Another Sleep-Deprived Post

I have been catching up on my sleep a little bit, I promise.  I still feel tired right now, though.  I guess because I should be asleep, right? NO.  OF COURSE NOT.  THAT WOULD BE THE MATURE THING TO DO.

You know what one of my pet peeves is?  Not returning a shopping cart to its appropriate cart return corral.  I mean, seriously, how long does it take? Maybe a minute at the most?  Instead, people are assholes and leave them wandering like lost cows all around the parking lot, crashing into parked vehicles and just being a nuisance.  I fully believe in karma , and I feel like I will invoke tons of bad karma by not returning my cart to the corral. And I park way out in the boonies, y’all.  If I can return my cart to the corral after parking five miles away from the store entrance, then no one else should have an excuse.  Way to be lazy, America.

I went for a run today and it was full of pain. I was trying to work out this week in my hotel gym because running in these small towns is a no-no unless you want to get raped.  I didn’t have my iPod charged, which meant I lasted maybe two minutes on the treadmill before being all, “THIS IS ALL MY BODY CAN PHYSICALLY HANDLE FOR TODAY.” (God, I hate the treadmill).  So yesterday, in a mad effort to do a workout before heading to a casino (more about that in a future post), I ran up and down three flights of stairs for five minutes. That may not sound like much, but I was really sore today, which meant calves were in pain during said run.  I ran so slowly. It was pretty sad.

Oh man you guys, I don’t know if I’m overtraining or if this is just my body reacting to the wimpy Texas winter or what, but all I want to eat is CARBS.  Two snacks I am in danger of overconsuming are Central Market Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips and HEB Whole Wheat Crackers. OMG.  I don’t even care how uppity and hipster I sound by saying that I am eating cinnamon agave sweet potato tortilla chips, they are AMAZING and HEALTHY (or, they would be if I didn’t have like five servings already today).  If you live in Texas, check them out without shame.  You will not be disappointed.

In case you are wondering about my “Tom Sawyer” progress, I’m on page 2.  Yep.

Goddamn it, is it Friday yet?

I need to sleep.

For real.

Night night.

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Three Things: The Resurrected Edition

Back on my Vox blog, I used to do a series of posts called “Three Things,” where I basically would post three random things that I wanted to talk about, but didn’t want to do a separate post for.  Tonight, I was thinking of several things I wanted to blog about…and so we have Three Things, the Resurrected Edition.

1.  You ever have one of those unequivocally awesome days? Where the day is awesome, even if, say, you briefly get your rental truck stuck in the mud (more on that in a future post), a normally two hour drive turns into three because of horrendous traffic, or you have to work at 10 pm?  Today was one of those days.

I went to dinner with my running group tonight after a good run (my legs were sore from yesterday. Oh so sore). I am really digging this running group – it’s definitely the favorite one that I’ve been a part of.  I click with all the people in it, and I look forward to all my runs with them.  After months of running together, several times a week, one of us finally said, “Hey, why don’t we go to a dinner/happy hour after our Wednesday runs?” So that’s what we are doing now.  It was a good one tonight.  Everyone found out about my undying ardor for bread, and the fact that I ran into a window at McDonald’s when I was twelve (which I told in response to a story about someone getting her head slammed in a car door).

2.  After dinner, I went to Whole Foods. I KNOW. I said that I don’t shop at Whole Foods, but this was out of desperation. It was within walking distance of the restaurant we were at, and I had to pick up a dessert for a work luncheon tomorrow. I figured it’d be easier to get the dessert at Whole Foods instead of stopping at HEB.

Once I was in the dessert section, I spotted an enticing looking cherry pie.  I looked at the price.

FIFTEEN DOLLARS, Y’ALL.  FIFTEEN DOLLARS FOR PIE.

I know Whole Foods is jokingly referred to as “Whole Paycheck” for a reason, but Jesus Christ. I do not care if those cherries were lovingly cultivated in your backyard and watered with your own tears – I refuse to shell out fifteen dollars for PIE.

So instead, I went to HEB and picked up a pumpkin pie for three dollars. THAT’S WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT.

3.  Ah, my hometown. So much to love (actually…wait, not really), so much to dislike.  We are not known for much, except for a singer who was gunned down there, and the fact that we placed on Men’s Health list of “Dumbest Cities in the U.S.” a couple of years back.  I hate to say it, but there really is a disproportionate amount of stupid people there.

For instance – yesterday my brother was out with friends, looking at Christmas lights. They drove by a Whataburger at one point, and what they saw was simply amazing:

Spelling Fail, on so many levels

OH, BELOVED HOMETOWN.  NEVER CHANGE.

Trauma, Served Fresh in a Cereal Bowl

Last week, I attempted to fix dinner, but it was a disaster.  Feeling too tired and lazy to cook another meal, I decided to evoke the college days by having a bowl of cereal for dinner.  I checked my pantry, selected a box, and poured it in my bowl.  I don’t eat cereal very often, so this particular box had been sitting idly on my shelf for perhaps two or three months, if not more.

You can already guess where this story is going.

After finishing a bowl, I decided to have another.  I checked the box – there was a little left, but enough for a bowl.  I poured the rest of the cereal in the bowl and added milk.  As I was putting my milk carton down, I noticed a flicker out of the corner of my eye.  Was something moving in the cereal bowl?

My internal monologue went something like this:

Jenny:  No, you are tired. Of course nothing moved in your cereal bowl, stop being such a paranoid – OH GOD, THERE IS SOMETHING MOVING IN MY CEREAL BOWL WHAT THE FLIP WHAT THE FLIP WHAT THE FLIP.

Trying to control my horror, I looked at my bowl. As I looked closer, I noted multiple things moving in my bowl.  Little bugs were crawling around the flakes.  Bugs. More than one.  They looked like this:

OH GOD WHY

Which meant that my previous bowl had bugs too.  Which meant that I had just ingested a bowl of these assholes.

I immediately threw the contents of the bowl down the drain and turned on the garbage disposal.  Usually, I try not to kill innocent creatures, but the fact that they had invaded my box of cereal clearly signaled their desire to die.

I keep a clean home too, but I guess if you keep a box of cereal in the pantry for months, you should expect unwanted invaders.

After that, I tried eating something else, but had lost my appetite.  Do you all know what this means? I never lose my appetite, ever, except when I’m really sick. And that happens maybe once every four or five years.   You can sit across from me and play the “Sea Food!” game, or talk about your bowel movements, or throw up, and I would still have my appetite.  Hell, I didn’t even lose my appetite after watching 2Girls1Cup twice.

YOU WIN, UNIVERSE. YOU WIN.

Overindulgence

The thing about field work is since you’re often working away from your home base, you have to eat out for all your meals.  This is enticing at first, because I like eating out. I like the ritual of sitting down with friends to share a meal, poring over a menu to make my decision, and to receive a surprise from the kitchen.

You can tell yourself to order healthy so many times before sitting down with your menu, and you’ll still end up ordering “Pollo Sabroso,” which is likely a three-thousand calorie dish with chicken and cheese and cheese and cheese, a dish so rich that you will still feel full from it when you wake up the next morning.

I think I’m ordering salad for the rest of this job.

A Random Collection of Events

The first dude to hit on me with my new hair was…wait for it…an old man.  Sigh. Figures.

One day, some lucky man is going to become Mr. Jenny and can look forward to a lifetime of my cooking.  Like the sweet and sour chicken I made today.  MMMMMMM (note inherent sarcasm in this entire paragraph).

It was aight.  I dunno. I used chicken breast and of course it came out dry.

Today I was walking in an HEB parking lot and saw two damaged cars.  The people milled about a police officer and were discussing what had happened.  I could definitely relate, as I got into a car wreck just two weeks after moving to this city and one week after starting my job. It wasn’t a fender bender either; I had been speeding through the parking lot and t-boned another vehicle, totaling both of our vehicles.  The other driver was bloody from the broken glass and had to go to the ER later that night for his leg (I felt so sad when I found that out, and carried that guilt with me for awhile).  The scary thing is, I had been so focused on finding an exit from that parking lot that I didn’t even realize that other car was there until I heard the sound of breaking glass and seeing my air bag come out. It was not a fun day.

As I passed the group of people, I realized suddenly that today was the three-year anniversary of that wreck.  Wow.

In cheerier news: guess.

Culinary Adventures

I’m a pretty lazy person when it comes to cooking.  I love food but usually when it’s time to procure some, I’m too hungry to put any effort into cooking, and I want something fast. If I do cook, my meals are limited to maybe 3 or 4 staples that I get bored of very quickly.  I generally eat fairly healthy; when I do get “fast food,” it’s mainly limited to Jimmy John’s or Potbelly, with the occasional Pei Wei or Panda Express splurge.  Once every two or three months, I’ll have Whataburger.

I’ve been attempting to cook more lately, for several reasons.  First, I’m on a budget, so I’m trying to save money and limit my take-out expenses.  Second, it’s cold outside and I’m less satisfied with cold meals.  I find myself wanting something warm to eat and to have a hot meal to warm up at lunch instead of boring ham sandwiches. Finally, I’ve been trying to stick to a consistent workout schedule for my half-marathon training, and my appetite increases exponentially with my mileage output.

Side note – I ran ten miles yesterday! It was a very, very slow ten miles, but I realized as I ran that the last time I’d completed such a distance was when I was training for a marathon…back in 2003.  Yes. The last time I ran ten miles was seven years ago, back during Bush’s first term.  Afterward I went out to Magnolia Cafe and had pancakes with Conrad.  I had gingerbread and banana pancakes…they were GLORIOUS.

Anyway. These past two days, I’ve been cooking, with limited to moderate success.  These are from recipes I found in an old Paula Deen magazine I found while I was spring cleaning.  I will attempt to share these meals with you. I have some real foodies on my blog roll so please don’t make fun of my sad attempts at cooking.

Yesterday, I made Sloppy Joe meatballs.

These weren’t too bad.  The sauce called for a mixture of Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and tomato sauce…which sounds disgusting, right?  It actually came out “pretty okay” but needs a little work. Maybe less ketchup.

Tonight I made a pork chop with polenta dish.  Oh man, that sucked.  First of all, I can’t cook without making a mess. It’s very cliche – there was flour everywhere, dirty dishes used for intermediate cooking steps, stuff strewn on counters. My mother used to remark, “How can one person make such a mess?” but it’s my one talent in the kitchen.  I bought instant polenta and it was supposed to be easy, OR SO I THOUGHT. I should have been wary when the recipe called for 5 cups of milk, because that seemed excessive. First, the milk boiled over everywhere.  Then, I had a very liquidy polenta mix. I had to frantically add cornstarch to thicken it, but then it got too thick and was sputtering everywhere.

The gravy and pork chops were much easier by comparison.  The pork chops may have been overcooked, only because I never cook pork chops and don’t want trichinosis.  Here’s what the final product looked like:

Kind of anticlimactic.  The pork chops were ok.  The gravy was pretty good.  The polenta was bland and tasted very cornstarchy. I probably will not make polenta again until I know what I’m doing.

Stay tuned for my next installment of culinary adventures…let’s face it, it’ll probably be another 6 months from now before I post anything new.