Sunday, January 29, 2006

Book Club Drama

Oprah went crazy on James Frey. She is bitter because she was "duped." I have a hunch it something to do with her being a bit of a sucker too. Just like most of us who read memoirs. Do we really know they are recounting everything truthfully? How would authors of some autobiographical materials actually remember their lives in such perfect detail.

I read "A Million Little Pieces" last month as our book club selection. I was impressed with Frey's recalling, in great detail, his intensive drug rehabilitation. Especially the early days of his withdrawal and the intricate details of the characters. But it didn't really bother me. I assumed maybe he had been journaling or had very vivid memories. Guess I was duped too, but in some ways I don't mind so much. It was a good enough book. Held my attention for the majority of the almost 450 pages. His road to recovery was fascinating to me because of the mental stamina he showed in not using the twelve steps and just resolving to quit. This part is not in debate.

When I heard the first critical remarks several weeks back I imagined it was some AA counselor wanting to discredit his method of treatment so as not to encourage other addicts to give it a whirl. In reality they were questioning the validity of some of the criminal charges he claimed to have obtained and some of the information about the characters. Turns out the writer had done their homework and the result was Oprah making this guy squirm in his seat. I didn't see this last interview but it sounds like Oprah was really trying to make it certain to her audience that she is not a "LIAR!" like Frey. Sure, she was embarrassed. Not only did she promote this book to the best sellers list but she defended this guy in the media after the details of the lying broke. Poor Oprah.

I am not defending this guy. I guess he deserves it after making huge amounts of money off of Oprah's endorsement and then letting her defend him when he knew he was in the wrong. I just can't help but think that their are many other author's out there who could have found themselves in his position had their work been the one in the spotlight.

Well, they are both still rich and famous. He is still a recovering addict who has overcome a great deal in his life. Just makes me sick to think that Oprah feels the right to degrade someone on public television out of spite due to her reputation being questioned. In reality I don't think her leagues of ladies really care about her involvement, but Oprah had to be sure to disassociate herself from such a lying lowlife. I hear she went a tad overboard.

All of the participants in my book club pretty much agreed that Frey made quite a buck on some lies, but the basis of the book is truth. Oh, and we don't always read Oprah books, it just happened that way last month. I actually recommend the book she has on her list for this month, "Night" by Elie Wiesel. I was incredibly moved by this book a couple of years ago, and I doubt anyone can discredit this tragic memoir of a Holocaust survivor.

Oh, and I can't figure out how to italicize words in blogger. In case you were wondering...

Friday, January 27, 2006

Another Boring Recipe :)

For lack of time to write anything significant I want to post another recipe. If you like soup, regardless of the fact that you may hate chick peas (it can be blended), you must try this recipe. I found it in an Outside issue last year.

Chick Pea and Leek Soup

12 oz can of chick peas
1 large potato, peeled and cubed
5 med. leeks, outer skins peeled and rinsed very well, chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 c chicken broth (may need a little more if blending)
parmesan cheese

Cook potato in boiling water until tender, but still holding shape.

Saute in butter and olive oil, leeks and garlic, but do not brown.

In large sauce pan combine leeds, garlic, potato, chick peas with two cups of broth. Simmer 15 min. Add last of broth. (If you would like to blend this soup which gives it a wonderful flavor, blend now in blender or food processor until smooth and add more broth if needed.) Serve with parmesan cheese and drizzle of olive oil.


I took it.

I am now a PO and have to keep my mouth shut for over a month at my current job. This new position is contingent on a psych eval and drug test. Maybe I am being presumptuous, but I think I will pass, both.

It was a hard decision for a little while. I figured if I work it and see how it goes there will be no loss on my end in financial ways - a little more money and much better benefits. Besides, I have wanted this job for a long time. It will be extraordinarily hard to be away from Abel all week. Luckily, he won't be with a stranger ;). And if I am absolutely loathing life in several months my school application is already in!

No more "working from home" Thursdays and Fridays. Bummer.

edited, I just saw that Scott already mentioned this- sorry for a duplicate answer to people's inquiries!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Ultimate Monkey Wrench

I completed and submitted my grad school application on Saturday.

This morning I got a call from the Director of the Monroe County Department of Probation and Community Corrections. They want me. This is the job I tested for 4 years ago and wrote off months ago, before I was really excited about going back to school. I have 24 hours to decide my fate. I am profoundly confused and nauseous.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Winter Food

I had some left over mashed potatoes and I was looking for a good shepherd's pie recipe that wouldn't require me to go to the store for extra ingredients. I couldn't find one that met all those requirements so I picked out what I could from the recipes and combined that with what I had in the fridge. Abel licked his fingers. Here's the recipe if you care to know it.

My version of shepherd's pie...

Mashed Potatoes
1.5-2 lbs good mashing studs (I like russet,- I also like a lot of potatoes so you may not have to make this much, just eyeball it.)
2 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. sour cream
Splash of milk if needed
garlic powder
Boil potatoes until very tender. Add butter and sour cream whip until just smooth. Add seasonings to taste.

Pie Part
1.5 lb. ground turkey meat
1 package of frozen veggie mix (soup variety - onions, peas, carrots, celery, green beans, corn...)
2-3 c. chicken broth, low sodium
3 Tbsp cream cheese
1/2 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. parmasean cheese

Heat oven to 375.
Brown ground turkey then add 2c. chicken stock plus frozen veggies over high/medium heat. Push all meat and veggies to side of pan and allow broth to pool on other side. Wisk cream cheese, heavy cream and then flour into broth until starts to thicken. Blend into meat and veggies. Add more chicken broth if it seems dry, it will dry out in the oven if not moist enough. Remove from heat and add cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Dump in casserole dish and spread potatoes over mixture as thick as you like. Bake until mixture is bubbling slightly through edge of dish.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Scare tactics apparently work on me.

The admissions counselor has told me on two separate occasions that the School Psych program is "filling quickly" and I should "please apply soon!!!" I have been working feverishly on my essay and my mind is turning (in the way horse meat turns). I have even called into work, (gasp) pretty unbelievable. I'm actually glad she said that, even if she may be trying to get a few in before the rush of that literal deadline. I may actually have something done a month early thanks to my husband's genius grammatical editing abilities.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Bit of OTR

If you have talked to me in the past ten years you surely know my favorite band. If you are interested take a look at their site. If you like I will lend you their CDs, or you can buy "Ohio". You won't be disappointed. "Drunkard's Prayer" is great work as well, and "Good Dog Bad Dog" is a must listen. This is the kind of music you don't take out of your CD player... ever. A haunting mix of vocals, acoustic guitar, piano and a blend of other instruments from time to time. So, humor me!


A musical taste: listen to "Suitcase"


A lyrical taste:

Long Lost Brother
Words and Music: Detweiler
recording: OHIO

I thought that we'd be
Further along by now
I can't remember how
We stumbled to this place

I loved you like a long lost brother
On a bad day maybe I thought why bother
I've seldom seen so much anger
In a face

I wanna do better
I wanna try harder
I wanna believe
Down to the letter

Jesus and Mary
Can you carry us
Across this ocean
Into the arms of forgiveness

I don't mean to laugh outloud
I'm trying to come clean
Trying to shed my doubt
Maybe I should just keep
My big mouth shut

More often than not
When it comes to you
You want whatever's not in front of you
Deep down I know this includes me too

So tell me your troubles
Let your pain rain down
I know my job I've been around
I invest in the mess
I'm a low cost dumping ground

Trouble is I'm so exhausted
The plot, you see, I think I've lost it
I need the grace to find what can't be found

Monday, January 16, 2006


As we were turning on our movie for the evening we caught the first three minutes of the new "Bachelor." Here are the highlights: (read all with a squeaky nasal stupid tone)

"This is so very real!" (so glad)
"He is so dark!" (so insightful)
"God, I want to kiss him!" (puke)
"I was Miss Kansas 2004!" (no way)
"I think we would make hot little babies!" (huh?)
"Quite frankly my eggs are rotting." (*click*)

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I just received my second application for grad school in the mail. I think Abel threw out the first one. No fuzzy message there. I have scheduled my GRE and I am busy looking through the application for the areas I should get started on first. Now I will see how motivated I am to do this. I have until March 1st.

This has been a long decision making process for me. My rationale is this; since I have to work then I should have a more marketable degree. I can't see myself with the ol' girls for much longer. The "corporate" garbage in the not-for-profit world is growing mold. With my resume it is hard to see a lateral move or more anywhere.

Plus, I think it would be good to be back in school for a while, but you may need to remind me of that in a year. Now I just need seven months with no monkey wrenches.

Oh Well!

I was actually looking forward to some snow this winter so I could use our new-old snow shoes (thanks D&Z!).
Guess I have to just try and struggle through the sun and 50+ temps. ;)

Monday, January 02, 2006


I broke out the back pack carrier yesterday. Abel was happy to oblige me and let me strap him to my back and walk for a couple of miles, which we haven't done in a couple of months. I was starting to get into the digging a hole in the couch syndrome of last winter when I realized I need to get outside. The fever hit hard.

I have always enjoyed walking through the winter. Feeling the burn after trudging through snow drifts in heavy boots. Last winter was different because Abel was just turning five months old when the harshest months set in. I figured it was easier to give into the weather and burrow inside for a few months than worry about bundling him well enough and dragging the stroller through the snow. Well, not this year, I am determined to get back out because he and I both love our walks.

I had forgotten about the backpack carrier since September. Probably because the last time I used it I vowed to never wear it again. Abel was punching through 26 lbs at a rapid rate and my back was going into mini hot spasms with each step. So, the last time I wore him around town I figured since he is walking now, he can actually walk when we go for "walks." Well, icy sidewalks don't work well for 17 month olds. He has hit a plateau of sorts in his weight and hovering around 28 lbs. I figure if I ease into long walks, adding miles slowly we can be back in the groove soon.

Yesterday he was not pleased when we dressed him like an Eskimo and crammed him in the small backpack seat. Once I was outside he forgot his claustrophobia and enjoyed the quiet walk with the great view of dogs and people shoveling. The rhythm of my stride and soft crunching noise of the snow had lulled him to sleep when he realized he is too tall now to rest his head on the back of my neck. His head is resting on my ponytail now and that is not comfortable.

Guess this a resolution of sorts. To get back in a groove. I miss it.
My hopes are to get Abel used to sitting in the carrier for long periods and my back prepared for it so that we can complete his first Adirondack peak this spring. We shall see.