Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No Cruising Since October? That Won't Do!

Has this ever happened to you? I was bored earlier and began browsing through cruise sites. I found an 11 night cruise with a terrific itinerary on a great cruise line for only $499. Intrigued, I did a little more searching and found the same cruise for only $399 ($36/night!)

While it isn't the best cruise deal we've ever booked, (we ditched everyone for Thanksgiving a few years ago to go on a 5 night cruise for only $150 with a $50 ship credit!) it was great enough to warrant pricing airfare. ABQ to (mystery city) was also a great price. (Why so vague? Sexy Nerd is one of those paranoid people who thinks a criminal will rob us while we're away based on the info I've posted on my blog. Six years together and his paranoia is rubbing off on me. We'll have a house-sitter like always, but good luck getting them to come back if someone breaks in!)

Although yesterday I had no intention of going on a cruise any time in the near future, now I feel like I simply have to go on this cruise! There's just 1 problem.

I still have to get time time off from work.

Getting time off isn't a concern for Sexy Nerd. He has one of those grown-up jobs where you mark on the calendar when you'll be gone and just leave. He even has paid vacation. My boss, as sweet and nifty as she is, tends to get a little wacky when it comes to time away from the office. For example: We don't have patients on Tuesdays, but my boss likes to have someone there to answer the phone. This means my office mate works the morning and I work the afternoon, in overlapping shifts. Ideally, we would both love to alternate days instead (I would work a full day this Tuesday and be off the next Tuesday) but my boss thinks this is a terrible idea. Why? Because then who would answer the phone from 12-12:30 when the only person working took their lunch break? The worst case scenario is that 2 calls will go to voicemail (1 of which will undoubtedly be asking "Do y'all, umm, take the Medicaid?")(No!!!) I understand where my boss is coming from. We don't have a huge staff and if I disappear from work for a week and a half, they are going to be short-handed. Still, I want to go!

This leads me to my plan for today. I put together a super-professional outfit that my boss is bound to love. I'm wearing the Burberry scarf she gave me in my hair. Incidentally, I'd also say I look like a flight attendant, ready to fly off toward a fun adventure. Can you say "sending hidden signals"?

The suck-up-to-your-sweet-little-old-lady-boss ponytail of a cruiseaholic.

Clearly, something went terribly wrong with this photo! I like it anyway.
Ooooooh, Ghost Girl!


Well, I'm off to work to plead for some time off. Check back soon to find out whether there's a cruise coming up in my future! Wish me luck!

*If you are reading this and you are my boss, (so very awesome, by the way) I would like to point out that this entire post is written entirely in fun and good humor and should not under any circumstance be taken to mean that I don't completely LOVE my job or that I think I can manipulate you to get my way! Oh, and I am loving the scarf! Thank you again! You're the best!

4/1/10 Update: Will we be cruising? Take a look!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

3 Minute Toaster/Convection Oven Smores

These are perfect when you're craving a quick, sugary treat. They work equally well in a toaster oven and a convection oven. Best of all, compared to eating an entire bag of Oreos, (something I have never done!) they're quite healthy.

What's that, you say? You already know how to make smores in the toaster oven? Well, la dee dah for you! Now, sit back and enjoy the ooey gooey marshmallowy photos.

(And if you're someone who works with me, please keep the "I've seen her polish off an entire bag of Oreo cookies" nonsense to yourself.)

 Step 1: Put desired amount of graham crackers on a toaster oven/convection oven-safe pan.

 
Looks like it's time to clean this pan, Sexy Nerd

Optional 1st step, which is Sexy Nerd's favorite: Spread peanut butter on each graham cracker (I'm not much of a peanut butter fan - WHAT?!? - so I skip this step.)

Cover with yummy marshmallows.


Top with chocolate chips.


Place in the toaster oven on the lowest setting, or the convection oven at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep an eye on them. They go from not quite done to overdone insanely fast! About 3 minutes usually does the trick.

How did that marshmallow get there?? Ah, the mysteries of a convection oven.


Sure, I could press these together into a traditional smore, but then I would only have one.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Chalkboard Door Is For Holiday Decorating!

One of our favorite changes made during our kitchen remodel was repainting the laundry room door with chalkboard paint. We decorate the door for each holiday. It has had a Christmas tree, fireworks, pumpkins, and all sorts of other holiday designs over the last year or so that we've had it.

We've been lazy lately and, up until this morning, it was still decorated for Valentine's Day. I casually mentioned to Sexy Nerd that it's about time we erase all the hearts and put up an Easter design. I was thinking that it would be funny to draw an easter bunny wearing a Pope hat, like on South Park. Surprisingly, Sexy Nerd said that he was way ahead of me and had already updated our chalkboard door.

This is not what I'd had in mind:


Weirdo.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Woman's Day Magazine No Longer Irks Me!

You may recall my rant a while back (Woman's Day Magazine Irks Me). For the record, I'm not some crazy devil-worshiper who gets offended easily and tries to censor every little thing. I just don't feel that it's appropriate for a non-religious magazine that intends to appeal to all women to have a bible verse as a feature in every issue. An inspirational quote? Sure! An article where a woman talks about her faith? No problem! But an actual bible verse that says to praise God? Errr...it seems a bit out of place amidst the recipes and life tips. 


You want to know how to tick off a lot of women really fast? Mention your beef with Woman's Day Magazine on the Woman's Day Message board! Here is a sample of the feedback I received:


 "There is so much absolute filth out there. It's even in cartoons and shows, intended for kids." (True, but that really doesn't justify keeping the bible verse.)


"While you may or may not like the quoting of a Bible verse each month on the Table of Contents page, I would not like to see a quote from some other religion or school of thought - one you would deem for everyone - for then it would not be for me!" (Did this poster not just put herself exactly in my shoes and not even realize it?)


"To decide to buy, or not buy, a magazine because of one bible quote on the Contents page is asinine. " (I'm sorry. I must have sent the wrong message when I wrote that as long as they continued to provide the same household tips and recipes, I would continue to subscribe.)


"I'll just cancel my subscription, and encourage others to do so as well." (The solution to if the verse is removed. Oh, but cancelling because it stays is asinine, right?)


"Perhaps Ms. Lambaround would consider attending a church/religious service of her choosing to see what the verses are referring to." (I can't even find words for this one.)


"When I saw the quote that you selected, it turned my stomach. Maybe that's because, as a counselor, I've seen the terrible things that people do to themselves and to the people they love through that type of thinking."


As for that last response, the women on the message board challenged me that there are no inspirational quotes that can apply to people without factoring in religion (never mind all those other inspirational quotes I see in the newspaper and other magazines!) I did a quick Google search for inspirational quotes and cut/paste the 1st few I saw. The first was "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." Goodness, whatever was I thinking, selecting such a disgusting quote, which is sure to lead everyone who reads it down a path of self destruction!


Anyway, the reason I began this post was to say that I have received my April issue and the bible verse is gone! Maybe it had something to do with the new Woman's Day editor, Elizabeth Mayhew, reading my original post (and commenting! How awesome is she?) and maybe (most likely) not. Still, after causing such a fuss, I think it's only right that I let Elizabeth Mayhew know my impression of the new issue. I read it during my lunch breaks over 3 days and had planned to just mention the 1 or 2 things I loved about the issue. However, there were so many little things that made it enjoyable that I actually ended up taking notes! Lol, I told the other girls at work that I'd assigned myself some homework. They all think I'm just a little more nuts than before.


Why The April 17, 2010 Issue of Woman's Day Magazine is the BEST ISSUE EVER
(and why you should run out and buy it subscribe if you haven't already!)
  1. The attention to detail in this issue is evident even from the cover. The napkins with red trim beneath the bowl of spaghetti really brings everything together.
  2. I'm excited about the new feature, All's Well The Ends Well. This month taught how to perfectly sew on a button. As a sewing-challenged individual, this made my day. No one ever teaches you how to do little things like this. They just assume you know! But we all have to learn somewhere, right?
  3. This issue is filled with interesting facts. Did you know that the average vegetable you buy at the grocery store has traveled 1,500 miles to get to you? This has me more determined than ever to make our vegetable garden a success this year!
  4. I'm going to try the branch forcing tip from page 10 with a branch from my Crabapple tree. 
  5. There is an interview with Queen Latifah! Who can honestly say that they don't like her? She's a great role model for women and she appeals to different generations.
  6. I had never heard of Wabi Sabi before and I got a laugh from Wabi Sabi 101.
  7. Page 41 has advice from a plumber on clogs. At first I thought it was just going to be basic information, but it actually taught me a lot. I hope I'll never need to use the digital photo tip, but if I do, I'll be glad I know it!
  8. I made the Comfort Food Without the Guilt recipe for Turkey Tetrazzini for dinner the other night. It was a perfect magazine recipe because it used ingredients that I had on hand. It was also quite tasty!
  9. Page 82 received a giant comment with exclamation point on my "homework". It says that "thoroughly rinsing beans under water will wash away a good amount of salt". I have always wondered whether rinsing my canned foods actually made much of a difference. I even mentioned it in a recent post (LambAround Taco Salad Recipe).
  10. I couldn't believe the statistic that 10% of hospital admissions are from taking medications incorrectly. It seems so high! Then I thought about my job. I work in a pediatric dental office and it's ridiculous how many parents do not give their child the correct dosage of Penicillin. It doesn't matter if we stress to them that their child has an infection and can die if they don't take all of the Penicillin. They skip doses, or skip filling the prescription altogether, and call us saying their child has a toothache and their entire face is swollen. It's insane!
  11. Page 102 - I thought Syrah and Shiraz were two different kinds of wine (though, to be fair, I'm not much of a wine connoisseur).
  12. The sauce ideas to go with chicken all sound quick, easy, and tasty. They would also be good mixed in with pasta, rice, or couscous.
There were a few other notes I'd made on my "homework" that didn't quite seem deserving of the above list. The wackiest? "Page 117 - Giant Doughnut!" I think I'd had enough note taking for one day.


This really is a great issue!

Monday, March 22, 2010

5 Random Things That You Will (Hopefully!) Enjoy Reading

First of all, I'd like to say another great big THANK YOU to all you lovely people who left comments for my last post! You've gotten me all psyched up to do some serious blogging!

Also, instead of continuing to whine and complain about how my blog's button is way too big, I stopped being lazy for just a few seconds and fixed it.

Photobucket

<div align="left"><a href="http://lambaround.blogspot.com/" title="Lamb Around" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1008.photobucket.com/albums/af203/dnluna/LambWhoAreThesePeople-2.jpg" alt="Lamb Around" style="border:none;" /></a></div>

Better, isn't it? Ah, I feel so accomplished today!
Okay, here is that list:

1. The weather in Albuquerque is bizarre during the spring. We took the dogs for a walk the other day and I was able to wear shorts and a tank top. Less than 24 hours later, it snowed.

2. Sexy Nerd and I have as many fruit trees as we can cram into our cookie-cutter neighborhood backyard. Last year, we didn't get a single cherry on either of our cherry trees because it froze after the trees blossomed. We already have blossoms on our nectarine tree this year. To prevent losing all the fruit, we covered the branches with trash bags. Pica went out her doggy door last night and freaked out, barking and running back into the house ASAP, leaving a pitiful trail of pee behind her.

"Look out, Pica, the garbage bag Boogyman is in our backyard!"

3. We went to see Cabaret last weekend. Can someone please help me understand how this musical ever made it to the stage, let alone how it has managed to stick around for so many years? There was no story! Which character should we have been rooting for? Certainly not the guy who punches his girlfriend in the face, right? (and they never addressed this!!!) If I had to choose a part where Cabaret officially lost me, it would have to be the "2 ladies" scene. If you've seen it, you're almost certainly cringing right now. If you haven't seen it, lucky you.

4. In Blogger, there is an "Amazon Associates" box to the right when I write a post. It has a box for typing names of items I might like to feature here. I don't know how this happened, but the search term is currently "and peeing and". I haven't clicked that box at all.

5. Allergies suck! It's so unfair! I used to be one of the lucky people, telling all my stuffy-nosed friends about how I never have allergies. All of a sudden, I'm suffering along with everyone else. My throat is sore and it feels like someone is squeezing the top of my nose, between my eyes. My nose is dry and stuffy and runny all at the same time (how is that possible?!) If I weren't feeling so darn crappy, I'd plan a getaway for me and Sexy Nerd. Please let me know if you live somewhere with a short (or non-existent, if that's possible) allergy season.

Think you can't suffer from allergies when the weather is like this?
Think again.

I just proofread everything above. After reading #5, maybe it is a little bit fair. I didn't intend to sound like such a brat. It must have been the Benadryl talking.
It still sucks though.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thank You, Thank You!

Blogging hasn't seemed very worthwhile the last few days. After all, I thought, does anyone actually read this? I'm not writing this for money. There are zillions of better blogs out there. No one clicks my crappy ads or posts my button (it's too darn big!) or nominates me for a BlogHer award or to be featured on SITS or follows me, and why would they? LambAround sucks! There are more productive things I could be doing, like working on that book I've been trying to write since...well...too long ago to admit. My house is trashed, (Sexy Nerd's beer brewing doesn't help) my head is congested from allergies, (I hate New Mexico sooo much right now!) and we had an insanely busy/short-handed week at work (spring break at a pediatric dental office is not fun, especially when 2 of the 4 other employees call in because of horrible family emergencies). I was ready to let LambAround sit idle for a few days (weeks? months?). Then, I signed on and read this comment:

Amber said...


I have checked out your blog a few times before, but this is the post that has won me over and turned me into a button-displaying regular reader!

The anxiety, I haz it too.

Great post!
That is exactly what I needed to hear right now! It was even on a post that I almost didn't write - it seemed too personal, like people would be less likely to read my blog if I posted it. My mom used to encourage me to write, but was always appalled/embarrassed/furious whenever I wrote anything even remotely personal. I went back and read the comments that all you wonderful people have left. There were more than I expected! I decided to make a list of everyone who has commented.


If I could go back, I wouldn't have used such an inky pen. Or, crazy thought, since I planned to type the list, I would have just typed it to begin with!

So much ink! It's on the light switches! It's on the kitchen counter! It's EVERYWHERE!

So, to sum up the sappiest post you'll ever see me write, thank you so, so much to everyone who reads this blog. It may seem a little silly, but it means a lot to me. I'm not the social type by any stretch of the imagination. How I ended up with a job where I have to answer the phone every day blows my mind! I guess you could say LambAround is my way of interacting with others. I'd like to say an extra-special thank you to the people who have left comments, listed below (also, I will try to add a link to each persons site within the next few days!):
  1. Sarah
  2. Amanda
  3. Meg
  4. Gena
  5. Sarah P
  6. Stacy
  7. Maile
  8. Tina Lane
  9. Stacie
  10. desertscope
  11. Reeni (there should be a little heart at the end of this name, but I'm not sure how to type it!)
  12. Carrie
  13. Kristen
  14. Danielle
  15. Holly
  16. Melissa
  17. Amber
  18. $treSs-SuNsh!ne-St3ph! (I hope I typed this right! It's a tricky one!!)
  19. bren
  20. The Daydreamer
  21. Spicie Foodie
  22. Jessica
  23. Post Grad Hair Cut
  24. Cinnamon-Girl
  25. Mizzsharon
  26. bananas
  27. Annie
  28. Deb
  29. Elisa@Globetrotting in Heels
  30. Lauren Jean
  31. Blue~Flame
  32. masoodmemon
  33. Elizabeth Mayhew (this one kinda counts and kinda doesn't count)(She's going to get a special post as soon as I get off my lazy behind!)
  34. pumpkinpie
  35. Damaris
  36. Gina@MoneywiseMoms
  37. Martha's Menagerie
  38. Kim
  39. Carrie@LaughLoveEatIceCream (love the name...this and the other long ones are a bit of a pain when writing out a list of names by hand though. LOL)
  40. Taylor@TheUndomesticMamma (another blogger guilty of having a super-long name. Gotta love it)
  41. Hope Chella
  42. Debbie in Nashville
  43. jan~tomatobaby
  44. Romy
  45. New Mommy!!! (congratulations!)
  46. jessicaray
  47. That one girl
  48. Taylor-Made Wife
  49. shannon i olsen
  50. Don
  51. Sarah Mac
  52. meredith
  53. Jeffrey
  54. My Husband's Watching TV
  55. Mom in Boyland
  56. Marianne
  57. tashaface
  58. Jane
  59. W.B. Picklesworth (best.name.ever.)
  60. Dialing Home
Thank you again. You're all fabulous! I have visited all your blogs and plan to continue to visit in the future. Also, I just counted my hand-written list and discovered that there should only be 59 names - one of you is being sneaky and is double thanked! Perhaps it's a sign that this is going to be a wonderful day for you. 
I hope so.

*Update Added At 11am!
I just went to the blog for Taylor@TheUndomesticMomma and read some crushing news. If you have a second to spare, please visit and share your support!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Our Dog Katie

Years ago, Sexy Nerd and I had the brilliant idea to get a dog to keep me company while he was away at school in Michigan. We chose a Jack Russell terrier, which was the worst possible choice considering that I lived in an apartment, was a full time student, and was working a full time job, including a 6:30am-midnight shift every Sunday. Katie had energy to burn, and with no yard to run through and no companions, she put her excess energy to mischievous uses.

 

Example 1 (just 1 of many!): My Birthday

Sexy Nerd was away in Michigan, so he sent me a bouquet of tulips. I set them in a vase on my dining table, then continued to study for a chemistry test I had that afternoon. It's baffling how bad I am at chemistry, especially when you consider the massive chunk of my UNM classes that involved it (including labs, I think I took 10 chemistry classes! I still know pretty much no chemistry whatsoever.) I said good bye to Katie, went to school, miserably failed my test that I'd studied all day for (on my birthday!) and returned home. Needless to say, I was feeling stressed out.

How did my sweet little dog welcome me home? Katie had jumped onto a dining chair and onto the table, where she'd knocked over the vase, spilling water on everything, including my textbooks and notebooks. She had grabbed as many tulips as she could and scattered their remains throughout my apartment. Then, she disappeared underneath the bed so that I couldn't even have the satisfaction of yelling at her!

Sexy Nerd took this photo one night when he'd gotten up to get a drink of water. She was just hanging out in the tub at 2am!
 
Example 2: Sexy Nerd's Pizza

Back from school, Sexy Nerd was ready to leave for work one day when he realized that he had forgotten his pager in the other room. He set his briefcase down on the coffee table and left. Inside his briefcase was his lunch: a cold personal pan pizza, inside the personal pan pizza box, wrapped in a tied plastic bag. Surely, you know where I am headed with this.

When Sexy Nerd returned less than a minute later, Katie had gotten his pizza out of his briefcase, out of the bag, and out of its box. She ate it beneath our futon, where Sexy Nerd couldn't reach her, while growling at him.

Despite Katie being a tiny terror, she was still loved...though Sexy Nerd is stubborn about admitting it. Sadly, we left Katie with Sexy Nerd's grandmother when we went away for Christmas and she got out of the house. In typical Jack Russell fashion, she bolted down the street, and was never seen again. We're fairly certain she was eaten by coyotes.

Sexy Nerd may complain about all the trouble Katie caused, but really, how could anyone not love this dog?


She was so tiny that I made her sweaters out of socks!

 

  

Katie even had a scrunchy "feather boa".
  

Deep down, I know Sexy Nerd loved her.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ooey Gooey Rum Cake - Now With Mini Marshmallows!

We're out of eggs. Sexy Nerd wanted some chocolate cake anyway.
So, what did I make?
Ooey Gooey Rum Cake, of course! (click the link for the recipe, silly!)


The last time I made this, I topped it with marshmallow cream. But, we're all out. (seriously, it might be time for me to go to the grocery store!) Instead, I used mini marshmallows. They were added about 10 minutes into baking and the oven was switched to the broiler setting.


The trick is to let the edge get cakey, but not let the center cook all the way. It's like the easiest chocolate lava cake ever!


Though, admittedly, it may not be the prettiest lava cake around.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Myra M. Lewis

Gosh darn it! I had an entire post, pre-written and waiting to appear after the 2010 HGTV Dream Home giveaway, complaining about whoever won (you know, just in case I didn't win). It went something like:


GET OUT OF MY DREAM HOUSE! I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU, I HATE YOU!!!


But then they awarded it to Dr. Myra M. Lewis, a sweet, lovable old lady, who lost her house during Hurricane Katrina.



I can't complain about her! I even tried. All Google did was reinforce how awesome she is (she helps the environment!) So, Myra M. Lewis, congratulations!


And if you need someone to show you around Albuquerque or house sit, let me know :)



Besides, the 2010 HGTV Green Home is more my style anyway!





I'll tell you what, Myra Lewis. If you let me visit your 2010 HGTV Dream Home, I'll let you visit my 2010 HGTV Green Home. What a deal, right?

:)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

$3 Dining Room Chairs

Sexy Nerd and I have been looking for new chairs for a while. My old Ashley Furniture glass dining table and metal chairs from college just weren't right in our new house. However, as the old dining set cost $200 for the table and 4 chairs, I was having trouble justifying $100 or so per chair for replacements. So, the glass table is now being used as a desk in my office, Sexy Nerd refinished an old dining room table to match our style, and the old chairs received a much-needed update, courtesy of a $3 can of burgundy spray paint (which looks pink when photographed, for some reason).


Now to find cheap upholstery fabric that looks awesome!

And learn how to reupholster a chair!

And sew more of that upholstery fabric into matching curtains! And sand/paint those yucky cabinet doors! And rearrange all the furniture! And find 2 more chairs that will look good with these because we want to seat 6! And build a window seat in the dining room!

Ah, good times.

This Post is Blog Hoppin' at: http://cottageinstincts.blogspot.com/

Friday, March 12, 2010

So How Did Jury Duty Go?

I sucked it up and attended jury duty this morning. It was not a pleasant experience!

On my juror application, I stressed that I would not be a good candidate for jury duty due to problems with social anxiety. I cited the college statistics final where, after being the only person in the class who hadn’t completed their exam, I had a panic attack. When I was in 6th grade, I was called to the front of the cafeteria during an awards banquet. How I made it up to the stage has always been a mystery to me, as the only thing I remember was having the realization that my name might be called and being unable to hear anything else except my heartbeat afterward. Sexy Nerd can vouch for my anxiety. Five minutes before our wedding, Captain Howie pulled out what I thought to be a microphone (it was actually a tape recorder). Not only was I going to have to recite vows in front of everyone – I was going to have to do it loudly?? I was ready to call the whole thing off!

How could I possibly serve on jury duty? I would have to drive downtown, (no!) find the specific courthouse needed, (no!) go through security, (no!) sit in an unfamiliar room filled with (as I imagined) seedy people, (no!) and, worst of all, I may have to say something, like my name, in front of these people (no, no, no!!!) Despite being notified of my anxiety, the State of New Mexico decided that I was a fit candidate for service. I tried to warn them.

Sexy Nerd had the day off work today, and being the best husband ever, he volunteered not only to drive me to jury duty, but to sit and wait with me too. Thank goodness he drove. I would never have found it. The directions clearly stated to park in the METRO PARKING garage to avoid a parking charge. Being the cheap thrifty person I am, I would have refused to park anywhere else. What the directions failed to mention was that their recommended parking garage does not have any signs. There are dozens of parking garages downtown. How are us map-challenged people supposed to figure out which building is the Metro Parking parking garage if there is no Metro Parking sign?

On our way to the courthouse, I let Sexy Nerd in on a little secret. “I’m going to cry and have a panic attack to get out of jury duty.” I told him. “Don’t feel bad for me. It’s just an act! It’ll teach them a lesson!” Maybe I was trying to make light of the situation or convince myself that I was in control. Whatever my reasoning was, my little act was history as soon as we stepped into the courthouse, and the actual, uncontrollable panic set in.

To make a long story slightly shorter (don’t you love when you write and write and lose steam just as you’re getting to the good part?) I went from having watery eyes while signing in, to a runny nose while standing in line, to full-on tears with gasps for breath once seated inside the courtroom. The woman to my right gave me a tissue, then remarked “Oh dear!” and returned to her purse to get me an entire stack of tissues. The woman on my left rubbed my back and commented on what a poor thing I was and how I shouldn’t have to be there. All this while the judge was addressing the court. I knew it was silly. I didn’t want to cry. I mean, I was just sitting in a room! There was certainly no reason to cry! No matter how much I yelled at myself to stop, I simply couldn’t.

Questions were asked and I was forced to speak in front of everyone. The judge said one of the most stupid things I’ve ever heard: “If there is anyone who feels they are incapable of serving due to a feeling of discomfort, anxiety, or shyness about being on a jury, please raise your hand and explain it. You can also raise your hand, then come up front to explain it to me.”
You want me to single myself out, walk to the front, (however that would be done, as we were sitting on benches and I was on the end toward the wall) and stand there speaking in front of everyone?!

I hope it goes without saying that I was not selected to serve. On the drive home from jury duty, Sexy Nerd said he was surprised I had gone at all. He thought I would find a way out of it. I’ve tried. That’s why my service has been deferred 3 times and why I received a snippy little lecture about the obligations of being a U.S. citizen this time. Sexy Nerd later admitted that he loved being at the courthouse and wished that he could be the lucky one serving. Geez, is he a weirdo or what? 

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Jury Duty

I'm so annoyed right now! I've "technically" been on jury duty all this week, despite me making it perfectly clear that I am the ONLY PERSON who can work while my boss is gone this week. To make things extra fun, my boss doesn't pay people to serve on jury duty, (honestly, I can't believe any employer would) so in addition to the inconvenience to myself, my employer, and our patients, I will actually be losing money. A lot of it. Luckily, my # hasn't been selected - until tonight for tomorrow morning. What exactly is so hard about giving people a little more advance notice? This is the exact crap in the link they emailed to me:

ALL JURORS MUST CHECK THIS WEBSITE AGAIN THURSDAY AT 11:30 A.M. FOR THURSDAY AFTERNOON INSTRUCTIONS.

And when I wasn't selected (again) for that, they linked to this:

ALL JURORS MUST CHECK THIS WEBSITE AGAIN THURSDAY EVENING AT 5:30 P.M. FOR FRIDAYS INSTRUCTIONS.  ALL JURORS ARE ON CALL UNTIL MARCH 26.

Excuse me, State of NM, but I have a little thing called a job (and, oh yes, a life!) Sexy Nerd asked me which court I'm going to. Which court?! I have no freaking clue! I told him that I'll bring my laptop to pass the time. He said he doesn't think it's allowed because of the strict security/metal detectors/guard with guns/attack dogs. I get to go against my will to a dangerous place tomorrow. Oh goody!

I don't even believe in the legal system. A friend of mine was dragged through the mud because of a frivolous lawsuit. Yes, the jury came to the conclusion that the people who filed the lawsuit were scam artists and didn't deserve a cent. But, this conclusion wasn't reached until years later, (6? 7?) after my friend had spent tens of thousands of her own dollars fighting the lawsuit. Anyone who heard of it doubted it was even real based on the sheer ridiculousness of the case. Until it was finally resolved, she lived in constant paranoia about her and her family's future. And what happened to these scammers who sued her? These pieces of garbage who had to go through lawyer after lawyer before they finally found someone to accept their case? Nothing whatsoever. They are supposed to pay legal fees but that's about it. And, of course, they haven't paid a cent.

Every time I read the paper or watch the news, I'm bombarded with stories about horrible things that have happened to innocent people. The stories are always the same. The child molester has a long criminal history. The murderer has been in and out of trouble since 16. It makes me so sick! Decent people don't break into houses. They don't smash car windows, beat helpless animals, or shoplift. They don't drive drunk or embezzle from their unsuspecting employer. I read that if someone steals your identity, you will not be notified. No, that would violate the rights of the person who is impersonating you. Governor Richardson ended the death penalty in New Mexico, and based on it costing more to put an inmate to death than imprison them forever, I think he made the right choice. We spend so much ensuring that a criminal "gets a fair trial" (even the ones who are caught in the act) and, if they do actually make it all the way to a death sentence that sticks, we want it to be completely painless. Oh, like the painless, terror-free way the victims die, right?

What's the point of being on a jury and putting some scumbag in jail, just so they can be let right back out again? There are so many people who would be a better fit for jury duty than me! Sexy Nerd actually likes to serve on jury duty (I can't even wrap my mind around that!) Unemployment is at a record high. Couldn't jury duty create jobs? It may not pay well, but it's better than nothing. As a tax payer, maybe I deserve a return on my Medicaid/Food Stamp/EBT Card/Welfare investment. Make those people serve.

I made it perfectly clear in my juror survey that I have anxiety problems, panic attacks, and am uncomfortable with the idea of driving downtown. If I'm killed in a car accident on my way to or from the courthouse tomorrow, I blame the State of New Mexico.

Ahh, that was quite a ramble.

*UPDATE: Posting this helped me calm down a teenie bit. After posting it, I went to the juror website to figure out what the heck they want me to do tomorrow. I found this:

"A complaint sometimes expressed by jurors concerns the unexplained time seemingly wasted during jury selection and trials. What might appear to be wasted time is actually being used by the judge and attorneys working on matters that must be done outside the presence of the jury."

Let me know if you have the same thought about this as I do: WORK ON THESE MATTERS DURING YOUR OWN DAMN TIME, WHEN I'M NOT MISSING WORK TO BE THERE AGAINST MY WILL!!!

So much for calming down. I think I'll go take an Ambien.

Taco Salad

The reason I decided to make taco salad for dinner was so I could take a photo of the awesome tortilla taco salad shells I make for my blog. I've heard that you should always be sure you have all the ingredients you need before you begin making a recipe.

I discovered halfway into cooking that Sexy Nerd had eaten the last tortillas.

LambAround's Taco Salad Recipe
Serves 3

Step one: Heat a little olive oil in a pan and cook some meat. In this example, we are having steak.


Step Two: Add 3/4 C of marinade. No marinade? Use the juice of 1 lime, cilantro, garlic, and 1/2 C of salsa. Reduce heat and cover.

We did have marinade, but only because I found it in the clearance isle at Target.


Cut up 1 head of romaine lettuce, 2 tomatoes, and dice an onion. Toss everything together in a large bowl.

Add 1/2 a can of kidney beans and 1/2 a can of corn to the bowl. I always rinse my canned vegetables first, as I've heard it reduces their insanely high sodium content. I'm not 100% sure that this is true, but it doesn't hurt.

Add a few handfuls of shredded cheese. Ideally, for Taco Salad, you want to use cheddar or pepperjack cheese. Sexy Nerd also finished off our appropriate cheese choices, so our Taco Salad was made with mozzarella and parmesan.

Yuck! Isn't this photo gross? Why would I even post it here? Because it's the next step, and the important thing is that it tastes good, right? Remove your pan of meat from the stove and add a 1/2 C sour cream and 3 heaping spoonfuls of salsa. Mix everything together and throw it in with your salad. Top with crushed red pepper and crushed tortilla chips.

Mmmm, if only I had a margarita!

 
 Sexy Nerd loved this salad so much that he ate the 3rd portion directly from the serving bowl!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

HGTV Dream Home: I Know Who Is Going To Win

HGTV is going to announce the winner of the 2010 HGTV Dream Home in Sandia Park, NM in just a few days (March 15 at 8pm ET/PT). I'm sorry if you thought you were going to win it, but you're not. Who will the winner be?


Sexy Nerd and I are going to win the HGTV Dream Home! WOO HOO!!

What makes me so sure? How do I know?? Well, technically I don't know for sure...but I've become attached to the idea and figure that sending "Sexy Nerd and I are going to win the 2010 HGTV Dream Home" vibes out into the universe can't hurt! You can help by repeating after me:

"Sexy Nerd and Lamb are going to win the 2010 HGTV Dream Home. The LambAround blog is the best blog ever and I will visit all of the sponsors. Pica and Biscuit will look cute and happy in the 2010 HGTV Dream Home. They can share the kid's room."

Don't feel bad about us winning instead of you. I will take zillions of photos and post them here! It's a win-win situation! :) 

Why Sexy Nerd & I Should Win The 2010 HGTV Dream Home:
  1. We live in Albuquerque, NM. We could move into the Dream Home with little disruption to our daily lives.
  2. We have already planned how we're going to remodel the Dream Home master bathroom (seriously, how can there not be a jetted tub in the Dream Home? What kind of a dream is that??)
  3. We haven't won the HGTV Dream Home before (we haven't even won the HGTV Green Home yet!)
  4. My parents live in Sandia Park. Think how happy they would be for us to live closer! Doesn't that just give you all kinds of warm, fuzzy feelings?
  5. Our current house does not have a Sunrise Room. Try as I might, I haven't been able to figure out a way to add one.
So, be sure to tune in to watch me win the HGTV Dream Home on March 15th. I will most likely be in my pajamas, so expect a good laugh. I will try to remember to use the TV time to plug my blog, but to be honest, if when I win, I will probably forget my blog's URL and just ramble on incoherently.

Can't you just picture the Pica hair on the sofa?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Who Are These People?!

Danni (aka Lamb)


Aloha!

I'm a 20 something girl who moved to Albuquerque from the Bay Area in 8th grade. I have a degree in Psychology from the University of New Mexico and work in the front office for a pediatric dentist (really putting my degree to use, right?) I keep a messy house and can't cook, can't keep a plant alive (not even my Chia Herb Garden!), and have been known to place shirts into the washing machine one color and have them come out another (unexpected bonus? Sexy Nerd never asks me to do his laundry.) But, I'm working on improving all these things, so read LambAround and let me know how I'm doing!


Derek (aka Sexy Nerd)

Isn't he just the cutest??

Derek grew up in a tiny town, Buena Vista, Colorado. Before moving there, he lived in an even tinier town - Johnson, Kansas! I love to poke fun at him and his small town ways (with love, of course!) He's a mechanical engineer with his masters degree and he's one smart cookie! He cooks, he cleans, he builds things for our house, and he even trims Pica's nails and brews beer. What more could a girl ask for? If only he weren't hopelessly addicted to all things racing!

Nascar sucks! ;)


The Happy Couple

We loves our ice cream!

We met on Match.com (really!) and had our first date on January 10th, 2004. Keeping our relationship together was tricky because I was living in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Derek was attending school in Flint, Michigan (such a dangerous place!) The first time Derek came back from school, I had my doubts about him, especially as he had invited himself to live in my apartment. Derek decided to take a trip up to Colorado to visit his family. While he was away, I continued to think that us being together was a bad idea (I really liked having my apartment all to myself!) As fate would have it, he returned from Colorado with his hands all cut up - he went so that he could use his dad's tools to build me a wire candleholder tree, just like one I'd pointed out in a store. Isn't he just the sweetest guy ever? (Side note: to this day, we joke that this action was just like when the goofy little boy made the wooden pickle in Bad Santa. LOL)

Derek's proposal after only a year of dating was a little soon for me - I had a panic attack, hysterically laughing while trying to decide what to tell him! It wasn't anything against him. It's just, come on, we'd only been together a year! I had bad high school relationships that lasted for more than a year! A long engagement later, we got married in Hawaii on our 4 year anniversary. The ceremony was performed by a man in a skirt, Captain Howie from Above Heaven's Gate Weddings, who was high as a kite and talked about "midget leprechauns" in front of all our friends and family. It was wonderful and unlike any other wedding...though I would not recommend Captain Howie under any circumstance!

Oh, and a chicken showed up unexpectedly during our vows.


What's The Deal With The Lamb?

Growing up, I loved this stuffed lamb. One day, my mom insisted on washing it. I was convinced that my lamb would drown and come out of the washing machine completely ruined, but she insisted everything would be fine and threw my lamb into the wash anyway.

My lamb came out missing an ear!!!

I'm sure that was one of those "oh crap" parenthood moments.

My original plan for this blog was to take a photo of my stuffed lamb in different locations, hence the name LambAround. However, it turns out that that is boring! So, I decided to just blog about whatever interests me. Really, what would be the point about writing a blog you don't like?

Why Is There A Pig In The Kitchen?? 

Why not have a pig in the kitchen? Kitchen Pig was purchased at a little shop inside the Coronado Mall in Albuquerque. I nearly didn't get him because he was more than I wanted to spend. Luckily, Sexy Nerd convinced me that $4 probably wasn't going to push us into bankruptcy.


Disclaimer (added by Sexy Nerd): The Kitchen Pig logo is trademarked by Kitchen Pig Brewery. 
Seriously.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Jack Russells Are The Best Dogs

I can sum up why Jack Russell terriers are the best dogs in 3 photos.

Oh, Pica!

A ridiculous girl with her ridiculous dog.
Yes, those are snowman socks.

After hearing the Advil commercial, Pica knew there was 
no need to go easy on Sexy Nerd.

As smart as they are, Jack Russell terriers can also be the most annoying, pizza-stealing, running down the street while you scream at them, dogs ever! But we'll save that for another time.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Recipe: Pasta With Tuna And Bok Choy

It's ridiculous how quick, easy, cheap, and delicious this recipe is. And by using bok choy, people will think you've cooked something fancy!

I used this flavored tuna, but regular tuna would work just fine. You can always squeeze a little lemon juice into it if you want.

I had a coupon!

Start some spaghetti boiling, then fry bok choy, bell pepper, and garlic. I only had 1/2 of a bok choy to use. An entire bok choy would have been much, much better!

Add tuna.

You see why I wish I'd had more bok choy? Wimpy!


Now, doesn't this look so much better than boring old spaghetti with marinara sauce?


Pasta with Tuna and Bok Choy:
  • 1 can or pouch of tuna
  • 8oz spaghetti
  • 1 bok choy
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 C diced bell pepper
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Pepper
  • Sprinkle of onion Salt
  • 2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Boil spaghetti
  2. While spaghetti is boiling, heat olive oil in a frying pan
  3. Add bok choy, garlic, and bell pepper to oil
  4. When the ingredients from step 3 are cooked (approx 5 minutes), add tuna
  5. Drain spaghetti once preferred doneness is achieved (if you like al dente, more power to you!)
  6. Add butter, pepper, italian seasoning, and onion salt to spaghetti
  7. Add tuna mixture to spaghetti and, if desired, sprinkle with lemon juice
  8. Serve! Top each bowl with Parmesan cheese
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