Saturday, we had Baked Potato Day at work. Usually, we have our breaks and meals whenever we can fit it in to whatever we have to get done. But, sometimes, we eat together. LabCorp feeds us 2 or 3 times a year for some festive occasion, like a Winter Holiday between Thanksgiving and Xmas. There will be something around the 4th of July. They do a meal during National Medical Laboratory Week. And last year, Amy was pregnant so we did a little baby shower. And we, sometimes do birthdays if we think of it.
It always makes us cheerful on the days we have food together. The days when Nick picks up our LC meal from a local restaurant are nice. But, the times when we all make food to share are the best.
Last weekend was Amy’s birthday and next weekend is Zack’s birthday. So, we celebrated both of them on the Saturday in between. I don’t remember who thought of baked potatoes. I might have been me. It might have been Nick. Night shift has done something like this in the past, so it wasn’t original.
Nick went by Wendy’s on his way into work around 5:30 PM. I made chili. Amy brought steamed broccoli and crumbled bacon (not in the same bowl). Michelle made an Italian Love Cake. Marla is brought 6 kinds of cheese. Zack brought Salsa.
Victor was very puzzled by the whole thing. He has only lived in the US for 5 and a half years and baked potatoes just haven’t been on his list of foods. He said the only way he has ever had a white potato is slices with boiled eggs on a sandwich with a sauce. What his wife finally decided on was an appetizer of shredded vegetables (eggplant, red bell pepper, potato, and tomato) that was a delicious topping to a potato. (Victor is a lovely man, but Zena does all the cooking.)
I posted on FaceBook when we started planning this a month ago and then, again, on Ello, asking “If you are having a baked potato, and you don’t have butter or sour cream to put on it, but you do have your favorite (other) potato topping available, what goes on the potato?” I was told
1. cheddar cheese, (with chives)
2. chopped garlic,
4. olive oil, raw garlic, and a little Parmesan,
5. Ranch dressing,
6. malt vinegar,
9. salsa, cheese, broccoli
10. DARK brown sugar “It’ll melt into molassesy goo & get down into all the nooks & crannies you made fluffing it up.”
12. cottage cheese
14. A-1 sauce
15. Marinara/tomato sauce, cheese of any kind, gravy…. Now that I think about it- anything that I would also put over pasta.
16. ghee, salsa and black beans, cheese, cottage cheese
17. honey mustard
18. soy sauce
19. Sesame butter and hot sauce
20. roasted garlic mashed in and chipotle infused olive oil…a little sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
21. Shredded cheese is #1 but I have tried ranch, blue cheese, and garlic as well. And of course BACON! I think that for our little get together we should sauté some garlic to mash in there.
22. Cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms… Or, you know, gravy.
24. Sauteed mushrooms and onions
I want to get a bag of potatoes and start working my way down the list.
Nothing exists; all is a dream. God—man—the world—the sun, the moon, the wilderness of stars—a dream, all a dream; they have no existence. Nothing exists save empty space—and you!…And you are not you—you have no body, no blood, no bones, you are but a thought.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
We saw 2 collections of Oscar nominated short films today. My husband will go see the documentaries when I’m at work this weekend. I don’t object to the documentaries. These were just easier for me to get to and when I had to choose between 2, these were my preference.
The link in each title is to the Oscar page. I don’t know if it will last for more than a month. The link in the country of origin is the best I could do to show you about the film away from the Oscar website. Or, at least, is a decent starting place for you to try to find out about it for yourself.
Animated: I have put them in the order they appeared in the collection
There were some fun films that got Mentioned, but aren’t actually up for the award. They were inserted between the first 4 that ARE nominated and the last one. They are
If I was God (Canada) Claymation, cute.
The Short Story of a Fox and a Mouse (France) Good animation. Sweet story. Nice. Sadly, absolutely nothing for me to link to to show it to you.
The Loneliest Stoplight (USA) Voiced by Patton Oswalt. It was good but not amazing.
Catch It (France) This is a throwback to Wile E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. But with a Vulture and Meerkats. I wish I could show it to you because you would laugh. I will look for it later to see if I can find a useful link.
Then, the final nominee was Prologue (UK) This is the one that you get a warning about so you can remove your children from the theater. There is nudity (free willies) and violence (with spurting blood). Sadly, there is skill in the animation but no real story. Men kill each other and little girl is sad. The end. If it wins I will be pissed.
Ave Maria (Israel) This one as funny. And a little sweet. I don’t expect it to win but I was glad I saw it.
Day One (USA) This one should win. It is hard to watch. One couple left the theater because it was going to be so very hard. But, it got less hard. And, then, different hard. It is sad. It is War. It is life and death. This was perfectly made.
Once upon a time, when I was a young lass with no washing machine, a friend offered to let me do my laundry at his house. I was delighted. As I was trying to fold the fitted sheet and bitching, he said, “Is that what you want to be able to look back on at the end of your life? That you could fold a fitted sheet?”
I folded it into something that resembled a square and put it in the laundry basket. I have never worried about it since. As long as it will go in the place I need to store it, I just don’t care.
Another time, when I was grown, I was visiting my parents. Both my sisters and their families were there, too. I don’t remember how we got on the topic. At the time, I had a house keeper come every couple of weeks to help keep the big stuff done. And if my parents were coming to see me, I made sure that it was the weekend after the cleaner had been in. (I’m not stupid.) And she called me out on that. I laughed because I didn’t care. But, then she made the comment that none of her daughters were very good house keepers. And my younger sister’s jaw dropped. She thought she had managed to live up to our mother’s expectations.
My parents live in a retirement community and have white furniture, white carpet and no appliances on the counter top in the kitchen because they don’t cook. They have a cleaner come in every Wednesday. To an apartment that never, ever is dirty.
I don’t even want to live up to her expectations. Having had a spotless house is not what I want to look back on.
I think there are still bits of espresso on my kitchen ceiling from an explosion when a friend was visiting. I have had parties that took up my whole back yard. I have slept in my hammock under the stars. We had a scotch and waffle party, one time. My son helped me build a labyrinth in my back yard and that labyrinth lured Chuck into my life. I have tried beekeeping, but they don’t can’t thrive in our neighborhood. This yard blooms almost all year ’round. This house has been full of laughter and tears and spilled wine and hugs and shouts and good food and love.
And I don’t care if it isn’t clean enough to suit someone who doesn’t live in it.
I finally figured out a thing.
My co-worker, Nick, suggested that I treat myself to the piece of cake I have been longing for when I get down to the weight I wish to maintain. That kind of thinking is part of how I got in this shape and it has to change or I’ll be right back here in a couple of years.
I have been aware that there are 2 fallacies I need to give up.
First, food has to stop being a reward. Food is necessary and food is tasty. Enjoying the tasty part is OK. Eating too much, i.e. more than I actually need in order to function in a healthy way, is not.
Second, denying myself food I want leads to overeating that food when I finally allow me to have it again.
I allowed myself that cake Monday night. I simply calculated it into my daily calories. Yesterday, I had a cappuccino and a pecan bar, also calculated into my daily calories.
I can do this.
Today, I finally figured out how to reward myself in a healthy way.
When I lose 4 more pounds, I will be at the maximum weight my insurance company wants me to be. That day, I get a pedicure. Every time I get to a 5 or a 0 after that, I get to go again. When I get to my personal desired weight, I’m going to have a 60 minute massage. With an actual massage therapist not just the hydromassage bed at the gym or the chair thing on my sofa.
I really love having someone else give me a pedicure. This is going to be an effective shift in my head space.
I’ve been using MapMyitness to keep up with exercise and calories. (My doctor suggested the calories part.) I have lost 10 pounds since I started going to the gym and tracking what I am doing and recording improvements has helped me. I don’t do the Challenges. I just compete with myself. That’s the only thing that has ever been effective for me.
LabCorp first offered us the stick. Increased rates if our BI was too high. Then, the carrot. Up to $300 refund on various fees and expenses of thing we have done (and already paid for) to get ourselves healthier.
They should pay me back for the 6 months of gym fees plus the new toy. And, if I keep up the weight loss, I should have no worries about my insurance cost next year. I was able to appeal and get a year of grace by talking to my doctor and getting her to fill out a form with a plan for my weight loss.
I knew it was needed. But, I allowed myself to keep thinking that “exercise is boring and I hate it” rather than considering it necessary PM for my body. I bitch about people not doing regular PM on the instruments in the lab. Took me a while to shift that attitude to my own self.
Watching my father die of heart disease helped me change my mind. He’s not gone, yet. It’s a slow, lingering death that I don’t wish on anyone. And I am going to do the preventive maintenance that will help me avoid it.
The FitBit. It’s supposed to help me keep up with my heart rate and works with the MapMyFitness app on my phone. Still trying to figure out how it all goes together.
When LabCorp refunds my money, it’s going in the rowing machine fund.
Chuck used to have one and had to sell it when he moved into a place that didn’t have room for it. He has missed it. I have a couple of friends who love rowing. One has one in her house. One has one at her gym. I have used the one at the workout room where parents live and like it.
We have room for it now, since he has closed his law practice. The room that was his office is becoming a grow room and pantry. A rowing machine should fit in next to his inversion table, no problem.
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