Archives for category: Silly

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I have visited the San Juan Islands of Washington state many times in my life. Each time, I go to the San Juan Island National Historic Park. Most people don’t know that at one time, both the British and the U.S. laid claims to this area. They actually cohabited there. The National Historic Park preserves buildings and a cemetery from both the American and British military camps.

During our recent vacation, we stayed on Orcas Island. The National Historic Park is on San Juan Island. There is an inter-island ferry that runs a few times per day between the main San Juan Islands. It is an archipelago that has over 120 named islands, four of which are accessible by the Washington State Ferry system, the largest passenger and automobile carrying ferry system in the U.S. We took the ferry to San Juan Island twice, the first time for our sea kayaking adventure and the second time to visit my Seattle friend, Nancy who happened to be vacationing on San Juan Island during the same week we were on Orcas.

The original plan was for us to get to San Juan a few hours earlier than we were expected at Nancy’s place so that we could explore. In particular, I wanted to go on the same hike we did three years ago, when I found lady’s slipper orchids in the WILD. (I had long heard of this native orchid and never seen one.)

Alas, I was unable to convince my people to get up early enough to get to a ferry that would get us to San Juan in time to explore before our dinner plans with Nancy. I even quoted the impressive statistics about our state ferry system and all I heard were snores. So we arrived on San Juan Island with only about 20 minutes of exploration time.

However, we were able to visit the National Historic Park and learn of what I call “The Bay of Pig“, the stand off between the British and American troops during the Civil War Era when my fair state was called the “Oregon Territories”.

I will tell the story in the photographs I took during that solemn 10 minutes we had at the park.

See, I told you that this was Civil War Era. Look at the uniforms!

See, I told you that this was Civil War Era. Look at the uniforms!



Brink of War!!!!
An American shoots a British pig! Threats of strongly worded letters to the British governor to kick out the Americans are issued, “for you Americans are a nuisance on the Island and have no business here and I shall write Mr. Douglas and have you removed.”

Ooh, it's the English military building, now with an AMERICAN flag. Take that pig-lovers!

Ooh, it’s the English military building, now with an AMERICAN flag. Take that pig-lovers!



Who are we kidding? Do you really think the English and the U.S. would go to war over a pig? With a view like this? Peace prevails!

Who are we kidding? Do you really think the English and the U.S. would go to war over a pig? With a view like this? Peace prevails!

This post is from 4/11/13. It’s perhaps one of the silliest things I’ve ever written. But I like silly so that’s okay. Silly has gotten me far in life. A hidden meaning of this post is my great love for my husband. Soylent Green is a film that I would NEVER have seen if I had not married a man who adores cheesy low budget cinema and begged me to watch it with him. (He had already seen it but he wanted me to see it.) Actually, watching a movie was one of our first dates. He asked me if I wanted to join he and his roommate in watching Terror in the Aisles, a compilation of scenes from horror films. I HATE HORROR FILMS. I MEAN I REALLY HATE THEM BECAUSE THEY TERRIFY ME! But I had already fallen in love with John, which was not yet reciprocated. This was my chance to impress. I would gut my way through it. We got to the scene where Cujo’s face exploded and I started screaming, “Turn it off, turn it off, turn it off!!!!!!!!!!” Not our best date but he never tried to get me to watch horror again. But he did get me to see Soylent Green.


I finally got around to making the very healthy chia pudding recipe I posted from my dear friend, Mike, who practices Chinese medicine in New York City. Helen of My Lymph Node Transplant had made it a few days earlier and kindly noted that it was a bit on the bland side, so she had added extra dates to it. At that point Helen declared it, “very nice”. So I doubled the dates. I also ended up roasting my raw cashews after my husband reminded me that he is allergic to raw nuts. I also substituted olive oil for coconut oil. I couldn’t find the latter and I suspect my daughter has absconded with it to use as wax for some project she is doing in her room, perhaps making a surf board out of a tree branch or something. (I exaggerate her mad scientist shenanigans only slightly. Only this morning, I found a seafood fork in the shower.)

After I blended the pudding in the my food processor, I gave it a sniff. It had a pleasant, nutty aroma. The appearance is a nutty tan color. I did not think it looked bad. However, my husband, who will eat ANYTHING, wouldn’t even try a bite. I ate a little spoonful and it tasted good and the texture was similar to tapioca pudding, just as Mike had described in his introduction to the recipe. Wait, a minute. I just remembered something. I don’t like tapioca pudding because of the texture. Actually, I find the texture to be somewhat disgusting. Did I think the fact that this pudding has healthy ingredients was going to change this for me? Aaaah! I have become my grandmother. Unlike the stereotypical expectations of a first generation Italian immigrant, my nonna was a pretty lousy cook. I remember how incredulous she was when her soups didn’t turn out tasty. She would say, “But I put a whole stick of good butter in it and a wedge of good cheese.” She thought the quality of the ingredient trumped all. And grandma, why did you put all of that butter in the soup. Yuck! (My mother has read this post and believes I may have confused her mother with Paula Deen, the famous butter loving chef.)

So, I took all of this time and energy, not to mention the expense of the very healthy ingredients and ended up with Soylent Green! You don’t know what soylent green is? It’s the “plankton based” food that people had to eat in the dystopian future sci-fi movie of 1973 starring Charlton Heston. You see the world had ruined the environment and was running out of food. Charlton played a rugged and “sexy” cop whose wardrobe looked like a mash-up of Oliver Twist and Mork of Mork and Mindy. The masses in this society had to eat processed “plankton” crackers. But as Charlton learns by the end of the movie, there’s no plankton. “Soylent Green, it’s people, it’s people!”

Okay, so my initial batch of chia pudding reminded me of a film about cannibal crackers. That is not a good start. But I had put this much time into it and put lots of good ingredients in. So, like Katie Torlai before me, I started combining it with stuff. I added a couple of tablespoons of pudding to 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons flax seed meal, and 3/4 of a peeled apple, sliced into small chunks. This concoction was to be my breakfast, which I have adopted as my “medicinal meal”, that is the way I get 2 tablespoons of flax seed meal into my diet each day. Consequently, my expectations for breakfast are low.

As I mixed up my small vat of chunky, seedy, goo, the appearance points for the dish dropped from 1/4 of a star to zero stars. It looked really unappealing. I took a taste, fully expecting to exclaim, “Soylent Green, it’s chia, it’s chunky, yogurty, seedy chia!”

To my surprise, the added ingredients actually improved the dish’s texture score from 0 stars to 1 star. It no longer reminded me of the goo from badly cooked okra. The flavor rating was bumped up to 1 1/2 stars.

Ding, ding, ding! Marginally palatable breakfast is served!

Photo from Wikipedia

I just offered Charlton a spoonful of pudding. Coward!!!!
Photo from Wikipedia

P.S. I almost forgot that it is Health Activist Writers’ Challenge month. Today, my health activist sign reads as follows:

You are what you eat, especially if you live in a dystopian future complete with Soylent Green as the only food option.

This post is from 4/6/13. I had been home for nearly a month following my TRAM surgery. I was bored.  I was trying to do a daily post following the Health Activist Writers’ Month Challenge. I decided to do it before I read the writing prompts. I didn’t like them. But I appreciated the purpose of the challenge and tried to give include some kind of health related message in each post.


For today’s Health Activist Writers’ challenge post, I have a challenge for YOU.

I challenge you to join the WRF, the World Resting Federation. Yes, you read right, the World Resting Federation. Yeah, we get confused with another world federation. We have a similar name plus we also wear really cool costumes and have cool names. My resting name is Googly Eyes. We also engage in bouts to see who is the hardest rester. I am able to use the mesmerizing power of my cattywampus bosoms to render my opponents wide-eyed while I catch some major zz’s.

Are you ready to rest with the best?

Come see my next match.

It’s on Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!

Limited edition commemorative pj’s will be on sale.

smiley t shirt small

This post is from 1/31/13. Now that I’ve complained about my kin’s untidy habits, I’m putting up a repeat of post in which I complain about Hubby’s subclinical hypochrondria. Girly has it, too. Interestingly, it has improved for both of them over the last six months. Hmm…

Yesterday, my hubby complained of being hot and not feeling well. I thought that perhaps he had caught menopause from me and was having hot flashes. Given that I contracted menopause from a hypodermic needle (full of Lupron), it makes sense if you think about it. Today, he feels much better.

As a former university researcher, I conclude that menopause in males is a 24 hour condition. I think I will write a paper on this and submit it to the Journal of Polymorphous Perversity. (See an example of one of their premier articles, Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality.)

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This post is dated 11/4/12. I remember being really proud of the title for it. Kitty was pretty sick when I wrote this but was still acting relatively healthy. As many of you know, he died the following spring. I miss my weird handsome kitty.


Okay, I took a little tiny bit of creative license with the title of my post. My cat, Ollie, is actually male and he is neutered, not spayed. “Neutered” just doesn’t have the right sound. Fortunately, I am not planning to apply to veterinary school any time soon. Or any time for that matter. I’ve had enough advanced education in my life. I absolutely love my job. It’s a good thing I didn’t fully know what I was getting into with graduate school because if I’d known, I probably would have skipped getting a Ph.D.

But back to another infertile member of the family, Oliie the cat. Ollie has been seeking a LOT of attention from me lately. He climbs up on me to purr and sleep, several times a morning, and what I mean by the morning is any time followed by the letters “am.” Ollie is exacerbating my sleep problems by waking me up a lot. He is also warm, which compounds my hot flashes.

Since Ollie has treated John as his favorite for years, I have been perplexed by this change in his habits. At first, I thought it was because he is getting older and has a number of ailments. I thought that maybe he is just needing more attention from every body. This is true, to a certain extent as he has been asking for more attention from John as well. John thinks Ollie is actually feeling better from his liver medicine (he has a liver disease, pancreatitis, and hyperthyroidism) so he has been seeking more attention. The hyperthyroidism also makes him hungrier so he is bugging us for food more frequently. (And yes, there is a treatment for hyperthyroidism but we tried the cheap route, twice daily medication, and he was unable to tolerate it. The alternative treatment costs $1000. We just paid $1500 in diagnostic tests to find out about all of these ailments so we need a couple of weeks to recover.)

I have another hypothesis as to why I have become Ollie’s favorite. You know how cats love to be warm? How they lie in the sun in the summer and on the heater vents in the winter? I think the cat is seeking me out because of my hot flashes!

I do love my kitty but perhaps I will start sleeping with an ice pack on my chest to discourage him.

Another time I tried to turn Ollie into a girl. I put a tiara on him to try to submit a photo to the site, “Cute Overload.” Then I never sent it in because I was embarrassed about trying to take a funny cat picture.

Tissue expanders are very strange. They look weird and feel weird. Mine was also placed right under my skin instead of beneath my pectoralis as is usually done. That made the strangeness even more obvious. And for extra credit, my tissue expander freaked out my cat!

10/27/12: Undercover Piroshky

Or “undercover empanada.” Or “under cover calzone.” For a sweet option, “under cover apple turnover.” I opted for piroshky in the title because “under cover piroshky” reminded me of Boris and Natasha from the Bullwinkle and Friends cartoons. And Boris and Natasha were cool.

I speak of the shape of my newly expanded breast. The primary purpose of the tissue expander is to expand tissue and to encourage new skin growth. Looking like an actual breast is secondary to this goal and now that the expander is almost totally filled with saline, I realize that it looks like an upside down filled bread product. And all but the apple turnover are made with yeast so I am getting closer to a leavened breast after all. The fold part of the empanada corresponds to the top of my breast. It curves on the ends so it is not totally horizontal. The middle of the fold, however, makes a handy shelf. I could probably balance three shot glasses there. Party! If you are in more of an afternoon partying mood, I could balance a tea cup (without saucer) or for you coffee drinkers, a couple of demitasse cups.

Just thought you’d want to know about this development. You’re welcome!

11/1/12: Ravenous

My cat has hyperthyroidism and we are still trying to get it treated successfully. This gives him a large appetite and also makes him run around the house at times, in a seemingly manic state. This morning, he climbed into bed with me. He was sweet and snuggly. I gave him a lot of attention. Then he put his paw on my breast and put out his claws slightly, like he does when he wants to play. I thought, “I wonder if he could get through my nightgown, my skin, and the plastic tissue expander? I thought that he probably couldn’t but was not entirely thrilled with the idea of springing a leak in the expander. So I shifted my weight a little and remonstrated, “Kitty!”

You will not believe what he did next. He took a playful bite at my breast, not just once but twice! He’s never done that before in the 11 years he’s lived with us. I wondered why this was the first time. Maybe this is crazy, but I think when he reached out his paw, he was confused by how hard my temporary breast is. It’s a bag full of saltwater, under my skin, after all. Maybe he thought it was my elbow or something.

Now Ollie’s eating greenery from a vase of flowers on the table. Now that’s something he’s done many times before. But a fake breast? Maybe he has another illness. With humans, habitually eating items that are not food is called, “pica.” Maybe he has pica. I’d leave you on this note, but I have a funny pica story.

When I was on internship (a one year clinical position that was required to finish my Ph.D. in clinical psychology), we had a morning meeting one day to assign cases to the interns. This was a normal thing that we did every time we had clinic duty. The referral questions were written down on a phone message by the clinic secretary, along with the patient’s name and age. There was a 4 year-old coming in for an evaluation. The supervising psychologist read the secretary’s notes aloud, “Eats couch.”  I said, “I’ll take the couch eater!” No one else in the group liked preschool aged children like I do, so my preference was uncontested. Yes, it was my first and only pica case.

Chew on that.

12/1/12: I wonder if Napolean had a unilateral mastectomy?

I notice that I often unconsciously place my hand on the spot where my breast used to be. It’s sort of like a breast, at least more so than right after my mastectomy. As I’ve previously mentioned, there’s a calzone-shaped tissue expander in there right under my skin. I do it so often that I’ve begun to worry that I’ll be talking to one of my patients and suddenly find that I have put my hand under my bra without even realizing it.

I have to admit, it’s a pretty good hand warmer. Since I don’t go around topless, it’s well insulated by clothing. Plus, it’s located near the nuclear reactor part of my body, where the hot flashes seem to originate. And since the skin over the expander has no sensation, it is not unpleasant to touch it with an ice cube cold hand.

But mostly, I think my hand is just doing it’s version of, “What the Hell are you? Why are you shaped like a savory turnover? Why do you feel like a Tupperware lid?” Followed repeatedly by, “Oh my goodness, are you still there? What are doing here. Are you still shaped like a turnover? Yes, you are. Do you still feel like a Tupperware lid? Why yes, you do.”

It’s kind of like the relationship between my tongue and a crown that was put on one of my teeth about five years ago. When it was first placed, my tongue was on it constantly, like it was a foreign object that didn’t belong in my mouth. I still find that without realizing, that my tongue has a little habit of checking it out, probably at least once per day. And I think my friend, Lisa was right about my cat doing the same thing when he took a nip at my right breast some weeks back. It was his way of saying, “What the Hell is that?” My cat is about as smart as my tongue so I think this is a good hypothesis.

So now I think I’m going to do an Internet search for portraits of Napolean and see if he’s wearing a little pink ribbon in any of them.

No pink ribbon but based on the hand position, I surmise that Napolean battled sagginess in addition to Waterloo.
No pink ribbon but based on the hand position, I surmise that Napolean battled sagginess in addition to Waterloo.

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