedroom–and these organic weedy-looking things that would look awesome in the living room.  I also think this would be a neat way to decorate a stairwell with something OTHER than cheezy, awful family pictures.  Thank you, Blik, for giving renters some decorating options.

The $700 Challenge August 17, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life, The $700 Challenge.
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My dad recently gave John and I some money to decorate our new place, and after we paid (out the rear) on random but necessary vehicle repairs, the grand total left over is $700. Over the next few months I will SPEND this money and update you all on the progress, especially since I plan to DIY most of the decor. Maybe you’ll be inspired a little as I try and meet LifeList goal #59, i.e. having a neat, well-decorated home.

Problem is, I can’t decide which room I should start with: the master bedroom or the upstairs bathroom. Any opinions?

The Week From Hell August 14, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Life.
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Last week was straight from the Devil.  Have you ever had one of those weeks where you just don’t want to get out of bed because you just know that something awful is going to happen to you?  If you haven’t, then you’re obviously living better than I am.

The week started out with my truck in the shop.  My starter had begun to go out, and rather than risk not being able to start my vehicle in some random parking lot, John and I decided to just take it in.  So, not only was I dependent on John/The Red Bus, I was also scrambling to write a poetry paper.  Now, this might not sound like much to you, but when all you do for a living is mess with prose, writing five pages about one poem is excruciatingly painful.  Every paragraph was like an exercise in pulling teeth, and by the time the paper was done 12 straight hours after I’d started it, I wanted to cry at a) its completion and b) its total suckiness.  That dovetailed right into finishing the grading for my advanced composition class, which took forever.  By Thursday morning I was running on little to no sleep, and I was practically dragging myself from place to place.

Instead of taking it easy and being extra careful, I decided it would be an excellent idea to make my lunch right after getting out of bed.  Now, I’m not particularly grumpy in the morning–unlike a particular Lindsey I know–but I am slow.  Ergo, I should have forgone the large bread knife, but I didn’t.  The result?  Slicing the tip of my thumb off in the process of halving a hogie roll.

The minute I sliced my finger I knew it was bad, sort of in the instinctual way you know something is too high to safely jump off of.  I had already begun to drip blood all over the floor, so I called John in from the bedroom.  He ran in with his face half-shaved, which made me giggle, and then together we proceeded to try and get the bleeding to stop.  At that point I was shaking and a little nauseous and wasn’t able to apply enough pressure to the fingertip to even begin to help clotting, so John had to hold my hand above my head and squeeze for me.  Let me tell you–it was painful.  There was one point where I actually cried a little, and I couldn’t stop shaking long enough to really get myself in order.  After twenty minutes the bleeding still hadn’t stopped; it was at that point that we both decided that I needed to go to the doctor.  We packed enough gauze into the wound to staunch the bleeding, and I rode the bus to the heath center.

When I got there, I was sent back to the RN on duty, Rhonda.  She seemed nice enough, and I figured that she’d just be able to fix me right up.  My thumb was throbbing but not hurting at that point, so I was feeling a lot more confident in my ability to get in and get out before I had to teach my class at 11:00.  When I explained what happened, Rhonda took the gauze off and the bleeding started just as strongly as before.  She and I spent 15 painful minutes trying to staunch the bleeding, wherein she explained to me that the cut hurt so badly because I’d managed to expose all of the nerve endings.  Lovely thought.

She explained to me that since I was a “bleeder,” she was going to have to cauterize the wound.

“You have two options,” she said.  “You can get a numbing shot of Lanacane in your thumb, but its going to hurt pretty badly.  I’ll have to give you two of them: one in the cut itself and one in the joint.  The other option is to just cauterize it, which will sting a little.”  Keep in mind that she said that it would only “sting a little.”  That is frickin’ verbatim right there.  So of course, I agree to the latter.  Heck, what’s a little stinging compared to having people touch all over my exposed nerve endings for twenty minutes.

What Rhonda didn’t tell me is that it was going to sting SO MUCH that I would almost pass out TWICE.  It felt like she had poured liquid metal straight on the tip of my finger, and the pain shot all the way up my arm and into my jaw.  The whole process probably took two minutes, but it was two minutes of the worst pain I’d ever felt in my whole entire life (and that’s saying a lot, especially if you’ve seen that nasty scar on my right knee or felt the chipped bone in my right shin).  Even after she’d cauterized the stupid thing, it kept bleeding a little, which she was a little concerned about but was fairly sure would clot on its own.  By the time she came to dress my thumb, it was shaking so badly that I had to hold it with my good hand in order to keep it still.  Even the tetanus shot she gave me afterwards didn’t hurt because my whole arm was aching.

This is what I ended up with:

To add insult to injury, I had to then go teach class.  If you want to see what my thumb looks like now, you can visit a special, carnage-filled flickr set.

I think we can all agree that Thursday was rough.  You would think I would be okay at that point, but noooo.  John lets me use the Vibe to get to work on Friday so I won’t have to stay on campus until late afternoon.  On the way home, one of the tires goes flat.  Of course, with my bum thumb, I’m able to do everything but lift the spare tire up and hold it in place while I screw the bolts back on.  I have to call my friend, Brad, to come and help me with the tire-changing, and then when I take the tire to a shop to get patched, they can’t to it (admittedly, I knew they wouldn’t be able to, but I thought I’d try anyway).  So, of course, I spend my afternoon looking for a place that carries John’s tires, then wait to get the tire replaced.  Ugh.

I’m telling you!  Week. From. Hell.

I’m Lovin’: Stranger than Eviction August 2, 2009

Posted by A. Robinson in Crazy Magnet, Lovin'.
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My sister Caitlin pointed out something great about this note:  I love that he clearly wrote, ‘Gabe, your are evicted!’ went back inside and thought, ‘WAIT! There’s something I need to add!’ got halfway back outside and then thought, ‘No, not in black!  This one needs to catch the eye!’

This is a kid-friendly example of a Gary correspondence

I was all in the middle of telling you about my campus cop story when John and I happened to stumble across this website.  (Warning: if you’re not comfortable with profanity, don’t click the link).  If you think my stories from the Red Bus are crazy, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  The blog details Gabe Dunn’s one month subletting experience from a criminally insane landlord named Gary.  Not only is the material hilarious, but Gabe’s insights are funny, too (even though I don’t think Gabe has the grammatical high-ground to stand on that he thinks he does).

The best part?  The saga is ongoing.  Gabe’s latest post was yesterday.