Friday, October 29, 2010

The One With a French Friday: Apple Cake

I know I've missed the last few French Fridays, but I'm back with baking! A dessert! My FAVORITE!

The title of this recipe is Marie-Hélène's Apple Cake. The recipe can be found here. Yes, please.

I'll go ahead and tell you how this ends. The cake was FABULOUS. D described it as "elegant" and I'm fairly certain nothing I've made in my entire life has been described that way. But the cake was great. I did have to make a couple of adjustments, as the recipe called for an 8" springform pan, and I only have a 9" pan. I took the ingredients and added half. Like. . .if it called for a cup of flour, I added a cup and a half. The only thing it changed was the baking time, which about made me CRAZY.

That's what I get for starting a project like this at 11 at night.


The ingredients:

Yes, that's rum. Yes, I used the whole bottle.

The recipe calls for 4 different kinds of apples. I made a trip out to the Farmer's Market to get said apples. I mention this because I had to drive on I-40 East, a stretch of highway that terrifies me to the very soul of my being, to get to said Farmer's Market. I did it all for you, Fellow French Fridayers. All for you. But these apples are all of different varieties. (And yes, I'm aware that there are 5 apples here, and not 4. Since I one-and-a-halfed the ingredients, I threw in a rogue apple that was left over from a bag of apples we'd bought earlier. I felt sorry for it.)

I was instructed to "generously" butter a springform pan and put it on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Dorie sure does love her parchment paper. . .I'd never used it before embarking on this project. My apples are peering at the pan in the background, beginning to get nervous.

Dry ingredient mix-up:

The next image may shock you. I apologize if you feel it is inappropriate. It's what I call Nekkid Apples.

And then it just gets more obscene.

Oh, jeez.

It's OK. You can look now. It's all over.

Wet ingredients combined. . .gratuitous egg shot!

Mixing everything (except the apples. . .) together:

Now, here, Dorie is very specific. She says, "Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the apples." And who am I to argue with Miss Greenspan?

Apples folded in. . .

Everything poured into the pan. . .

And into the oven. The recipe said 50 to 60 minutes, but mine took longer. Closer to 75 or 80. I was tired, and not amused.

D actually took that photo, and when I saw it today, I was like, wow. I look SO SAD.

Fear not, sad Sarah. Because the cake is now out of the oven!

And then it's out of the pan.


And delicious.

FYI: This cake is less than 24 hours old, and it's already 2/3 gone. You do the math.

I'm not sure what next week's FFwD recipe will be, but maybe I'll be back for it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The One With the Pronunciation

Sometimes I wonder about regional dialect and pronunciation.

This exchange just took place between D and myself:

Setting: D is working on a business card for a client.

D: I don't understand why people put "phone" next to a number.
Me: What do you mean?
D: Right here. Before the phone number on the card, they want the word "phone." I don't get that.
Me: I think it's to differentiate from 'fax.'
D: Well, the fact is, it's a phone number.

I had to think about this for a second or two, because that comment made no sense to me. And then I figured it out.

Me: No. Fax. Like fax number. Not facts. Not like 'facts of life.'

But even as I said it, I realized that the two words sounded EXACTLY the same coming out of my mouth.

There's another word that I do that to, but I can't remember it right offhand. I also pronounce "photographer" like "phatographer."

I wonder where we learn to pronounce things. I was born up North, but have lived in North Carolina since I was 4. However, I call the oblong things you put on top of ice cream "jimmies" instead of calling them "sprinkles." As a result, D has taken to calling them that, too. But that's a Northernism. Also, if I have an item (let's say a cake) that I want to transport to another locale, I say I'm going to "bring the cake to Mom's." This makes D a little crazy, because the correct phrasing would be "I'm going to take the cake to Mom's." But he also told me that saying you're going to "bring" something somewhere is found primarily in Northern dialect, which I find interesting.

So, if you're trying to get a feel for what I sound like when I actually talk, just imagine "facts" and "fax" sounding like exactly the same word.

What about you? What words or phrases do YOU mispronounce? Do you, too, refuse to change them?

Monday, October 25, 2010

The One Where I Am Maybe Unnecessarily Hateful

I have figured out what I'm going to do with my life.

I am going to continue working at the library, because obviously, it's a badass job, and come summer, I'm going to enroll in the technical college here and get my Associate's in Baking and Pastry Arts.

Sarah's gonna be a pastry chef, y'all.

I've been saying this for. . .a while now, but I'm putting it into black and white on October 25, 2010, so that in a few months, if I haven't said anything else about it, you can be like, "Um, Sarah? Lies."

The main thing I need to figure out is the money. Clearly, I have none. I need to go by the school and find out about financial aid, etc. But I'm DOING IT.

Today at work, people were working my nerves. This happened yesterday, too, but today could have had something to do with the fact that my boss brought in this bundt cake for the birthdays in October, one of which is mine.

(By the way, while I'm thinking about it. . .I'll be doing a French Fridays with Dorie this week! I know I've been remiss since that first week, but my excuse is that the things chosen for weeks were, A) something I didn't want to eat or B) something with expensive ingredients I could not afford at the time. But since this week's recipe is a cake [Awww, yeah!] and all I need to purchase is apples, we're on for Friday.)

(OH! Another by-the-way, speaking of baking, Katie's 19th birthday was on Friday, and when I'd asked her what kind of cake she wanted, she said she wanted a dinosaur-themed cake. So this was her cake, enjoyed by my family last Saturday:

I KNOW, RIGHT?! Awesome. Also, in case you were wondering, and I know you were, those are indeed milk chocolate rocks at the bottom. WIN!)

OK, where was I? Ah yes. The October Birthdays Bundt Cake. I got super busy at work this evening, and by the time I got to the back to enjoy some of the cake, it was gone.


My name was one of the ones on the little October Birthdays sign, and I didn't get any cake.

So that bothered me. Maybe you'll say it bothered me more than it should have, but then I'd tell you to SHUT YOUR WHORE MOUTH. It bothered me. So I was a bit moody.

What I should explain about the library is that different librarians deal with different Problem Patrons (PPs) differently. If a PP doesn't have their library card, some librarians will ask them for their name, others will ask for their photo ID, and still others will give them kind of a hard time while asking for their name AND ID. (I ask for a driver's license, if you're wondering.) Stuff like that. There are guidelines in place, yes, but if you mess with the wrong librarian on the wrong day, it's going to be a lot different than if you are sincerely apologetic for leaving your card at home and are nice, and you do not think we OWE you something.

So this kid comes up to me and has like $38 of fines on his card because two of his books are "long overdue" and when that happens, the system adds in the price it would cost to replace the book. He asked me how many books he could check out on his card. I said there's no limit, and he was like, "No, THIS card."

After I saw the fines, I explained to him that the system said I should not let him check them out, due to the fines, but how many he could check out would really depend on which librarian he got. I let him check one out. Nice, right?

Then. This lady waddles up to the desk. I say waddles not because I'm being mean or cruel or whatever, but she was one of those ladies that is approximately as wide as she is tall.

She hands me her card, all surly. I scanned it, and she had $48 dollars of combined fines and lost books dating back to 2008.

I say, "Um, this card has $10 of fines on it, and $38 dollars of book replacement charges."

(There's also a note in the system indicating she is "aware" of the charges.)

She glares at me and says, "Yeah?"

I said, "The system is indicating that you need to clear some of those fines before you can check out anymore books."

She glared at me again. "I ain't got no money with me."

(I'm thinking, "You've had two years to have some money with you.")

I said, "Well, I'm not able to check anything out until some of these fines are cleared."

Now. . .this is not ENTIRELY true. I have the ability to override the system message and check stuff out despite the fines. But this woman's attitude rubbed me entirely the wrong way. If you're going to use a place that has rules, you need to FOLLOW THE DAMN RULES.

She looked at me, confused and irritated, and didn't say anything. I'm guessing this is the part where, in the past, people have said to her, "Oh, OK. I'll take care of it for you this time. Just make sure you bring the money next time you come in!"

Clearly, she had never gotten into Sarah's checkout line.

She just stood there, staring at me.

"You could have a friend check them out for you," I offered.

She shook her head and stared at me.

"Well," I said, "once you get those fines taken care of, you'll be back on track."

She stared at me for another 30 seconds and walked away.

I wondered if I'd been unnecessarily mean. But maybe not. If she'd been nicer to me, it would have been a completely different story. But if you're going to be rude to me, I'm not going to go out of my way for you.

Another problem we have at the library is people leaving. Or rather, not leaving. We close at 9 Monday through Thursday and at 8:45, a message is given over the loudspeaker, indicating we will be closing in 15 minutes. Then another warning is given at 5 'til. Then one says, "The library is closed." Generally, people will wait until the 5-minute warning or the actual "We're closed" message to try to check out their books. At that point, the self-checkouts have been closed down, and I'm forced to do their transactions.

Tonight, though, I'd just HAD ENOUGH. I saw this lady browsing books in the self-help section (!!!) and when the security guard announced, "The library is now closed!", she then started to make her way to the desk. I, however, as soon as I heard the announcement, powered down the computer and went about making arrangements to leave as soon as we got the "All clear!"

She comes over and says she wants to check out, and I say, "Oh. . .I just turned off the computer because the damn library is closed."

To her credit, she says, "Oh, OK. I'll come back tomorrow."

But then the lady who was at the desk with me who is. . .SUCH a people-pleaser, one of those that wants everyone to like her, you know?, says, "Oh, I'll just turn this one back on," and I want to say, "NO! If you do that, they will NEVER LEARN!"

As it turns out, the desk at the back had not powered down their computers yet, so she checked out there.

Am I wrong to do what I did? Am I wrong to be so frustrated with these people? Is society, as a whole, just getting more and more dumb?


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The One Where I Lose My Insurance

Note: I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm also not looking for ridicule (those of you who should know better than to use the same IP address all the time.) I'm just telling the story here, the way it happened.

I have never in my life understood insurance. I understand the purpose of it and how it works and yes, I understand that it's a business, but I don't understand why insurance companies can be so damn cold when it comes to helping people not die.

I had Blue Cross/Blue Shield of North Carolina, and I'll tell you. . .when I called to try to get my situation worked out, the guy I talked to, whose name I desperately wish I could remember, was really nice, but ultimately, BCBSNC doesn't care.

(Again. I UNDERSTAND that it's a business. That's what D keeps telling me. "They don't HAVE to help. They're a business." I get that. But while you're sitting there with your nice insurance industry job and benefits, there are a ton of people out there who need help, and you just don't care.)

The main thing that gets me here is the Pre-Existing Condition clause. Yeah, I've got The Diabeetus. Have for 21 years now. Not my fault. Not anyone's fault, but I don't feel like it's fair to make me pay hundreds of dollars more because of it. The coverage I was paying for? Cost me $400 a month. That's what I paid in rent when I was living in the mountains. Because of that and prior diagnoses of depression, mixed in with some anti-depressants (which, God only knows I wish I had access to at this point in my life), I'm a gold mine for insurance companies.

Apparently, I lost my coverage at the end of August, due to being behind on payments. That, obviously, is my own fault. I chose to have a little bit of extra money in the bank "just in case" (which was awesome to have when it came to paying rent last month) rather than paying the premium. My own fault. Not trying to blame anyone for that.

My question is, why does it have to be SO DAMN HARD to stay healthy? We're America for God's sake. We're supposed to have all these opportunities and all that bullshit here, but instead, what we have, is a medical system that can only be paid for if you've got insurance through your job or if you have a lot of money to buy your own.

Which I do not.

I keep getting off track. Apparently, I lost all coverage August 31st, and the insurance company didn't feel the need to tell me that. They didn't feel the need to be like, "Hey, you're not going to be covered after this date." I'm not even asking that they gave me an opportunity to do something about it. That would have been nice, but it's my own fault the coverage expired. All I'm asking for is a form letter saying, "Hey, we're not covering you anymore."

Because then I wouldn't have gone to the two doctors I did, and then I wouldn't owe the almost $300 that I now owe.

Again, I digress.

The problem I have here is that, when I called the company to figure out what the hell was going on (Oh, I found out about this when I sent D to the pharmacy to pick up my insulin for me, and they were like, um, you're not covered. So instead of paying $35 for two bottles, which would last me a month, I instead, over the phone, crying to a pharmacist, payed $123 for one bottle.) the guy I talked to was nice. I cried again (this is not a sympathy ploy. I just have a very loose grasp on the crying mechanism in my head. I cry a lot, not only when I'm upset, but also when I'm angry, frustrated, whatever. My emotions manifest themselves in sloppy tears.) and he was nice about it.

He told me that what he'd try to do for me was to see if I could pay $800 by the end of October (this was about a week ago, so I had about 3 weeks to somehow pull this off), and then I'd be caught up and could continue coverage. The problem was that, for one, I didn't know where I was going to come up with $800, and for another, I'd still have to pay the rest of how far behind I was (a total of about $1,130) and still make a payment for November.

I didn't care. I was desperate, and I was sure that somehow, some way, I could pull all this money together. I'd bake dozens and dozens of cupcakes and sell them to unsuspecting strangers. I'd help D do his selling. I'd ask for help from Mom. Whatever. I'd do it.

So I'm feeling cautiously optimistic, thinking, as I sometimes do, that everything's going to work out for me, and that I'll be OK. That I'll pull through.

The guy puts me on hold for about 10 minutes while he "talks to someone" about it. His supervisor? I don't know. For all I know he went and took a pee and got a donut. Hopefully not at the same time.

He comes back and tells me that "he" (whomever he "spoke" to) is concerned about me making payments (as he has a right to be) and that the only way I can fix this debacle is to send, by overnight mail, $800 that day.

Wait, what?

I was scheming and planning how to get $800 in about two and a half weeks, and I was half convinced I'd be able to pull it off. But now I needed $800 in less than 24 hours.

That wasn't going to happen.

I cried some more, told him thanks for his help, asked him to tell his company to go eff themselves and hung up.

And cried some more.

And then added up the expenses in my head. $240 a month in insulin is less than the insurance itself would have cost. But when you throw in my insulin pump supplies (about $700 per order, every 3 months or so) and my dreams of a new pump to replace mine that is 7 years old (um, thousands upon thousands), I'm pretty much screwed.

My therapist (who, incidentally, I can't afford to see anymore) suggested I try to get on Medicare (or is it Medicaid? I always get the two mixed up. The one not for old people.) but warned me that it was going to be really difficult, "because I'm white." She did say it would be better since I'm a woman, and would be EVEN BETTER if I were pregnant.

That? Is screwed up, you guys. Screwed. Up. These illegals are swarming in and getting free healthcare, free this, free that, and me, an American-born citizen that just happens to be in some hard times right now, like so many of us are, might not qualify because I'm an American-born citizen that just happens to be in some hard times right now. There is NOTHING right about that.


So we'll see what happens from here. But for now, I'm not completely broke, but teetering, unable to get a new insulin pump before mine dies, paying a week's pay for the medication I need, not even mentioning anything else I might need. . .

God bless America and our laws and systems.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The One With the 5-Year-Old's Question

Working in a library, I come into contact with a lot of kids. Quiet kids, loud kids, sweet kids, obnoxious kids. . .they're everywhere, these kids. My least favorite are the ones who scream and scream and scream when their parents have repeatedly told them to STFU. (These kids differ from the ones whose parents just let them run wild and ignore them. When this is the case, it's 25% disdain for the kid and 75% for the parent. But if they're ignoring their instructions? I can't stand those kids.)

Then there are kids like the 6- or 7-year-old boy who brought his own library card (signed in his own handwriting) and his books to the front desk all by himself to check out his books. I love kids like that, because they're so excited, and so polite, and very nice.

Today, though, I came across a kid who turned out to be perfectly fine (his brother, on the other hand, I wanted to slap, as he was screaming and crying and trying to twist out of his mother's grasp while yelling, "I'M NOT MISBEHAVING! I AM BEHAVING! I AM NOT MISBEHAVING!!!." Um, yes you are.) but who I swear took 10 years off my life.

Anyway, this kid is quietly standing beside his mother and horrible brother, just hanging out. He was about 5. I finish checking his mother's books out, and she turns with her younger, horrible Hell Beast to leave. The kid walks up to the counter (which, by him standing on his toes and stretching his neck out, he was just barely able to see over) and says to me, "Can I tell you something?"

My stomach Hit. The. Floor. There was no real reason for it, but I imagined it ending horribly. I expected him to say something like:

A) "Daddy says that Barack Obama is a Goddamn Communist Prick who is driving the economy into the ground. What does 'economy' mean?"

B) "Mommy drinks out of a big bottle every night until she falls asleep on the floor. When she falls asleep, me and my brother eat pie filling with a spork. Also, I like to play with matches. They're pretty."

C) "Mommy and Daddy yell at each other a lot."

D) "You've got a big black thing stuck in your teeth. What's that?"


E) "I just found out where babies come from! Wanna hear? Mommy says every lady has a vagina. Do YOU have a vagina?"

I panicked briefly, but said, "Sure. What do you want to tell me?"

He blinked his big, blue eyes at me, thought for a second, and said:

"What's that box of rubber bands for?"

I hope I didn't audibly breathe a sigh of relief, because I felt like I let out a giant breath I'd been holding. I wasn't going to have to hear something horrible, or get social services involved, or anything like that. I DID want to slap his mother and say, "You need to teach your kid that 'telling someone something' and 'asking someone a question' are NOT THE SAME THING, and you just FREAKED ME OUT."

But it was just an innocuous question that I knew exactly how to respond to.

(If you're wondering, when you have a book on hold, we put a piece of paper with your name on it on the side and rubber band it to the book. Once the person picks up their book, there's a container for them to drop the rubber bands in so we can reuse them.)

I'm just damn grateful that I didn't have to hear about his mother's vagina.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The One Hundredth

It's been like two weeks since I've been here (actively writing, at least) and there's not a lot I can say about it, really, except that I haven't had a lot to talk about that people would want to hear about.

I used to have an "online diary" (they weren't called blogs back in the day) back in high school/college/whatever and it was emo-tastic. If I was fighting with someone, I wrote about it (subtly, passive-aggressively, obvs). If I was being all unrequited about a non-relationship, I wrote about it. If I had a bad day, I wrote about it. It was all there, in black and white (and purple) for the entire world to see.

I just went back, actually, and looked at that old journal. I did want to share this one entry I made. I've changed names (because OBVIOUSLY), but everything else is still the same. It was a letter to my boss at the time:
Dear Boss,

I understand that you're older and sometimes don't get references that other people get. I can understand why, that time you told me I could take a laptop to a press conference and write the story on the way home, you didn't understand why Carrie laughed when you said I could "whip it out" on the way home. I get that. I get why you don't know what "the shocker" is. I get that, too.

But, dear Boss, the expression is "chewed out." If you do something wrong, someone might "chew you out" for it.

That is why I would recommend never, ever repeating what you said to me today, which is that, because of the High School Letter Incident, that you would be "eaten out by the school system superintendent guy."

I'm just sayin'.

OK, THAT was funny. I remember that, too.

But the entry immediately following that was about how going out to dinner with two couples sucked. (I was, clearly, single at the time.) And then there was a survey. And then there was a direction to my newest blog (the one before this one), because I was trying to get away from the desperately depressing downer of an "online diary" I was keeping.

I KNOW that you don't want to hear about it, and the reason I don't recount everything negative that happens is because, one, I don't want everyone knowing. I think that's simple enough. There are a lot of wonderful people that come and read, and I love you all for it. But there are also people who are just trying to keep tabs on me, to know things about me, so they can, potentially, use it against me in the future. (You guys? If you want to stay more hidden, use a computer with a different IP address. Just FYI.)

I also know that when there are blogs that are all doom and gloom, you lose interest. Personally, I've lost a total of 3 readers along the way, and that always happens after I write something about bad things going on. So I pretty much know my audience.

But on this, my 100th posting, I just wanted to say that I'm still here. I'm still here and I'm trying to get back on track. I love my job, and I have a birthday coming up, and we'll just see how it goes.

Cheers. Here's to 100 more.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The One With Ants and "The Social Network"

via Google Images

We have carpenter ants outside our back door. They are slowly, methodically, pulling all the little bits of the foundation out from under the apartment building. And I'm pretty sure this means that at some point in the next 6 months, the building is going to collapse.

I went on a crazy ant-spray yielding spree earlier today, and when I sprayed down the ones hanging out outside my door, this SWARM of them came out of this hole in the foundation. SWARMS. Like. . .my worst nightmare kind of swarming.

I know that ants in and of themselves are not scary creatures. They're not. But when hundreds of them are SWARMING OUT OF YOUR WALL, I feel the same way about them that I feel about birds. Don't even get me going on birds.

Ants slowly killing the foundation of my apartment building

After the massacre

What's actually going on in that second picture is that I'd sprayed the crap out of the ants pouring out of the foundation and, I don't know if you can see them or not, but the ants that survived are picking through the survivors. Either looking for loved ones, or looking for a snack. You can never be certain.

D and I went to see "The Social Network" last night, with free movie tickets we'd received for trying out the church we're currently attending. (No, I don't really like church. Yes, I like movies and yes, I like the fact that the church has a bucket of Diet Cokes for my perusal every Sunday morning. It's a give and take, pros and cons kind of situation.)

Over my Giant Heart Attack-sized popcorn, we watched the story of Mark Zuckurberg (I may or may not have spelled that right), the inventor of Facebook, and the world's youngest millionaire (also known as Sarah's New BFF.)

The movie itself was really good, actually. A friend of mine said he'd never see the movie because, ". . .it's about FACEBOOK." I would say that this is not a great reason to not check it out. It kind of portrays people my age as. . .really crappy, entitled people, but we kind of are, so I can't fault the movie for that.

The dialogue (did I spell THAT right?) was snappy and great, and the story was seriously interesting. I don't know how much of the story is true, but there was no point during this movie that I looked at my phone to see what time it was. It kept my interest, and the guy who played Mark was fantastic. He's got elitist (SPELLING?) apathy down to a science. (That doesn't sound like a compliment, but it is.)

There were a couple of issues I had with the movie as well. For me, the ending was way too abrupt. It kind of came out of nowhere, during a time I thought there was more that could have been said. It did give updates on what people who were in the story are doing now, and how things were resolved, so that was good, but I didn't like how abruptly the credits were rolling.

My second (of two) issues is with Justin Timberlake. Not JT himself (Love him. Added him to my List of 5.) or his acting (which isn't perfect, but I think he's got a solid film career ahead of him.) It was the fact that. . .they cast Justin Timberlake. I think he, as a celebrity, was too big for this film, especially considering it was (allegedly) a true story.

I say this because he played the creator of Napster, who is a 7% share owner of Facebook. But what I found myself thinking to myself was, "Oh, wow. Justin Timberlake is a part owner of Facebook!"

Well, no. He's not. But since he was playing the character who IS part owner, Justin Timberlake's celebrity overshadowed the role he was playing. I think if this were not at all a true story, it wouldn't have been a big deal. But I kept having to remind myself that Justin Timberlake did not invent Napster and has nothing to do with Facebook.

All in all, a movie I'd recommend. 3 out of 4 stars.

Just remember that Justin Timberlake does not own any part of Facebook, nor did he invent Napster.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The One With the Sex Pills

OK, guys. It’s time for full disclosure. If you’re not into TMI, of the lady parts nature, or, more specifically, MY lady parts, then you should probably avoid this entry. Go here instead.

Still with me? Good.

In my life, there is sometimes sex. I know that it’s something that I have only touched on (hee!) briefly and with the utmost of vagueness, but I’m going to go ahead and say that I am an adult and that I have been known to take part in adult-like premarital relations.*

I bring this up partially because it has to do with the story I have to tell, but also because I’m working, ever so slowly, at being more. . .open, I guess, whilst writing. There are bloggers out there that will tell you each and every time they and whomever get busy. (Hint: I am not one of those bloggers.) And then there are some bloggers that pretend they don’t know what sex means. (Hint: I am not one of those bloggers either.) I’m trying to reach some kind of happy medium with what I write about, and this, I feel, is the first step. Sometimes, there’s sex.

The problem with this, I discovered, is that the aforementioned sex sometimes causes problems for some people. For some people (not me!), it’s STDs. For others, it’s an unintended pregnancy (again, not me!). And for still others, it’s a nasty little thing called a Urinary Tract Infection. (Bingo.)

As you all know, I’ve not been involved with The Sex for all that long. I’m a relative newbie. So after the first couple of. . .encounters, when I found that I was MISERABLE-feeling in the bladder area, thanks to Cosmo (the one useful thing Cosmo has done for me. . .self-diagnosing a UTI), I immediately knew that the problem was. I went to one of those urgent care clinics (Dad refers to them as Doc-In-A-Box), and they gave me an antibiotic and sent me on my merry way.

A while later, it was back. (I’ll mention here that there was no reason, legal or otherwise, why I shouldn’t have been having sex, and lots of it, at the time. I wasn’t because my partner, and I think you all know who that was, but I’m not going to explicitly state, because OBVIOUSLY, was out of town a lot.) So every time I’d see him, I’d end up with this issue. It was causing me no end of grief and costing me more money than I had to spend on a lady parts issue. I enjoyed The Sex, but how worth it was it, REALLY?

When I’d gone the first time, the DIAB had told me that it’s a good thing I hadn’t waited any longer, because it could cause kidney issues.

Back the truck up. KIDNEY issues? Suddenly, I was having horrible back pain and was convinced that my kidneys were going to fall out and I was going to die of some sort of diseased kidney issue.

So every time I had the problem after that, I became CONVINCED that my back was killing me, and that it was because my kidney juice was leaking out into the rest of my body and I was going to die.

(Um, the back problems may or may not have had something to do with the fact that I was still living at Dad’s and did not have a bed there, resulting in me pretty much sleeping on the floor on top of a fully deflated blow-up bed. But it was KIDNEY PROBLEMS!)

Cutting to the end of the story, I eventually made an appointment with a urologist and she gave me a mild antibiotic to take after every. . .sexing. Kind of a pain in the ass, but much better than a pain in the bladder.

The problem that I have had with said antibiotic has nothing to do with the antibiotic itself, but with the package it came in. Here's a picture:

The problem I have with this is that. . .um. . .I have a prescription bottle that says "intercourse."

Intercourse is one of those words like "moist" or "panties" or "lover." It should just never be used by anyone, ever.

So, in the course of the year I've had this prescription, I've been suffering the indignities of everyone at the pharmacy knowing EXACTLY why I'm taking these pills. There was one time, this kid (he looked younger than me and he was a punk. A kid.) who glanced at the instructions, legitimately laughed, asked if there was anything else he could help me with, and then said in this TONE, "Have a. . .good evening." (I should note, D was with me at the time. That couldn't have helped.)

I felt super-uncomfortable with that guy, and with a couple of other people who've filled it. It's like. . .there are several medications you can get, and it doesn't clarify WHY you're getting it on the package. But this one? Yep. It's due to The Sex.

So I had to call the urologist last week because my prescription had expired. (This is because when they were prescribed, I was to take one. . .immediately afterwards and then one 12 hours later, as indicated on the original bottle. I figured out that I only needed the one. . .immediately afterwards, and I was OK. So I had a surplus.) My old NP wasn't there anymore, but a new doctor was willing to refill it over the phone.

I went to pick it up, and was met with this:

Instead of "intercourse" in 10-pt. font, now it's up to at LEAST 14. There's NO QUESTION about what's in that bottle. People probably think I have herpes or something. And I want to say to the pharmacist, "It's because of UTIs! I'm diabetic, and we're very susceptible to UTIs! I'm AN ADULT!"

I think the new urologist and I need to have a chat. I need to, between now and the next appointment, think of a better way to phrase that, and ask him to put THAT on the label.

I know it's not just me. I showed D the bottle, and he laughed. Out loud.



*Sorry, Mom

Friday, October 1, 2010

The One With a French Friday: Gougères

Today marks the beginning of something I'm super excited about. I've joined this. . .group of people who are members of French Fridays with Dorie. Basically what happens is that everyone in the group cooks the same thing out of the same cookbook (in this case, "Around My French Table" by Dorie Greenspan) and then blogs about it and posts their posting in a giant list of Who Did It.

Blogging? Food? Being a part of a group whose members I never actually have to meet face to face?

I'm in.

The first recipe was actually chosen by Dorie Greenspan herself, and was super easy to make. This is good, because it did not deter me from making future things. (I should note that I will not be participating every week. Some foods are way too expensive for me. Some foods I will not eat. Mushrooms are the devil.)

This week, the recipe was for gougères, which is this little cheese biscuit thing. Very light and fluffy on the inside. (Warning: This entry is photo-heavy, as D was nice enough to let me use his camera, and as a result, I went crazy with it.

Here are the ingredients:

Milk, water, butter, salt, flour, eggs, and cheese. Pretty easy, right?

Yes, actually.
Mmmm. . .cheese.

I went in to see D whilst the oven was preheating and everything was coming together.

"Say hi, D!"
Hello, everyone out there in French Fridays with Dorie land!

"Is there anything else you'd like to say?"

I'm going to keep smiling, but you'd better be careful with my camera!

He was in the midst of working on his podcast, hence the reading glasses. He doesn't wear them all the time, but is. . .really, really hot when he does. He reminds me of a college professor. You know, all, "Hey, Professor HotBod, I could really use some extra credit. How about I come by your office after class so you can give me some hands-on instruction?" And then you stop by the office, and he's all, "Hey, I'm so glad you could make it. I was just working on my podcast. Why don't you sit right here beside me and we can discuss chemistry."

I'm sorry, what?

Oh, yeah. Gougères.

Next, I spread parchment paper on my cookie sheets. And by "cookie sheets," I mean micro-baking pan and broiler pan. Don't judge me. I'm quasi-unemployed.

Next, the milk, water, butter, and salt are put into a pan. . .

. . .and brought to a rapid boil.

I had to include the above picture, because I was so busy trying to get an awesome picture of the boiling mixture, I almost burned it. And then that would have been a sad day in Whoville.

You're not putting my camera in peril, are you?

No, of course not you hot professor-looking guy.

Is it hot in here, or is it just my gougères?

Then you add the flour and it turns into a lovely dough.

Uh. . .a dough, at least.

At this point, you put in the eggs. Now, keep in mind here, I'm making these things and taking the photos simultaneously, with someone else's camera. I'm taking pictures and running back and forth with the camera so I can leave it on the dining room table, lest some horrible gougères-related something were to take place.

I really wanted an "egg-dropping-into-the-bowl" shot. I had 5 opportunities to make that happen. I got it in 2.


All the eggs are added in, and then you put in the cheese. Note the chunks of cheese melted together. Remember the photo at the beginning of all the ingredients? The bowl of cheese stayed in that EXACT SPOT whilst the oven was pre-heating.

Needless to say, I did not major in rocket science in college.

Mix everything up and put it in nice, neat rows on your boiler pan cookie sheets.

Stick them in the oven. . .get impatient. . .

And then, oh my God, they're finished and out of the oven.

Um, it looks a bit like a fried egg here, but trust me. They're gorgeous.

So there you go. Gougères a la Sarah. They were light and fluffy and everything I ever imagined a gougère could be. Next time, I might use a more exotic cheese. But they were pretty awesome.

(D liked them, too!)


(Also, I still made it on Friday with 3 minutes to spare!!)