Saturday, June 30, 2007

To Farm Market, To Farm Market

I finally made it back to the farm market today, despite working at 11AM. The farm market begins at 8AM, so I just got up earlier and went there first, then to the bank. Even at 8:30, the farm market was packed. I eventually bought red potatoes, spinach, peaches, cherries, radishes, garlic, and cucumbers. I really missed the Farm Market when I skipped it last week. From now on, I'll try to make it there as early as I can.

Work was steady when I came in at 11, busy when I left...but not quite as bad as I suspect it'll be tomorrow...eventually. It might be just as well that I work early for me tomorrow, from 9:30 to 1:30. I'll miss a lot of the crowds that way.

Lauren and I worked out our trip itinarary while doing the role play an hour or so ago. She wants to see a couple of local live cover bands, and we're going to visit malls, downtown North Adams and Albany, and make another trip to Six Flags Great Escape in upstate New York (where we also went last year). I can't wait. I'm going in mid-July. I just hope I manage to show up on two knees this time.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Woman At Work

Quiet day today; it was cooler, but cloudy, gloomy, and still humid (which is why I left the air conditioner on). I spent most of the morning working on my Monkees story and editing the role-play. I'm about half-way done the Monkees story. I'm hoping if I can get it all they way done, I'll be able to work on other stories, too, including original ones. Work was steady, not too horrible.

Next month is going to be really, really busy. I have a lot of hours next week, including unusually early ones; I'm disapointed I'm going to have to miss Oaklyn's Fourth of July Parade, which I enjoyed last year, but I will get to see the fireworks. I'll have to cram in cleaning, too, because the week after, I'll be preparing for vacation.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Might As Well Be Walking On The Sun

Despite yesterday's thunderstorms, the heat wave continued today. A nice breeze made things slightly more bearable, but I was still sweating buckets when I arrived at counseling.

Ironically, Scott was late this time; traffic troubles. (I was actually five minutes early!) We discussed my success with losing weight and my fear of getting a job. I can lose twenty pounds and do pilates or yoga three times a week, but I still can't bring myself to get up the nerve to send resumes to all those fancy companies whose listings I see at Craigslist. I keep thinking "What would they want with me? I haven't worked anywhere but the Acme since 2001. I'm not one of those pretty women in the stilletto heels in Philadelphia. I don't know anything about pharmaceuticals, or finances, or selling things."

It's hard not to think that way. I've had so little success with job-hunting. I had to go through an agency that helps troubled kids in South Jersey to get real summer jobs when I was a teenager. No one in Cape May would hire me when I first got my job permit, and when my family first moved to North Cape May, all I could get was McDonald's, which lasted maybe a month or two at the most. I didn't get the Acme job until mid-way through college.

The heat did a number on the thrift shop, too. We were busy, but not as much as last week, and earlier volunteers had done most of the organizing. Erica was on vacation this week and didn't do the best job organizing things for Diane, her replacement; poor Diane didn't know who was showing up when! When's all said and done, I did go through most of the new kids' clothes and almost all of the big plastic bins of videos, clothes, and books someone donated.

I picked up a small Proud Heart Cat Care Bear Cousins doll and a Muppet Babies video featuring two of the later (late 80s-early 90s) cartoons, "Six To Eight Weeks" and "Eight Flags Over the Nursery." (The latter was particularly memorable as the only Muppet Babies episode to include footage from an earlier Muppet cartoon series featuring the original characters. The former was less memorable, but did have a nice "Beetlejuice" parody.) I wish all of the episodes were on video, but this show used so many different clips from movies and TV shows from every studio imaginable, the rights would be astronomical nowadays. Not to mention the show was very much of its time; kids today wouldn't get the "Beetlejuice" spoof in "Six To Eight Weeks" or the Jaws jokes in "Eight Flags."

The rest of the day was less busy. I went home, did pilates, had dinner (including the eggs), and went down to Leo's Yum Yums for some water ice. I had Coconut, but someone must have forgotten to wash off the scooper from the last customer, because I tasted some Cherry-Vanilla and Lemon in there, too. I didn't finish it.
Egg-strordinary Cuisine

I made this quick Asian-esque egg dish for dinner to accompany some Thai veggies. It was the only protein I had in my fridge, as I'd forgotten to pull out the meat I'd planned on eating today.

Asian Scrambled Eggs

Olive Oil Cooking Spray
1 Large Egg
1 Large Egg White
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground red pepper (depending on how hot you like your food)

Spray small frying pan with olive oil cooking spray. Whisk all other items together in small bowl. Pour in pan; mix eggs until they are scrambled and cooked through, about two minutes. Serves one.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lightning Is Striking Again

It was soooooo hot today. It hit the mid-90s in the Philadelphia area and the humidity was through the roof. I went for a much-needed swim while doing the laundry at Uncle Ken's. (I hope he's ok. He and a friend were driving to Ocean City, Maryland today. I forgot to ask them if their car air conditioners work.)

I should have just stayed inside this afternoon, but I wanted to return my library books. They're techinically due next week, but the Fourth of July is next week and I probably won't have the time. I rode all the way over there, sweating buckets the whole time...only to find that they closed early due to their air conditioners breaking down.

Damn. I hate air conditioners. And I wanted to renew the new Amelia Peabody mystery Tomb Of the Golden Bird. I put the rest of the books in a book return bin. I'll see if I can renew Amelia tomorrow after volunteering.

I went to Super Fresh after that to see if they had any good sales, especially on produce. I did get some good meat sales (how do they always know when I'm going to be there and that they should have skinless chicken breasts on sale?), but not much for produce or anything else.

And of course, just as Lauren gets on after helping her mother with a plumbing problem, there's a massive thunderstorm.

And I have counceling tomorrow. I wish I had an easier time explaining my anxiety regarding job searches. I've tried and tried for six years, but interviews scare the hell out of me, I'm not smart or sophisticated like other secretaries in the city, and I don't know anything about half the businesses out there (and the ones that I do know anything about don't need me).

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Still Too Secure

You may recall an entry I posted in early April about a very pushy new manager at the Acme whose job it was to tell everyone sixteen thousand rules they never heard of before and will probably ignore when he walks away.

I finally discovered what Tony's technical title is - "Loss Prevention Manager." At least, that's what they say. All I've ever seen him do is chase that pidgeon in the store last month, spout archaic company rules no one's ever heard of to anyone who will listen, and stand in the front and stare at all the registers like he expects someone to screw up and walk away with something. He did it to me AGAIN tonight, this time something about having to sign up for a locker. I've never had to sign for a locker before. I don't like having a locker anyway. It makes me feel like I'm in high school. I only have it because they don't allow you to keep drinks or coats up front. I heard him doing it to the front end managers a bit later, telling them they have to sign this, that, and the other thing.

He was probably just bored. Except for one spurt around 8:30-9PM when it started to cool down a little, the store wasn't anywhere near as busy as yesterday. In fact, it was dead for most of the night, probably due to a local heat wave that sent heat and humidity levels skyrocketing. I wish he'd do what most people in the store do when they're bored and read a magazine or fill the plastic bags.

Monday, June 25, 2007


I feel like such an idiot. I HATE, HATE my Acme job, and I especially hate working late. People are ridiculous late. People are ridiculous anyway, but they're especially annoying late at night. I had one woman who couldn't read her checks for the government agency that helps expecting and new mothers because she was ITALIAN. How was I supposed to know? She sounded like all my Hispanic customers in Wildwood. The only place I've ever heard Italian is on TV.

I'm tired of all my customers, especially the men, laughing at me. I know they probably don't mean to be rude, but I hate feeling like a joke. I've been laughed at my entire life because I all ever do is embarrass myself. I'll never get a real job if I can't be taken seriously.

I wish there was an easier way of getting a job. I'm scared to death of interviews! Those fancy executives in their glass towers will take one look at me and fall over laughing. I see beautiful young women walk out of those towers in Philadelphia every time I visit, women in stiletto heels and slinky clothes. Women who are gorgeous. How can I compete with that? Who would want a child in a woman's body whom everyone thinks is a joke to work for them?

I wish I had more connections. Everyone else knows someone who'll hire them. Everyone else has a place they already belong, and I don't fit in with the group.

I can't see myself as one of those women in the stiletto heels. First of all, heels are uncomfortable. Second, I'm not sophisticated. I look like a small child who shouldn't be in a woman's body. I don't know anything. I've never been anywhere. I've never done anything. College was six years ago.

Don't say "think positive." That's what keeps getting me in trouble. I go to work thinking positive; I come home feeling absolutely horrible. I wish I felt like a real adult. I'm not a real adult. Real adults have families and homes and obligations.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Welcome To the Hotel California

Lauren and I have decided to begin our newest Monkees story early, for two big reasons:

1) We'd like to finish it (and I'd like to post it) before our mid-July vacations.

2) We're really, REALLY looking forward to this one. It's a serio-comic horror story based after the classic Eagles song "Hotel California." It was one of Lauren's most brilliant ideas - the Monkees and their wives runs afoul in the titular hotel run by the Devils. We're going to have fun with this.

The rest of the day was subdued. Work was steady, no problems. I did finally buy a scale of my own (from Wal-Mart) and discovered I now seem to weigh around 220, which means I've lost at least 20 pounds since mid-April. I feel good. :D

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Summer Breeze

The weather was just perfect again, with a slightly stiffer breeze this time. My day began went well. I didn't get up in time to make the farm market (I had to work reletively early), but I did get to the bank and checked out a few yard sales. (Nothing interesting.)

I was ready to tear my hair out at work. It began all right, steady but not crazy...but by three o'clock, the lines were growing, and so was my frustration. Doesn't anyone EVER read signs? I can understand it if you got it out of the jumbled clearance section, but the buy one-get one free sales clearly state what's on sale. You won't get the item for free unless it's the right item! I was mad as heck by the time I got out and home - mad at my obnoxious customers, mad at myself for not having found a better job away from these stupid people and not pleasing them, mad at whomever puts up the damn signs for not making better ones people can read.

Another walk, this time just to the WaWa on the White Horse Pike and back, proved to be the tonic I needed after my stressful day. The Oaklyn WaWa (convience store, for those of you who aren't from New Jersey and don't have a WaWa on every other block) is a little over a year old, and has one really cool feature. The soda fountain has flavored syrups, so you can kind of make your own soda flavor, like in the old-fashioned soda shoppes and drug stores my mom often talks about. I made Raspberry-Chocolate Diet Coke. I put more chocolate than raspberry in, and it tasted a bit like a fizzy Tootsie Roll.

My older friend Erica stopped by around 6:30 for a chat and the surprise I'd prepared for her birthday last week - the last of the Summer White Wine Fruit Cake and a cute little card. We talked about her birthday (apparently, she recieved lots of congrats and hugs from her customers at the thrift shop, then went out to dinner with her family) and our upcoming vacations. She's going on a trip to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware to visit some friends of hers and may want me to cat-sit for a few days. Sweet. I like her cat, Honey, and he likes me.

I'll have to remember that WaWa again the next time it's a nice day and I've had a rough time at work. The walk and the soda did make me feel better.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Perfect Summer Day

Today could not have been a more gorgeous summer day. It was lower 80s, sunny, absolutely no humidity whatsoever, with a lovely breeze. I returned "Casino Royale" early this afternoon. It was a day late; yes, I did pay the fine. I didn't linger at the Oaklyn Library too long after that. It was closing soon (it's only open from 10-2 and 4-8 for some reason), and the librarian was squawking at some guy for lingering too long on the computer. When librarians start chewing people out for printing things on the computer for too long, it's time to leave.

I walked around in the neighborhood where the Library is it closed. I bought some lemonade from a kids' stand on one of the side street. I always try to buy lemonade from kids' stands, no matter where I am. It gives the kids money beyond their allowances, it teaches them how to take care of finances and serve customers...and I remember how my sisters and I struggled with lemonade stands when we were kids. We lived on a quiet side street in Cape May with few cars. Our rare attempts at lemonade selling were usually failures, thanks to the location.

I also discovered a park behind the elementary school on the end of West Clinton Avenue I didn't know was there before. Unlike the Veteran's Park next-door to my apartment, which is just grass, trees, cliffs, and river, this park was obviously for the neighborhood kids. There was an elaborate playground, a Little League diamond, tennis courts, and an open field probably intended for running around or for other sports, like soccer.

Work was short (four hours) and fairly trouble-free, thought it did get a little busy towards the end.
Sweet Summer Treat

This recipe is based after the "Stir n' Drop Sugar Cookies" recipe in the 1963 "Betty Crocker's Cooky Book." Thank goodness the folks at Betty Crocker had a couple of prophets in the early 60s who knew people would someday want lower-fat cookies! I exchanged oil for applesauce to cut down on the fat, cut the sugar content by almost half, and made bars (faster) instead of drop cookies.

I named them "Laura's Fudge Bar Cookies" after the Jersey Shore candy chain stores that make the best chocolate-covered strawberries at the beach! ;)

Laura's Fudge Bar Cookies

3 egg whites
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup strawberries
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Use cooking spray to grease 13x9 rectangular pan. Mix egg whites, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Mix flour, baking powder, and cocoa in medium bowl; add mixture to sugar/applesauce. Sir, gradually adding chocolate chips and strawberries.

Pour into pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until knife pushed into center comes out clean. Makes 24 bar cookies.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Door Into Summer

The big news today is...welcome to the first full day of summer!

To be honest, I have mixed feelings about summer. It's great to have more daylight hours (I love coming from work at eight o'clock and still being able to see the sun), and a lot easier to make trips. Gorgeous days like today are perfect for exploring, rides in the park, or throwing the frisbee around. And I hate socks and shoes; sandals and going barefoot are so much more comfortable!

On the other hand, the heat can get oppressive. The humidity has been known to kill less healthy people. Fans and air conditioners are necessary when the heat reaches critical mass, but they're noisy and use a ton of electricity. It's a pain to ride to work when it's deadly hot (and when it's really bad, I have to ask for rides). I'm constantly sweating. When I was living in Wildwood, my neighborhood would fill with obnoxious tourists who would have drunken shouting matches on the street in front of my apartment at 5AM. (That's what I get for living on a block between a hotel and a bar.)

I'm getting a little bored with yoga and pilates. It's happening again. This ALWAYS happens when I do DVDs. Maybe I need to find more exercise DVDs, something different.

I did my volunteering today. Pretty much same deal as last week - we were insanely busy, Erica was going crazy, trained Michael and he was a big help. We did get a lot of clothes out today, mainly to make room for more. (At least the back room was a lot neater than it was last week. It made moving around a LOT easier.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Let The Sunshine In

A massive thunderstorm last night finally broke the heat. The rain ended around 11AM; after that, it was gorgeous sunshine and normal-for-June-in-New Jersey 80 degree temperatures all the way, with no humidity. I turned the air conditioner and fan off this morning. There's a nice breeze coming in from the side window in my bedroom.

I'm currently working on a Monkees fairy-tale-based fanfic I started last year but got stuck on. I'm hoping if I can finish that, I'll finally be able to get my brain working enough to do non-fanfiction.

I'm using this week to catch up on things I've been meaning to do for a while, since I don't have any major plans. One of those things was FINALLY scrubbing my bathroom and hall floor. They were awful. You should have seen how dark the water was when I finished. I've put this off for at least two months. Something always came up when I planned it.

And of course, the whole thing ended up taking less than a half hour to scrub and dry. My bathroom and hall aren't THAT big.

Also took a walk to Audobon today to visit my friend Bob at the used CD store Abbie Road, something else I haven't done in months. Had a nice chat with him about oldies and bought Bette Midler, some of Eric Clapton's early solo stuff, and "The Very Best of the Fifth Dimension." (Don't laugh, ok? I like "Wedding Bell Blues!")

I'm off of work today and tomorrow; yesterday was busy, but not too bad, though I think the impending storm and oppressive heat made a lot of people cranky.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Heat Is On

It's mega-hot again; I have the fan and air conditioner running as I type this. It's not quite as hot as it was over Memorial Day Weekend, but it's not as chilly as it was last week, either. I ran some errands this morning, mostly to get a walk it. I dropped my two bills at the post office (instead of leaving them in the mail box), went to Family Dollar (only bought cards - they didn't have any 12 inch fans), then stopped at the tiny Oaklyn Library in the hope of finding more books on New York State. I did...from 1999.

I did rent last year's "Casino Royale" from the Oaklyn Library, though. I've been dying to see it, and everyone says it's good. Everyone's right so far - the first half of the film (I haven't seen the second half) IS really good, the best Bond movie I've seen in ages.

And more importantly, Daniel Craig...yowza! He needs to make all his Bond movies shirtless. He needs to make all his MOVIES shirtless, even family dramas. And those blue eyes pierce your soul. You boys can keep Ursula Andress and Halle Berry coming out of the sea; I envied the Carribean when that boy came out in his red suit. ;)

Work was only four hours, busy but nothing like last night, with no problems.

I'm beginning to wonder if I've lost my writing ability. I haven't really written any stories in ages. I get ideas, but I never write them or finish them. I make all these grand plans, but they never, ever happen. I was going to do a whole short story anthology on the subject of how people in various parts of the 20th Century reacted to changes in popular culture; I finished one, started another I didn't finish, and haven't done any others. I've started two novels I got two chapters through before I lost interest.

I don't think I'll ever be able to sell a story. I can't even write them anymore. I don't know what to write about. I don't do anything interesting. What do I know to write about?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Father's Day

First of all, I wish all dads a Happy Father's Day!

Second, my day was fairly hectic. The Acme was a zoo. Between Father's Day and graduation parties, the lines were going into the eisles! We had complaints about a lack of staff too, especially baggers. (I don't see why perfectly fit people complain about bagging their own groceries. I understand if you genuinely can't do it, but if you can do it, what's the big deal?)

Thankfully, I worked early enough today that I got off of work with plenty of time to wish my own fathers a Happy Father's Day. My stepfather was at work (he's a commercial fisherman) when I called him; chatted with Mom instead. My biological father was at home, though. I spent a plesant evening with him, his girlfriend Jodie, and my stepsister Jessa. We had sandwiches and played ball with neighbors using their pool.

By the way, Dad LOVED the Summer White Fruit Cake. I never saw him eat anything so fast. ;)

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Early Bird Browses The Farm Market

I got up early this morning to be able to make the farm market and the bank before I worked at noon. I got to the bank just as it opened, then hit the farm market. It was PACKED! I don't know if it was because of Father's Day tomorrow, or if everyone else in eastern Camden County had to work early too, but some of the larger tables were two deep!

I did finally manage to pick up some more of those yummy local strawberries, the first Jersey cherries and blueberries of the season, baby spinach, and two organic cucumbers that were actually cheaper than the regular ones (2 for 75 cents!), along with a soft pretzel whose purchase benefitted the building of a playground at a local park. I love helping the community.

(No good yard sale finds today though, which is probably just as well given the limited time at my disposal. I only went to one yard sale down the street, and there wasn't anything interesting.)

Work was busy but quick, with no problems and plenty of help. (Apparently, the manager who usually does scheduling was off the last few weeks and her replacement has only done it a few times, which explains a lot about our recent lack of staff.)
Father's Day Treat

I made this extra low-fat cake for my biological father for Father's Day (since I really had no idea what to get him). I came up with the cooking wine, instead of plain old water, for an extra kick. The extra applesauce is there because I forgot I only had two eggs left and needed something additional to keep the cake moist.

Summer White Fruit Cake

1 box white cake mix (I used Betty Crocker, but any will do.)
1/2 cup white wine (I used cooking, but I imagine alcoholic wine would work as well.)
2 egg whites
2 large bananas, ripe and mashed
1 cup unsweetened, drained applesauce
1/3 cups strawberries
1/3 cup blueberries
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Prepare pan and white cake mix as shown on box; replace water with wine. Add drained applesauce and mashed bananas, and spices. Mix by hand (how I did it) or electric mixer until smooth. Add strawberries and blueberries, folding them in gently by hand. Place in greased pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or as instructed on box.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Just Two Silver Spoons...

Lauren, here's another about-time-on-DVD TV set we'll both like; I have fond memories of this show from both it's original run, that final synidcated season, and mid-late 80s re-runs.

Silver Spoons: Season One debuts

Not much else going on today. I'm definately going to ditch that pilates DVD the moment I find a replacement or something better. The last twenty minutes are just skipping too badly - I lose about a quarter of the routine.

Work was mostly steady. I ended up staying a tiny bit longer to help two new cashiers handle some sudden crowds.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

A Soup Kind Of Day

As I mentioned in my recipe entry, it was unusually chilly for this time of year. Not that I'm complaining! I don't often get the luxury of eating soup while wearing my favorite sweater with all the windows closed and no fans or air conditioners running in mid-June!

Today ended up being rather hectic. I woke up somewhat late and worked on my inventories for DVDs and videos; added "Toy Story 2," "42nd Street," and the remaining Bond films. Unfortunately, that took longer than I thought, and I was almost 20 minutes late for counseling.

Scott took it well, but I still feel bad. It's immature and irresponsible of an adult to be late so often (this is the third time in two months I've been this late for counseling), and we lost chatting time. He and Rose both want me to take a better look at Craigslist, the online listing of jobs. At this point, it may be the only way I can find a job. I lack Rose and my brother's network of friends who have known them for years, and the bookstores are looking less and less appealing.

Volunteering went much better. I actually got to show a new volunteer, a nice, soft-spoken teenage boy named Michael, how to organize the back room. I really appreciated the help, too. We had a ton of stuff, including some awesome vintage items from a woman who bought two gorgeous 60s-era coats with real fur collars and cuffs and gave us some lovely vintage do-dads to thank us!

(We've been getting a lot more vintage items than we used to; the vintage shop down the street in Collingswood shut down sometime in the spring.)

I spent the rest of the afternoon in the Collingswood Library looking for more useful Albany guide books (didn't find any), doing pilates, and making soup.

Pilates is hard, much harder than yoga! Actually, the DVD I'm using used to be Rose's; I'd like to find a beginner's DVD with a somewhat less challenging routine, since there's a few things here I really can't do. The DVD also doesn't work very well toward the end; I took a good look at it and discovered it's badly scratched on one side, not surprising given Rose was never the best at taking care of non-living items.
More Recipes From the Riverside Rest

One of the things recommended for me to eat while losing weight was soup. It got so cold over the last few days (dropped as low as the lower 60s here, unusual for Southern New Jersey at this time of year), I decided to finally experiment with a low-fat soup recipe that would also be quick to prepare AND healthy! You can pretty much add whatever veggies you have on hand to this soup (like I did).

To make this soup a vegetarian meal, don't add the ground turkey; to make it vegan, eliminate the turkey and the cheese.

This soup serves four. I found it so filling, it was all I ate for dinner. You can add noodles or corn bread or muffins for a more complete meal.

1 pound 93% lean/7% fat ground turkey
1 can Campbell's Healthy Choice Tomato Soup (or any low-fat and low-sodium tomato soup)
1 cup water (if not using condensed soup, eliminate the water)
1 cup beet greens (or any dense greens on-hand, like spinach)
1 medium celery stalk
1 small tomato or 2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 large mushrooms, diced
2 small zucchini (summer squash), sliced into pieces
1 large radish, cut into thick slices
2 tablespoons yellow onion, minced
1/3 cup cooked asparagus, diced (uncooked can be used, too)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon basil
1 oz low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)
1 bay leaf

Brown the ground turkey in a large frying pan for ten minutes, or until only a little pink is left. While turkey is cooking, add soup and, if using condensed soup, water to a large saucepan; bring to a boil for two minutes, or until soup is heated through, stirring constantly. Add ground turkey, vegetables, garlic powder, and basil, and let simmer for ten minutes uncovered. Add the cheese last if you're using it, as it tends to burn quickly; stir it in, simmering for another five minutes. Let cool and serve.

I imagine it could probably be frozen for later meals; most soups can. It'll probably make a nice lunch, too, especially for people like me who are on the go and need something quick and filling but not too fattening.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pride and Embarrassment

As you can probably tell from the entry below, I'm completely disgusted with myself right now. I went over on Weight Watchers for the third time in four days. I've NEVER done this badly in the almost two months I've been doing it! I'm eating way too much junk food and not enough of the right foods, like fruit and vegetables.

I just can't help it. I like muffins, cakes, and breads, but people aren't supposed to eat them. They're supposed to eat fruits and vegetables. I think I'm making the right foods and that they'll be low-fat, but of course, the recipes never are.

I'm proud of my 14-year-old brother Keefe. He won his middle school's Outstanding Achievement In Band Award and got a $200 saving's bond! He was the lead drummer in the school's marching band, and Mom and Rose both said he and the whole band were fantastic. They won several awards, including first place in the New York's marching band-heavy St. Patrick's Day Parade.

He looked very handsome in his suit and tie. I'm glad he's the kind of guy who doesn't mind getting dressed up. ;)

I don't know how my brother puts up with my mom and stepdad, though. All they do is bicker! They bickered the whole five minutes to Teitleman Middle School, then bickered all the way home, and kept fussing at each other even while Mom served the rest of us cake! Mom blamed my stepdad's immaturity, but she's at fault, too. She's bossy and, as I know too well, she can be a nag.

Maybe it's just as well Rose had to work and we only stayed a few hours. I don't know how long I could have taken the two of them going at it. :p

I did something stupid after getting home. I locked myself out while leaving to go out to dinner, and of course, my landlady is out of town. I was lucky she has reletives in the neighborhood (who happen to be friends of my uncle), but I really need to be more careful. I can't go into hysterics every time there's trouble, either. Everyone took it really well, but it's immature of me to cry and get upset every time something bad happens. It's just a habit. I get scared and worried and I don't know what to do.

And of course, the salad I ordered at the Italian restaraunt I went to when I finally did get my keys turned out to be a hell of a lot of points, thanks to the ham, turkey, and cheese used.

I wish I were a lot smarter.

There is a place I call Someday.

In Someday, I'll fit in. I'll be pretty and attractive. I'll never, ever have a problem finding a place where I belong. Everyone will want to be around me.

I'll never, ever panic or get upset. I'll be perfectly calm and in control when I get to Someday. I'll be a real, intelligent, elegant, poised woman, not an awkward child in a woman's body.

Men will want me in Someday. They'll want me, and they'll want my friends. I'll have a real family of my very own, with my own little girl and my own husband who will never leave me.

I'll always eat the right things, and I'll always be healthy and the right size, never too fat or thin. I'll be what I should be in Someday.

I'll have my very own house and my very own pets and a real job that normal 28-year-old college graduates have in Someday.

There will be no fear of talking to people in Someday, nor will they think I'm odd, eccentric, or strange. I'll always know everybody.

I'll never have trouble finding a job in Someday. With all the people I know, I'd just have to go to one of them, and their friends', and their friends' friends, and I'll have a real job in no time.

I'll never do anything silly or embarrassing in Someday, no will I behave childishly. Everyone will respect me.

Someday will never come, of course. I'm fat, plain, and living alone. It's all just dreaming. Why would any man want someone who looks and acts like me? They want real women, not little girls in overgrown bodies. They want someone who can talk to them and have fun, not people who stammer and look away. I'll never get married, or have children or a house. And who would hire me? People hire their mother, brother, nephew, best friend, or third cousin eight times removed. They don't want someone they don't know.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Goin' Home Train

I'm going down to North Cape May at the southern Jersey Shore tomorrow to visit my mom, stepdad, and brother, and to see my brother's junior high graduation...but really to see my parents and my brother. I haven't been down at the shore since Thanksgiving. I don't have a car, so it's hard for me to get down there. It's an hour away, but I'd need to take two busses and the Speedline to go on my own.

I'm a little annoyed with myself. This is the second time in three days I've overextended my points on Weight Watchers, and I can't swim or bike fast enough to replace those lost points. Some, but not all. I really need to cut down on bread-y snacks and eat more fruit and veggies.

Also, for the second day in a row, we had a massive thunderstorm in the middle of the afternoon I was lucky enough to be inside for. It came in about an hour after I got to work at 2 and was just blowing out when I left around quarter after 7.
Death Of A Wizard

I fondly remember the Nickelodeon 80s show, which was on in the morning during what's now their Nick Jr. preschool slot. I didn't know the show - and "Mr. Wizard" himself, Don Herbert - went all the way back to the 50s, though!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Stormy Weather

Didn't do much today, other than experiment with cooking. I spent the morning editing the role-play. (It should be up by this weekend at the latest.) I got tired of waiting for Rose to call me so we could get together and weight each other, so I returned books that were due to the Camden County Library and took out a few more, including a bunch of Disney Comic Books (the Haddon Township branch of the Camden County Library has a huge selection of comic books and graphic novels), a guide book to New York State (Lauren suggested a trip to Albany while I'm up there), Rebecca Of Sunnybrook Farm, and the newest Elizabeth Peters mystery, Tomb Of The Golden Bird. (I've missed Amelia Peabody and Emerson stories!)

As I was preparing to leave around 4:30-quarter of 5, I heard thunder, but hoped it was the planes passing overhead or the NJ Transit going by. It wasn't. It was a huge thunderstorm. Lighting crashed, rain splashed down in torrents, and I ended up staying another hour, quite happy to NOT be drenched in the storm this time.
Recipes From the Riverside Rest

My friend Tina's blog and two simple, tasty, and low-fat recipes I created today gave me the idea to share them with all of you! The first, New Jersey Jonny Cakes, are inspired by the Rhode Island Jonny Cakes in one of my 50s cookbooks; the second is an easy way to use up leftover cooked carrots and sweet potatoes and light whipped topping (Cool Whip) leftover from parfaits and shortcakes.

Both recipes serve 2.

New Jersey Jonny Cakes

1/3 cup Corn Meal
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 egg white
2 tablespoons wheat germ
3 tablespoons fat-free milk
2 tablespoons blueberries, crushed
2 tablespoons blackberries, crushed

Mix all items together in a small bowl. Pour small circles on griddle or frying pan coated with cooking spray. Can be topped with butter or margarine and syrup or powdered sugar or eaten plain.

Whipped Sweet Potatoes N' Carrots

1 small sweet potato, skin on
2 medium carrots
1/4 cup light or fat-free whipped topping
1 tsp cinnamon

Cut a small sweet potato and two medium carrots into wheels and chunks. Boil for ten minutes or until soft enough to mash. Strain, and allow vegetables to cool for five minutes, then mash with a fork or potato masher. Add whipped topping and cinnamon; mix until blended.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Too Many Treats

Urgh. I went way over on my Weight Watchers points, and I didn't do much exercising today. I know the points start over tomorrow, but I can't believe I went that over. I was over more than seven points! I went over four times last week. I really, really need to be more careful with snacks. I'm so addicted to baked goods, like muffins and cake, I can't help it. I've eaten a lot of ice cream and frozen yogurt lately, too, because it's been so hot.

Not much going on other than that. Lauren and I finally finished the role-play tonight. We actually started this one in late May, but it took longer to do than our last few because Lauren went to a concert and we were slightly short on ideas. We're going to have to start the next one early too, due to the Fourth of July and our mid-July vacation.

Work was steady but quiet...until about an hour before I left! Then, all of a sudden, everyone in the world decided to go shopping. We still had personnel problems, but this time it was the CSRs - front end managers - who disappeared. We had one very young guy on who was brand new and on his own for an hour. Poor thing was frantic.
Spring Curtains at the Grey Gardens On Cherry Tree Lane

Congradulations to the cast and crew of Spring Awakening for it's 8 Tonys, along with fellow-winners Curtains, Grey Gardens, and Mary Poppins!

(And an extra shout-out to Curtains, which was partially written and scored by the creator and writer of Remember WENN, Rupert Holmes.)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Where The Boys (And The Workers) Aren't

It was a gorgeous day today, hot but not humid like yesterday, with a nice, cool breeze. I spent the morning making my usual farm market-bank-yard sale run. I picked up four bears from a yard sale - a cute n' cuddly Disney Pooh bear (I had a Pooh when I was really little), two small collectable bears wearing sailor regalia, and a present. I picked up strawberries, radishes, blueberries, a green pepper, and mushrooms from the farm market, and bought a box of fresh-popped Kettle Korn Popcorn from the organic farm booth for a special treat.

After the farm market, I stopped at the thrift shop and told Erica I'd volunteer next Thursday afternoon after counceling and picked up the "42nd Street" DVD I put aside.

Work was more of a pain...again. Same deal. We had massive call-outs for the second day in a row, so I ended up staying late again. One of the front-end managers complained to our head manager. While I do need the extra hours (I got lousy ones next week), what we really need is either stricter call-out policies or to encourage people to actually show up more.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Hot Hot HOT!

Oooh, was it hot today! The high was 95, and I think it's still in the 80s out there. I did put the windows down and turn on the air conditioner and my remaining fan.

Not much else to say today. I got up late, watched "Recess: School's Out," and did my "Yoga For Beginners" DVD. "Recess" is one of Disney's best 90s TV cartoons, about a group of mismatched best friends in a typical elementary school. The movie's suprisingly cute, for one of Disney's cheaper efforts. Unlike several other animation-to-big-screen efforts, it doesn't feel like a strung-together collection of episodes. Another nice "parental bonus" - use of late 60s-early 70s classic rock like "Purple Haze," "Green Tambourine," "Dancing In the Streets," and "Incense and Peppermints" (as part of the plot, no less) and references to films and fads of that era.

Work was long, quiet except during the usual rush hour, and dull. I stayed an extra half-hour because several people called out.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

All Time High

I had a mostly pleasant day. I did my volunteering in the morning after waking up early for yoga. It was busy, despite Erica's complaints that there were lots of customers, but no one was buying. I put aside a copy of the DVD of "42nd Street" to pick up on Saturday when I have the money. I need to get Erica a birthday card, too - I think her birthday's Monday.

I did make my trip to Deptford after lunch at the Pop Shop Diner in Collingswood. Unlike my visit to Deptford in late March, everything went fine, and I didn't spend more than I planned. I picked up a few items in the Target, notably a new pair of cheap sneakers to run errands in (so I can save the good sneakers for work) and got some ideas for my brother's junior high graduation and Father's Day.

I think I'll pick up a gift card for my brother. I'll get my stepfather a combination birthday/Father's Day barbecue tool; the Acme has some nice ones. I'm still a bit clueless on my biological father, but he has a birthday coming up in July, so I may just give him a card and a small cake, like I did last year.

I got a flat tire coming home from the PATCO Train Station in Collingswood. It must have happened when I went off the curb near Uncle Ken's house too hard. This is going to be a pain in the rear. It's the second time I've replaced a flat tire on the older bike. What I really need is to find a basket for the mountain bike I got at Christmas, but I either haven't found them, or they were too expensive for me. It's going to be very hard to carry groceries and things from the farm market home without that basket!

I picked up seven James Bond videos from a yard sale last week. No, I don't care that they're videos. I have a pretty good idea of what went on from Bond film to Bond film by now anyway. My mother and stepfather are both big Bond fans, and I grew up watching them fairly often, long before they became staples of Spike TV and TBS. My stepfather had (and probably still has) these great videos of the Sean Connery and Roger Moore Bond films that had Pink Panther cartoons in the beginning of some of the shorter ones.

Most of the ones I bought were the original Sean Connery movies - "Dr. No," "Goldfinger," "You Only Live Twice," "Diamonds Are Forever." The last named is a particular favorite of mine; I know a lot of people think it's one of the cheesiest Bond films in the series, but hey, I like cheese. Come on, where else are you going to see James Bond drive a moon buggy across the Nevada desert, almost be cremated by two homosexual hitmen, or drive an ugly 70s sports car through some of the narrowest parts of Los Vegas?

"Octopussy" is another sentimental favorite; I believe it's the first Bond film I ever saw. Just as "Moonraker" was probably intended as the producers' way of latching onto "Star Wars" and the science fiction bandwagon of the late 70s, so "Octopussy" has more than a touch of Indiana Jones, from the Indian and German locations to the almost Nazi-esque bad guys and an unusually tough Bond woman (Maud Adams, in what was actually her second outing in the Bond films). The complaint here, other than Roger Moore was starting to look a tad tired (though not as much as in "A View To A Kill"), is the length. At over two hours, it's one of the longest Bond films, and it does drag in spots.

Before tonight, there were only three official Bond films I'd never seen, the Roger Moore mid-70s flick "The Man With the Golden Gun," last year's "Casino Royale," and "Tomorrow Never Dies," a Pierce Brosonan installment from 1997. My stepdad had it on video, but I just never got around to it until after I got back from my trip today.

Actually, I'm going to go as far to say it's the best of the Brosonan Bond films after "Goldeneye." Frankly, I thought "Die Another Day" was silly and "The World Is Not Enough" only so-so, but this one has the goods, from a genuinely thrilling opening sequence to a (literally) kick-ass finale onboard a submarine that makes a lot more sense as a headquarters than some of the more elaborate hideouts in other Bond films. As someone who's studied the mass media (and how to use it) for most of her life, I also appreciated the emphasis on media manipulation and Jonathan Pryce's scenery-chewing performance as what's basically Rupert Murdoch with a homocidal streak.

Something else I've noticed in the Bond films, starting as early as the late 70s - increased parts for women. Dame Judi Dench's M had major roles in "Tomorrow Never Dies" and "The World Is Not Enough"; "World" and "Die Another Day" had two of this series' rare female villians. Halle Berry was a little stiff as Bond's female counterpart in "Die Another Day," but Michelle Yeoh kicked ass (literally and figureatively) in "Tommorrow Never Dies."

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Pool Blanket Bingo

I took this week's swim in Uncle Ken's pool while doing the laundry. This time, the water wasn't bad, but the air around it was cold! I woke up freezing this morning, and it only got into the mid-70s today. It's supposed to be even more perfect tomorrow, into the upper-70s-lower-80s and still sunny, nice, and breezy.

That's a very good thing. Now that I finally have all the cleaning done (I did the porch furniture and the bedroom windows and swept the porch after I did the laundry), I can head over to the big Target in Deptford and run some errands after morning volunteering tomorrow. It'll probably be the last time I get to Deptford before I go on vacation in mid-July. If memory serves me correctly, my hours last summer were not wonderful.

Oh, and I saw a really cute "Backyardigans" episode today while waiting for the laundry to get out of the washer. Tasha the hippo wants to have a tea party, much to the dismay of Uniqua, Pablo, and Tyrone, who think it'll be boring. Not Tasha's idea of a tea party! She "takes" the trio to the jungles of Borneo to find the golden tea leaves, to China to cheer up the grumpy Emperor of the Ming Empire (Austin) and borrow his china tea set, and to the Gobi Desert to get hot water from the gushing guyser! Pablo, Uniqua, and Tyrone have a far more exciting experience than they expected.

Work was reletively quiet today. Worst that happened had nothing to do with customers. My coupon printer got jammed for a few minutes. It took two managers to fiddle with it before I finally opened and closed it again, and it cut the coupon the way it's supposed to. Go figure. (Shrugs)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


I finally got to the dusting today. I also vaccumned, though that didn't need to be done as badly as the dusting, as I did it last week. I didn't get a chance to get to the windows; got up too late. I'll do them tomorrow, along with the laundry and wiping down the porch furnature.

Work was really only busy when everyone got off work, not terribly surprising for the middle of the week.

I recieved a union newsletter in the mail when I got home. It seems the union the Acme belongs to isn't any fonder of the new "loss representatives" than I am, generally because they're not part of the union. They're accusing them of spying to see which long-time employees can be let go so the Acme can save money. I'm taking this with a grain of salt, but I wouldn't be surprised if that was part of it.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Getting Things Done

Finally got some cleaning done today. I decided to admit I just didn't get to dusting last month and did the kitchen and the bathroom today. I need to replace the bathroom rugs eventually. One of mine is ripped, and I've had the other since I got out of college, and it's falling apart now.

I also finally got together with my sister Rose at the apartment she shares with her boyfried Craig, their puppies Kelsey (a minature pincher) and Toby (a border collie), and their cat Bob. We discussed our weight loss, the animals, exercising, our brother Keefe's upcoming junior high school graduation, and job hunting over a friendly cup of tea. She also gave me a pilates DVD.

We also weighed each other. I'm down to 229 now, from 240 in mid-April when we first started. Yay! :D

I'm hoping to vacumn tomorrow and finally get to the dusting and the bedroom windows. I'll do the laundry on Wendesday, and scrub the bathroom and hall floor Friday morning. (Neither are very big. This is a large apartment, but not THAT large.)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head

Today was mostly quiet. I got up late, ate strawberry shortcake for breakfast (one of the perks of living alone - you can eat dessert whenever you please), listened to the Beatles show on WOGL, and called my mother. By the time Mom and I finished chatting about my brother's junior high school graduation, my weight loss, our failed attempts at flagging Rose down last week, and Mom's annoyance with my stepfather's careless attitude concerning his health, it was almost time for me to go to work.

Work was very busy, but the customers weren't nearly as much of a pain as yesterday. I guess most of the annoying people shop on Saturdays. They were hungry, though! When I finally got to doing some shopping of my own around 5PM, you'd have thought they announced another ice storm! The bread and milk eisles were stripped bare; half the bread in the bakery was missing. (So were the Weight Watchers Cranberry-Orange Muffins I wanted to try. I got the blueberry instead. They're ok, but they don't have nearly enough blueberries in them.)

Mom told me earlier we were supposed to get a tropical storm, which could account for both the crowds and the decimated shelves.

I walked and rode home in the rain. That was probably a bad idea, but I really wanted to get some exercise, and I get fed up with calling people whenever there's bad weather. I was going to take a shower tonight, anyway.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Strawberry Farm Market Forever

Despite the 90-degree temperatures, I spent the morning running errands. I went to the bank and the farm market and stopped at four yard sales. I picked up another stack of "historic" cookbooks from the 40s, 50s, and 60s (I bought two stacks from a yard sale and the thrift shop last year), seven James Bond videos, and three records (in the hope I may someday finally get the record player going).

I arrived at the farm market late, but still managed to pick up romaine lettuce, fresh Cheddar cheese made locally, a red onion, two cucumbers, and a huge container of the most delicious strawberries I've ever tasted in my entire life. They were a little mushed when I finally got home, but they were sooooo sweet and juicy and ripe! It was pure heaven. I had to make a strawberry shortcake tonight; with berries like that, it was mandatory.

Work was not as fun. It's the beginning of the month, and people who can only afford to shop in the beginning of the month were out in full force. I got so fed up with them! They won't bag until the register is so loaded with their stuff, there's no room for anything else and it becomes quite obvious all the baggers are busy. They end up putting back half their order because it turns out they don't have the money. (I don't mind one or two or even three items...but twenty or thirty is just annoying. And we do have to put all that away.) They hover by the monitor, looking for even the tiniest price discrepancy, then take years reading their recipt. (They'd know what was on sale if they actually read the signs.)

June Is Bustin' Out All Over

Just quickly dropping a line here, since I did a lot of running around today, and I'm rather bushed. I volunteered this morning, and it was not only mega-busy, but a mess in the back room. I picked up a couple of 80s and early 90s cassettes (Don Henley, Pat Benetar, the Pretty Woman soundtrack, and a Diana Ross Christmas album), one of the newest Cat Who... books, and two small red shelves for the stuffed Care Bears I've aquired over the past few months (though they may not stay there).

I ran over to the Acme after I got back and had lunch and picked up my paycheck, then ran over to Payless Shoes (to look for cheap sneakers for running errands - didn't see any I liked), Staples, and Wal-Mart. The last-named was a noisy mess, as usual, but I did get a new dry-erase board (I write my work schedule on it; mine was at least two years old and badly scratched), a couple of new pairs of socks (I like sensible crew socks - none of those stupid cuffless anklet things), a sugar-free pancake syrup I'd like to try, and the 2-Disc Toy Story 2 DVD set that was released last year.

Toy Story 2 is one of my favorite Disney movies, and probably my favorite Pixar film. I love the spirited Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl. As a toy collector, I can relate to the theme of what toys mean to us as we get older. (There's a reason I like keeping my toys out of the box, even the collector's items. It's just no fun letting them sit there, not doing anything.)

I took Keefe to see this New Year's Eve 1999, and I've never forgotten the fun we had that afternoon. I took him to see the original Toy Story in 1995, but by '99, he was old enough to have fun and not be scared by the sad and/or noisy moments. He didn't understand why I cried during the "When She Loved Me" sequence, though. I think he will when he's a bit older.

And I still say the outtakes were the funniest things I saw, in or out of the theater, in 1999.