Escape your life for a little while — come play in mine.

Archive for April, 2010

One Year

Posted by Lissa on April 18, 2010

Happy Anniversary, sweetheart :-*

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Running advice bleg

Posted by Lissa on April 16, 2010

Good morning all!  So glad it’s Friday!!  I’m sitting here drinking coffee and blearily harvesting Zombies* and wishing it were 5 PM instead of 5 AM.  Ah well, all good things in time, no?

Hey, do I have any long-distance runners out there?  I’ve been alternating days on the exercise bike along with a weight-lifting regime.  I haven’t been running or ellipticalling very much because I can read Kindle while on the bike and that makes it far more appealing at six AM.  However, with the advent of spring and temperatures above 42 (which they’re not right now, BTW) I’d like to get back into running.

As I’ve written before, I’ve never been much of a distance runner:

*Side note: I don’t need to lose any weight for the wedding, but I swear if I gain even an ounce I won’t be able to breathe in my dress.  I’ve thus been getting back into running — I can now go 1.5 miles before I have to stop for a breather, and I usually do another two miles alternating jogging and walking.  What’s interesting is that I find jogging easier nowadays then I did when I was a hardcore Track-and-Fielder back in high school; I was a pure sprinter and specialized in 100-meter races (the high hurdles and the 4X100).  Now that I’m trying to jog on a regular basis, the concept of pawback makes my life a lot easier.  /side note

Mike is also thinking about returning to running.  He’s been eyeing these, in fact:

Has anyone tried these?  What did you think?  Also, would you like to offer any generic advice about getting used to running without hating every second of every minute that you’re doing it?

*Yes, you read that right.  What, you don’t play ZombieFarm?

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Happy BAG Day!

Posted by Lissa on April 15, 2010

That’s Buy-a-Gun Day, friend!  Here’s the latest shiny-shiny piece in the Kitty Den armory:

This dainty little beauty is possessed of a really cool feed-ramp that makes the gun surprisingly accurate and comfortable to shoot, despite its petite size:

A Kahr in the hand is worth two in the store.

It’s pretty damn accurate, too.  Here are the first couple magazines I put through her at seven yards:

So the burning question is . . .

What do I name her?  (It’s definitely a her.)  Kahr-oline?  Kahr-pe Diem?  THE KAHR?  Kahr-abel? Kahr-ly?  Help!!!

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Posted by Lissa on April 14, 2010

I’m not a grammar Nazi by any stretch of the word, but I have been known to pitch hissy-fits over this word.  I’ve frequently opined that if ever, god forbid, I became a teacher, I would have a big flashy sign over my desk:


But no longer!  I embrace — I cherish, even — “alot”!

The Alot is an imaginary creature that I made up to help me deal with my compulsive need to correct other people’s grammar.  It kind of looks like a cross between a bear, a yak and a pug, and it has provided hours of entertainment for me in a situation where I’d normally be left feeling angry and disillusioned with the world.  

For example, when I read the sentence “I care about this alot,” this is what I imagine: 

Similarly, when someone says “alot of _______”, I picture an Alot made out of whatever they are talking about.  


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Workout Mix Wednesday

Posted by Lissa on April 14, 2010

Good morning everyone!  Man, my bed was sooooooo warm and cozy this morning and Mike hadn’t woken up and The Rajah was pinning down my legs and the LAST thing I wanted to do was get out of bed and throw on my sweats.  But alas, time and tide and bikini season wait for no woman, though sloth and laziness wait with pleasure.

So what’s on your iPod this week?  Here are my top five:

What songs are making you shake your bonbons this week?

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Duke outlaws tipsy hookups, sex with nerds, sex with geeks — well, sex in general.

Posted by Lissa on April 13, 2010

Check out Duke’s new “sexual misconduct” policy:

Real or perceived power differentials between individuals may create an unintentional atmosphere of coercion.

So my question is – why does Duke hate nerds?  And women in general?  And also, men in general?  Because it’s now impossible to have consensual sex with any of those groups.  Individuals may think they’re consenting, sure, but that’s just because they don’t know any better.

Real or perceived power differentials between individuals” — good god a’mighty, have you ever seen a broader, more general classification?  Some feminists think it’s impossible for a woman to be as powerful a man, both physically and culturally; some men think that the campus and rules are structured so that he-said-she-said arguments always go against the men.  And I don’t even have to go into LGBT issues.  So there you go, I just declared 100% of the student population to have a perceived power differential.

Memo to Duke —

I had my (small) share of romance at Ye Olde Liberal Arts School.  Some of my choices were wise, some were not.  Some I regretted, some I didn’t.  But each of those choices was just that — a CHOICE.  A choice *I* made, a choice that belonged to me.

There is ACTUAL sexual assault on campus, you know.  Why not concentrate on that?  Instead of declaring that 100% of your students are victims who can’t make up their own minds?


(h/t Dr. Helen)

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Speak softly, and carry a big . . . well, just speak softly

Posted by Lissa on April 12, 2010

Good morning all!  How was your weekend?  It’s Monday morning – fleh! – but I had a great weekend and I have a full mug of coffee sitting in front of me, so things could be a lot worse.

I did have one slight mishap yesterday, though; I kind of scared one of the nice women at the shelter.  MH has arthritis and asked for help opening a bottle of bleach.  I twisted the cap off for her, but the stupid little plastic “pull to open” tab defeated us both.

“I’ll go get a knife,” MH said.

“Oh it’s all right, I’ve got one,” I said, and pulled my folding knife out of my pocket.  It’s a very basic spring-loaded knife with the Marines logo.  I quickly stabbed through the plastic, yanked it off, wiped the knife on my pants and stuck it back in my pocket.

“Oh my god! She’s got a switchblade!” MH half-laughed, half-yelped.

“Oh, come on, it’s not a switchblade,” I corrected smilingly.  “It’s just a spring-loaded knife.”

“Better not bring that into Boston,” she warned me.

“Yeah I know, how stupid are those two-and-a-half inch rules?” I shook my head.

She didn’t shy away from me the rest of the morning, but somehow I don’t think MH would be interested in a range trip.

How was everybody’s weekend?  Oh, and does anyone near Lissaville need a kitty?

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Oh, those crazy MIT kids!

Posted by Lissa on April 9, 2010

Pure distilled awesome:

See the rest here.

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Lissa’s Recipe File: Pan-roasted Chicken Breasts

Posted by Lissa on April 9, 2010

Q: Is there anything more painful than chopping fresh garlic when you have a cut on your thumb?

A: Why sure there is!  Mix that fresh garlic into a marinade and add some hot sauce!!

Pain aside, I really do like this recipe; it’s tasty, the flavors are complex and interesting, and the timing works out such that I can do a veggie while the meat finishes.

Recipe adapted from Rachel Ray:

Preheat oven to 400°.  (Or if, like mine, your oven runs cold, preheat to 405.  Thanks for that oven thermometer, sweetie!)

In bowl or gallon Ziploc bag, mix together:

  • four finely chopped garlic cloves
  • half-bunch chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (the recipe calls for one whole teaspoon but we liked it better halved.  Also, I used Tabasco but I’m sure sriracha will do)
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO
  • salt and pepper

Add two 8-oz chicken breasts; toss to coat, then let sit for five minutes.

Heat nonstick, oven-safe skillet to medium-high.  Lay chicken in pan and cook 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely browned.  Turn off burner and place skillet in oven.

Cook for roughly 15 minutes (check it with a meat thermometer!) until chicken reaches 165°.  Serve hot!  The top will be all roasty and juicy and the bottom will have almost caramelized garlic.  I sliced this one in half so you could see both the top and the bottom:

Oops, camera shadow! But still - NOM NOM NOM!

If you just can’t bear to see those pan-drippings goes to waste, you can scrape them up and stick them on a slice of fresh bread.  Or deglaze the pan and make into a sauce.

Word to the wise — When you handle the skillet after it’s been in the oven, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY DON’T FORGET TO WEAR AN OVEN MITT.  The pan may LOOK all innocent and friendly, like when you use it for stovetop cooking, but that sly sucker is just WAITING for you to grab it so it can test your reflexes.  *sniff* Meanie.

Happy Friday!

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I know I’m not that important

Posted by Lissa on April 8, 2010

Truly, I do.

I once heard another blogger gently criticized for thinking that the world revolved around her.  You could easily make the same criticism about my site.  It revolves around my thoughts, my feelings, my cat and what I frickin’ ate for dinner.

I write that way because I try to keep my site a cheery little place.  (With occasional descents into self-pity; I don’t deny that.)  I want my readers to stop by for a little gentle conversation, a few recipe tips, and perhaps a few target photos.

That doesn’t mean I’m unaware of the fact that important things are happening out there.  It doesn’t mean I’m unaware that true evil exists in this world.

I don’t concentrate on it.  My site is more Laura Ingalls Wilder than Elie Wiesel; that style is more suited to my personality and my life experiences.

But that doesn’t mean I think the world revolves around me.  I know it doesn’t.

What brought this on?  I clicked through to an article with a truly graphic photograph of a victim of evil.  I don’t think I have a weak stomach but I literally fought to keep from throwing up.  And so I thought I’d state it for the record: Just because I write about my little bubble of a life doesn’t mean I’m unaware of the greater forces out there.  Good and evil both.

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