Thursday, December 24, 2009

So okay…I am catching up on tons of stuff. Spending time with loved ones, missing my family A LOT this Christmas (both blood and family of choice), and feeling the need to write. It’s been a good week and there has been tons happening. Got my Proverbs and Buffy Blog insights done. Duh…you see them. I mean, I guess you see them. If you read this…anyone out there reading this?? I am excited-ish about Christmas. I was thinking today while everyone was rushing around that I will be separated from family this holiday season. And Mo is in Ohio (great for her, sucks for her loved ones here…sniff). On a bitchier note, I am glad that it is almost over. Yes, the Christmas music. I heard “Blue Christmas” with cats meowing. Yes, you read that correctly. Cats. Meowing.

On a more sweet note, I loved…LOVED…Christmas when I was little. My mom and dad used to make it very magical. I remember how we would travel to my grandparents’ houses. And we would spend Christmas eve with my maternal grandparents and Christmas Day with my paternal grandparents. One that I definitely remember was when I was so small…I went to bed and my mom woke me up to let me know Santa had come, open a present and then go back to bed. Awesomeness. Good times. Who knows, maybe I’ll get a Christmas wish and get to see some family this Christmas, too!

I have been cooking a lot lately…and I was super excited to try this recipe. Well, I liked the recipe on paper. And, let me say…the recipe was good…and it was delicious. De-lic-ious. But it’s…uh…sweeter than I wanted. So, I am working on revising it. It requires tweaking. Here is the one I did.

Stuffed Acorn Squash
-2 acorn squash
-2 scraped carrots, grated (just regular organic carrots and grate them on a normal cheese grater. You can dice them too….but texture-wise, I prefer the grated.)
-8oz crushed pinapple (if canned, use water packed OR preferably in UNsweetened pineapple juice. Now, I am not a total foodie-snob, but I think it’s cool too if you have access to a pineapple and can cut up 1 cup and crush it in a mortar and pestle. It’s fresh. Amazing.)
-2 tablespoons dried white raisins (if you can’t find them-because they are hard to find-use raisins.)
-¼ teaspoon ground ginger (fresh, ground or crushed in a M&P, or you can “zest” them. I like the zest because it gives a more solid ginger flavor)

Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and place the squash halves in a baking pan.
Combine the grated carrots, pineapple, raisins, and ginger. Mix and fold together and spoon the mixture into the squash cavities.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until squash are tender.

I want a heartier mix for my next try with this…or maybe a diff squash. I am thinking a starch like a rice or quinoa and some protein with like a rice/beans/meat filling to offset the squash. We’ll see. More on that later…

Yawn…why am I getting so sleepy??? Anyway, I had a good day at work. It was funny in some parts, and they DID change the router connection while I was trying to count down and close; but that is a mistake I don’t think will be made again. Duh…router and connectivity change, it WILL make my connection to the server database go down. D. U. H. Now, I was gonna cover the Thursday shift at DnJ for Holly, but I got X-mas blindsided and am spending some xmas cheer time with loved ones! Good times.

I am also getting pretty excited/nervous about the new year! Boot camp is looming…gonna be SICK! Totally organic, but also the workouts…the food and the detox/supplements are gonna be super good. For people that followed me getting healthy and working out on the first one…this is gonna make that look like child’s play. Back to no caffiene, sugar, salt, alcohol, cigs...Ugh…Excited...but I am getting nervous about it!

Buffy-ism of the Day: Merry Christmas

BTVS 3.10, Amends:

Xander: "Yeah, I like to look at the stars, you know? Feel the whole nature vibe."
Cordelia: "I thought you slept outside to avoid your family's drunken Christmas fights."
Xander: "Yes, and that was a confidence I was hoping you would share with everyone."
Cordelia: "Well, I'll be in Aspen. Skiing. With actual snow."
Buffy: "I hear that helps."

Hahaha...It makes me laugh. Because it's so true. Hope everyone's Christmas is good. And that you don't have to sleep outside due to drunken family fights.

Peace ya'll.

12.24.09 Daily Proverb - Goodwill towards...

Daily Proverb
Proverbs 24: 17-19
“Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: Lest the Lord see it, and it displease him, and he turn away his wrath from him. Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked;”

You know, today is Christmas Eve and even tho there wasn’t some amazing verse that signified a virgin birth, wise men, or the baby Jesus…I loved these verses today. It does signify to me the meaning of peace on earth and goodwill towards others. We should strive to hope for the best for people, even people that are not good to us. People that are challenging or trying deserve our well wishes and compassion even more than those that are always good to us. It’s actually easier to be nice to those people. So, in the interest and hopefully something I will follow…be good to people this Christmas. Even the sucky ones that make you wanna not be.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Recipe of the Day: Zesty Tuna Salad

Alright, everyone that knows me knows I like to eat pretty well and work out. Followers of the Boot Camp I did back in the summer should be excited for the New Year [spoiler: I will be devising, following, and documenting a new and improved version beginning January 1st!!!!]

Here is a great recipe for some boring old Tuna Salad that I came across and tweaked. It has options for those with varying tastes.

Zesty Tuna Salad
1 tablespoon dijon mustard (homeade is best)
1 tablespoon hot mustard (Kozlowski's Hot and Sweet works well!)
Black Pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup nonfat sour cream
8oz Tuna (water packed or drained thoroughly)
1 cup minced carrots
1/2 minced green bell pepper (actually for color you can use 1/4 cup of green and red respectively)
1/2 cup minced onion
1 cup minced celery
1/4 cup fresh dill or parsley

Add the mustards, pepper (to your taste - I only use a pinch or two), Tobasco (to taste - I use mere drops), and lemon juice to the sour cream. Mix well.

Add the remaining ingredients to this and mix thoroughly.

This should make six servings. Serve as you like, I don't reccomend this particular style of Tuna Salad for kind of wastes the texture and some ingredients and tastes.

However, if it is for a nice luncheon, it can be presented nicely on a leaf of Lettuce and garnished.

Cheers and good luck!

Oh, per serving: ONLY 91 calories, 7g protein, 13g carbs (but good kind :))

12.21.09 Daily Proverb - Do The Right Thing...

Read Proverbs 21's a good one. Overall. Kinda wordy and cryptic, but I liked it.
Verses 2 and 3 stuck out to me.

"Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the Lord pondereth the hearts. To do justice and judgement is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice."

So, basically...we all think we are right. We think we are correct. We think that what we do is okay. And it kinda reminds me of the line from The Talented Mr. Ripley where he says, "Nobody thinks they are a bad person." And it's true. Everyone makes excuses for the things they do, or don't do...what they say, who they hurt, cheat, or offend. I was responding, retaliating, getting them back, etc. We all think we are right. Even me.

3rd Verse mentions just do the right thing because it is better than sacrifice. Which is kinda common sense. If you do the right thing, you don't have to ask for forgiveness. Duh.

It's a good rule of thumb to live by. I've used so many different variations of this in my quirky sayings. But basically, don't do stuff to feel bad about. Don't feel guilty by not doing things to feel guilty about. Don't screw someone over, and you won't have to apologize or get forgiveness.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Buffy-ism of the Day: On Death...

Anya was always one of my favorite characters because of the very straightforward way she spoke and interacted with people. When she did encounter death, I loved her reaction.

Since Brittany Murphy is dead today...I kinda thought it was fitting.

Anya: But I don't understand! I don't understand how this all happens. How we go through this. I knew her, and then she's— there's just a body, and I don't understand why she just can't get back in it and not be dead... anymore! It's stupid! It's mortal and stupid! And... and Xander's crying and not talking, and... and I was having fruit punch, and I thought, well, Joyce will never have any more fruit punch, ever, and she'll never have eggs, or yawn, or brush her hair, not ever, and no one will explain to me why! [She begins to cry.]

12.20.09 Recipe of the Day, Veggie Meat Loaf

Veggie Meat Loaf

16 Veggie Burgers (Boca Burgers work well) thawed
1 1/2 16oz can garbanzo beans, drained and chopped
1 cup chopped red peppers
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1/4 cup egg whites (separated from yolk...OR use fake eggs)
1/ cup plus 2 tablespoons salt and sugar free BBQ sauce

Process the veggie burger patties in food processor or chopper with the beans.
In a mixing bowl...combine the remaining ingredients, except 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce. Add the burger/bean mixture and mix well.

Place the burger mixture in a loaf pan and bake at 400 degrees, covered, for 30 minutes.

Top with the additional 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce and bake, uncovered, for an additional 15 minutes.

Serves 10 to 12! And it's really good!!!

Daily Proverb: Drink, Drank, Drunk...Meh.

Proverbs 20: 1

1 - Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Well, duh. How true is that?? I see it every day as a bartender. People either fakely happy, sad, angry...raging against life and not dealing with things. Celebrating, averting, comiserating, socail lubricating...
It's all part of it.

How many times have I said that I will never take a drink again?? Countless... My friends have said that many times. Or asked me to cut them off, or called to "go get a drink" for happy hour. It usually turns into 7.

But as old as this adage is still SO applicable. You know...January is coming sooner than I think and my NYR of totally chemical and stimulant free is gonna be here for my NEW bootcamp. I think I like the idea of not getting drunk...

Open Letter to Life

Dear Life –

Let me begin by saying that I love you very much.
I normally cannot wait to fling open my eyes and bound into each and every day that you deliver to me. As you know, and are well aware of, I am a nerve-wracking chipper kind of guy. I actually enjoy people and challenges and the act of living. I’ve come to realize that I am journey kind of guy and not a destination kind of guy…

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately about you.

Growing up, we had a hard relationship. I never knew that the hardships and tests and things that you gave me were ways of making me stronger and more durable. I accused you of being unfair and I must confess that in my heart…I momentarily hated you many times. You threw parental issues, selfishness, divorce, hateful step-parents, hard family issues, and tons of “growing up too fast” stuff at me. Still, overall…I loved you. If I am just being honest and not conceited…I even kind of excelled at you.

You made me sensitive and crazy and ADHD and OCD. I dealt. I deal. I will deal. And, still…there I was/am: Full of wonder and love and curiosity. And to give credit, I must say…we’ve had a great run, so many wonderful experiences and so many nice times and things that I am truly blessed to have seen, done and been a part of. I mean, even with the mucho crazy and family weirdness…I have a great family (most of the time and circumstance), great friends (the few of you know who you are), and tons of acquaintances and people to know. Also, I must say that I was always lucky in life and work with so many treasured experiences and things I’ve gotten to see and accomplish in a short, short life… I mean, I got a great career early on…did tons of government and ESRD stuff that I will always hold dear. Thanks a lot! It was super great!

However, lately it seems that either choices (or forced choices), and time and people and just…well, YOU, dear life…have become day by day, increasingly difficult. Increasingly challenging. Increasingly…well, sucky and full of hard decisions and disappointing people and situations. So what gives? What is it with all of these new tests and trials and things that are hard, difficult and painful??? Why shouldn’t I get my sunset, happy ending and blah blah blah?

Okay, I am nauseating myself. I am getting on my OWN nerves…

Wow. Too much has happened in the past year…year and a half… To the casual observer, it would seem like you take joy in making me doubt my sanity, my sobriety, my religion and my own very self. And in thinking about all of that, and taking some great self inventory. Really searching my soul and my actions and my life…here’s the deal: I got news for you, dear Life – you need to be on notice. I asked for a break. You said, “No.” Well, I am not asking anymore. I am taking. “Meh?” you say.


As in… Moving forward. Not turning around, not asking questions, not caring about answers. Me. Mine. My goal, vision, mission…


Sigh…since I am giving notice…and since I am putting this out there publicly…allow me an indulgence of the worst sort: The Spring Cleaning Whine.

Dear Life and those in it…for all of my great “friends” that I haven’t heard from, barely hear from, or otherwise hear from ONLY when you want a drink, a good time, or some kind of hook up, tickets, information, introductions, money, or anything besides just…well…being a friend.

Delete me.
Don’t call me.
Don’t text me.
Don’t know me.

Don’t get drunk and tell me you love me when your card declines and you owe me 40 bucks or you need a shoulder to cry on when your life isn’t great. If you can’t be a good reciprocal friend, then don’t be any kind of friend. Don’t text me when you are already at a party for two hours and wonder where I am.

Because I’ll tell you where I’m gonna be. With me. Figuring some stuff out. Relearning who I am and what I want and just how I’m gonna get it. And that might just not include you.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Recipe of the Day - Stuffed Zucchini

4 8in zucchini
1/2 cup matzo meal
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup grated sapsago cheese
3/4 cup skind and diced fresh tomato
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 cup cooked rice
1 tablespoon diced pimento
1/4 teaspoon celery seed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Slice the zucchini in half lenthwise. Scrape out the pulp from the centers and set it aside. Place the zucchini in a pan in a little boiling water and simmer it gently for a few minutes. (The zucchinni should be firm enough to withstand stuffing.)

Combine the pulp and the other ingredients in a bowl. Drop whole tomatos in a boiling water for a couple of minutes to facilitate removing the skin. Skin and dice the tomatos and add them to the other ingredients. Stuf the zucchinni and and lay them in a nostick baking pan or casserole dish. Cover and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Then uncover and brown.

Serve plain or with a spaghetti or tomato sauce...

Saturday, December 19, 2009 - Proverbs 19:1

Proverbs 19:1 "Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity, than he that is perverse in his lips, and is a fool."

You cliche and "common sense" as it is better to be honest, just and poor than a liar or a corrupt rich dude.

I've made lots of money before...and I was happy...but when it came to politics and money and back scratching... Well, let's just say I am much happier as a person working at the gym and Rainbow and bar. I'd rather work in those settings and feel that peace and hard work satisfaction and sense of purpose. Just sayin'.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Recipe of the Day

Fish Fillets with Orange Salsa

½ cup unsweetened organic orange juice
2 – 3 tablespoons mild salsa (homemade preferably, but if store bought…use freshest and most salt/sugar free)
10 to 12 oz fish fillets, something like orange roughy, sole, or halibut
½ cup all purpose unbleached white flour (get it from your local health food store)
2 tablespoons chopped green onions

In a small bowl, compine the OJ and salsa and set aside. Dry the fish fillets with paper towels.

Spray a nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and put the pan over high heat. Dredge the fillets in the flour, shaking off the excess, and then sauté on one side until they are lightly browned (about 2 or 3 minutes). Gently turn the fillets over and brown for 2 minutes. (Note: Don’t try to move the fillets around in the pan…they’ll probably start sticking and then tear…) Remove the skillet from heat and allow to cool for a minute before continuing.

Stir up the salsa mixture and pour it over the fish (the fish will now unstick easily). Lower the heat to medium and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, basting the fish with the sauce. Do this until the fish is cooked and the sauce has been reduced to a glaze.

Garnish with a sprinkling of green onions and serve.

Serves 2, each serving is only 245 calories, 33g carbs, 25g protein, and 10g of fat

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Recipe of the Day - Tomato/Rice Soup

1 Onion, chopped
2 small carrots, chopped
3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1/2 head cabbage, chopped
1 28oz can whole-packed tomatos, chopped, with juice
3 cups canned tomato juice (mix with water if thinner soup is desired)
1 15oz can of salsa (or homemade's good too!)
3 cups of Brown Rice, half cooked

Seasonings: Bay Leaf, Garlic Powder, Oregano, Chili Powder, Celery Seed

  • Fresh Veggies are ground to provide a flavor base for the soup. ;)

  • Put the onion, carrots, celery, green pepper, and cabbage in a blender and grind it up. Add some tomato juice in as you go to make the grinding easier.

  • Transfer the ground veggies to a soup pot.

  • Add the rest of the tomato juice, canned tomatos(including juice), and salsa to the soup pot.

  • Bring the contents to a boil and then simmer gently for about 15 minutes.

  • Add the partially cooked rice and seasonings(to taste) and simmer gently for 15 minutes.

  • Check the consistency of the soup, and add more tomato juice or water to suit your preference.

This makes about 16 servings. And the soup is amazing! Enjoy.

Proverbs 16

Alright, so I do this thing everyday where I read Proverbs. Kind of like a horoscope-y thing. There are 30ish days every month and 30 chapters, so I read it.

Amazingly enough, every day, something applies. Also, because of all of the different verses, you never run out of cool stuff that is common sense to help with your day and life. Very meditative and very helpful.

Today's is:

Proverbs 16: 33 - "The lot is cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of the Lord."
Okay, so basically, making plans, casting lots, fate, everything....we plan for. Man plans for. But no matter what, the end outcome is of God.

Well, what does that mean??? I am living in the 21st Century already and some old guys from Proverbs days with abilities to be wise and see the future. There are several ways that we can interpret the whole lot casting thing:

1. Most people think that "What happens, happens..." I have always liked that one. Sometimes, Life just happens. Juse because you get a flat tire, doesn't mean you are getting punished...just because you break a nail, etc...

2. Pre-Ordination - And there are people and religious sects that believe that everything everyone does of every day is pre-ordained. Call if Fate, call it whatever you like.. It takes away choice and change-ability. Which is comforting on a level if you want NO responsibility in your life. Which I don't so much care for.

3. No Interference - Some people believe that God just sits up there and watches...kind of like we are an ant farm or a social experiment. I dunno, maybe that might have a ring of truth to it. But aside from the Gary Larson-like humor of makes a higher being seem....cold. Which I don't personally like or want to subscribe to.

4. Collaboration - I guess if there was a point I'd have to'd probably be this one. It's one where I believe that God let's live our lives...and we get to ask for guidance, direction, help...growth. Belief. It makes sense that if God is viewed as a parental figure...that we are meant to live our lives, make our mistakes...and get veered or directed as needed. I kind of like that view. For me.

Sooo, I guess that no matter what you believe, or what you decide you can do or not do in the "Grand Scheme" of things...seems like we have lots to cast. ;)