Sunday, August 28, 2011


Ok, so I know I said I was going to be more regular with my posts… and then I disappeared again.  But this time, I have a GREAT excuse!

On Sunday, August 14, at 12:37 Pacific Time, I officially became an uncle!

My sister gave birth to a beautiful daughter.  6 lbs., 11 oz.  19.5” 

My mom and dad rushed out to California when they found out my sister had been admitted to the hospital.  Dad stayed one week, mom will stay another week or two, to help with the adjustment period.  And I am going to visit on Labor Day weekend – which means extra work the last two weeks, to make sure my projects get completed on time.  Since I am still short on time, and my measly words would never justifiably explain how thrilled I am, I will just leave you with some of my favorite pictures.

Welcome to the world, V.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Open House, Take 2

I am really excited about next Tuesday… the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, is holding an open house for career changers. Namely, for me.

While I have already been to one open house before, it was aimed at fresh high school graduates… a different element than myself.
And I’ll be honest – I was a bit shell-shocked by the beauty of the place, too.

This trip, I am going in prepared. I have a list of questions ready – about obtaining experience, about financial aid, about being a thirty-something’er going to college with a bunch of teens. I was recently there, so the shell-shock factor should be at a minimum. And I plan to arrive a good hour or two early, to get my walking around, photographing, and purchasing done.

Yes, I have a shopping list.

I’m really hoping this trip will help me decide if this is something I want to pursue, or if I should relegate cooking to a hobby when I have time between other aspects of my life. Obviously, more to follow…

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I know we all go through changes in life, but I’m not sure I like some of them…

First, I’ve always been a morning person.  I could stay up late, not set an alarm, and still be up and bright-eyed at oh-dark-thirty.  Lately, not so much.  I’ve actually slept through alarms twice this week.  And when I do wake up, I feel like a zombie for an hour or so, long after I’ve been up, showered, and eaten.  And let me tell you, there’s nothing pretty about a zombie running through the streets in the morning!

Next, I have lost my patience.  Not patients, at least at the time I dropped them at the ER.  But my patience – my understanding, my no-worries attitude.  I know when it started to erode away, but I thought I had stopped that.  Apparently not.  Lately, I have no patience for stupid people doing stupid things, for people who complain but aren’t willing to lift a finger to effect change, and for people who feel they are entitled to whatever they want.  I’m sorry, but just because you donated $20 to the ambulance company does not entitle you to free taxi rides to the hospital every time you sneeze.  You want a ride, you pay the bill.  If you don’t, the ambulance company will go bankrupt and then when you have a real emergency, you will die.  End of story.

On a side note, I am so excited that states are FINALLY starting to pass laws that allow EMS providers to refuse to transport patients – no more pointless taxi rides for me, thank you very much.

Finally, my lack of motivation.  I’ve always been an internally motivated person.  While my family has always supported me, it’s always felt like the support was surface deep… or only for the standard issues – sports, grades, etc.  But the second I try to go off-track and find my own solutions or outcomes, it feels like I am walking that path alone.  Lately, my inner motivation hasn’t been working too well.  It’s been far too easy to just predict and accept a failure, rather than getting up a little earlier, working harder, and such.  This applies to my marathon training, to the CIA, to the “to do” list, to my desire to find a job that I actually enjoy, and to a few other assorted areas.  The part that scares me is that I’m not sure how to reverse the trend, either.

I guess it’s a good thing that nobody really reads this blog, because I divulge way more information that I should…

On a different note, I did try something new this week that I absolutely loved!  I roasted up a bunch of veggies for dinner on Tuesday night.

A good friend of mine raided her parents garden, and surrendered a few squash, zucchinis, and cucumbers.  I sliced them all up (practicing my “rustic cut”… yeah, I really need culinary school to teach me a thing or two…), threw them on a baking sheet, drizzled with some good EVOO, and let them bake for about half an hour.  One word.  MMmmmm.  I ate a big bowl for dinner, and still had a ton left over for lunches, which I have enjoyed since.  Thank you, Medic Sarah!  I can’t wait to try with some cauliflower, broccoli, and such.  Lovin’ my veggies…

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

To-Make List

Good morning!

Ok, I should warn everyone that I am a little slap-happy right now. I got talked into taking the overnight shift last night, and I was up until very early in the morning… so the lack of sleep, combined with the two cups of coffee I’ve had trying to keep my eyelids open, is making for some interesting conversations this morning. :-)

Java, java, java, java, java, java...
I realized last night that I haven’t updated recently on my running. Unfortunately, part of that reason is because I haven’t been training. <sigh> The heat got to me, and I couldn’t bring myself to go work out in the sauna that was Maryland for most of July. However, I did go out yesterday morning for a good 3 ½ miles, and let me tell you! After you take nearly two weeks off, your lungs don’t like you much when you start again! Wow. But surprisingly, I didn’t have any of the ankle or calf pain I had been having, so maybe some good did come of it after all.

I also decided to simplify my Garmin usage. I had been using the manual lap function, so I could track when I took walk breaks, when I ran, etc., but I decided to just let it record in 1-mile increments. MUCH simpler, and actually, a bit faster, too. Comparing data, I found that I walked less with it on autolap, most likely because with the manual mode, I was “rounding” times… you know - “ok, I’ll walk for two minutes” instead of just walking until my heart rate dropped back into zone. Plus, it allowed me to let my mind wander a bit more, too, which helped with the boredom. I’m curious to see how I do on a longer run…
In the little spare time I’ve had the past three or four days, I’ve tried to catch up on my Google Reader subscriptions. And the only thing I can say about that is I now have a TON of recipes on my “to make” list! Since I haven’t really cooked anything worth blogging about in a while, I figured I would share a few of the links (and their respective recipes) with you here. If anyone makes any of these, let me know, I’d be curious if they are as good as they sound.
J’s “To Make” List
Chelsey’s Marinara Sauce

I think KNOW I need a bigger kitchen.  But until then… keep those knives up!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Discovery Saturday!

Yesterday was an odd day.  I worked a medic unit from 1800-0600 on Friday night, through to Saturday morning... and didn't touch my bunk.  I was dead tired when I got home, so I crawled into bed, canceling my bike ride I had planned.  I purposely woke up at 11, so I could get to the post office before they closed... after I ate some grub, I headed down to Frederick to run some errands.

This is where discoveries started to occur...

Discovery #1:  While slowly walking through Borders, saying my silent goodbyes to my favorite store, I came across a few authors I had heard of before but never found any books for.  Into my cart went Wendy Lyn Watson's "Scoop to Kill", Livia J. Washburn's "Killer Crab Cakes" and "The Pumpkin Muffin Murder", Sheila Connolly's "One Bad Apple", and Riley Adams' "Finger Lickin' Dead."  I had heard of each of these authors at different times, namely because they write fictional stories (mostly murder mysteries...) with a foodie twist.  Some take place in restaurants, some involved poisoned food, murderous chefs, or just have good recipes in them.  Obviously, I haven't read them yet, but soon as I do, I'll give a review...  Oh, and I also picked up a biography on Julia Child, "Appetite for Life" by Noel Riley Fitch.  Think that might be the first one I read... I mean, gotta pay homage to the Queen of the Kitchen, right?!

Discovery #2:  Wegmans.  They opened one up in Frederick about a month ago, and honestly, I wasn't interested.  From the stories I had heard, it sounded like an overpriced, over hyped, and over shopped store.  Not.  Me.  But... yesterday, I succumbed.  One word - WOW.  It's HUGE!!

Fresh foods.  Seafood counter.  Meat counter.  Deli counter.  Sushi counter.  A cafe.  Salad bars.  Cheese counter.  Bakery.  Regular groceries.  Vegan groceries.  Gluten-free groceries.  Kitchen supplies, including a full Le Creuset display.  Catering.  Tour guides.  Ok, well, maybe not that, but geesh, they should!  I will certainly be doing a follow-up post on JUST Wegmans.  I will tour, camera in hand, and let you all see FIRST HAND how wonderful this store is!  Still in shock... why did I wait?

Discovery #3:  Yogi Castle.  Frozen yogurt at its finest.  Wow, I now know where I will be stopping on a LOT of evenings after work.  I will do another follow-up post about this, too, but let me tell you - awesomeness.  Most are fat-free, sugar-free, or low-calorie varieties.  I had a banana and peanut butter mix, with some fresh blueberries and strawberries on top.  Love at first taste.

Today has been fairly lazy, cleaning and whatnot, but who knows, the day is still young.  Have a good Sunday!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Rendezvous 2011

As I’ve written about before, last weekend, my motorcycle club had our annual rendezvous gathering. Chapters from all across the country, indeed, from around the world, come together for one long weekend. We ride, we eat, we drink (of course) and most of all, we bond and connect. It’s always a great time getting to know new friends, catching up with old friends, and seeing a new city together.

This year, Rendezvous was held in Newburgh, New York. So close to the CIA, but since the campus was closed for summer break, didn’t even try to get over there. But the area we stayed in, while not the nicest of areas, had some beautiful riding. Since I am not a great writer, I will just let a few pictures tell the story…
Air National Guard Base

OCC's new shop

Vinny's shop

Jr's truck at his shop

Vinny and Cody at Jr's shop

Photo op with the Warthogs

Santa's new ride

My next ambulance...

Complete with cot.

We will never forget you.

9/11 Tribute wall

Two of Frederick City's finest

Warthogs take over OCC

Somewhere along the Hudson

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Under the Weather

I am not feeling so great since my trip, but will work on editing some pics and getting a post up soon.  Promise.  Be patient... this heat is not helping my stomach any, though...