Friday, February 27, 2009

Don't Doubt It

Tragic Kindom was the very first CD I ever bought. I thought Gwen was so cool and I listened to the album nonstop. One day, I called into a local radiostation to request Spiderwebs. The DJ said to me, "look up at your ceiling. Are you looking up?" I said yes. "Are there spiderwebs on it?" I can still sing along to every song on that CD. Return of Saturn was No Doubt's fourth album, and it was released 3 months after my diagnosis. During my treatment, I had total body irradiation- 3 times per day for a week. Each session lasted about 15 minutes, while I stood against a plexiglass wall, in a hospital gown, not allowed to move an inch. They told me I could bring in a CD if I wanted to listen to during the sessions. At this time it was early May, and the CD was still fairly new and was the only one I brought. A few times the radiologists would have to remind me to stay completely head was bobbing slightly to the tunes. Surprisingly this album does not hold a negative association for me, and I can listen to it without any bad memories. When No Doubt released their fifth album Rock Steady in December 2001, I was a Freshman in high school. I spent over half of the schoolyear in a wheelchair, and a few weeks after I was able to stop using the wheelchair, No Doubt put on a surprise concert at my high school! All day there was a crew putting together a gigantic stage next to the football field, but no one knew what it was for. I heard rumors floating around from Avril Lavigne, to Linkin Park, to the weirdest one-a Pokemon show?!?! Promptly at 3:19 when the bell rang, the band started playing "Just a Girl" . It was for a show on MTV called Jammed that did not last very long but it was where bands played surprise concerts at different locations. Ours was the very first episode. The concert lasted about 45 minutes, and when we watched the show, we found out there had been hidden cameras all over campus to catch peoples' reactions and record everyone running to the concert.
One of my favorite memories is going to a No Doubt concert with Andrea. My dad gave me 2 tickets to see them in Orange County for my 15th birthday. It was my first concert, and it was incredibly fun. Our seats were really far away because it was a huge venue, but we had a blast. Since Rock Steady, the group has not released any new music, and have not played together much since Gwen's solo career. But they just announced tour dates, and guess who is going? Andrea and I have great seats to see them perform in San Diego May 22nd! It is crazy to think of how much has changed since we saw them 6 years ago. I was 15 and Andrea was 21. Now we are 21 and 27, both in relationships, both have been to college, both living in southern California, she started her career, I have had more surgeries than I care to acknowledge, and we are both happy and healthy. There are a few musical artists I can no longer listen to because they remind me too much of my transplant. But for some reason, No Doubt is an exception. Not only did it get me through some hard times, I have all positive associations with their music. Gwen and crew hold a special place in my heart and always will.
Happy Friday!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A "Moo" point

20 Things you may or may not know about me but now will.
Joey: "It's all a moo point"
Rachel: "Huh...a moo point?"
Joey: "yeah, like a cow's just doesn't matter. It's moo."

1. When I was a kid I wanted to be an archaelogist or treasure diver in the ocean (I loved the idea of searching for and finding things) or an architect (I wanted to design and build the house I would live in).
2. I have had 15 surgeries, 5 of which were knee surgeries, and I can count 19 scars.
3. Until a few years ago I thought it was pronounced "numb"chucks instead of nunchucks. I still think "numb" makes a lot more sense.
4. Gum is like my form of crack...I cannot get enough and you can always count on me having some in my purse.
5. I want to visit all 50 states in my lifetime, I have been to 11: CA, OR, WA, AZ, NV, NM, NY, HI, ID, MT, CO. When Nick and I were kids we had a map of the U.S. and everytime we saw a license plate from a new state, we would put a star sticker on that state. It was always so exciting when we spotted one we had not seen yet! Maybe I should make a new version...of the states I have traveled to.
6. I think Tyra Banks and Tom Cruise are 2 of the most annoying people on the planet.
7. I hate soda.
8. When I was in elementary school I was embarrassed by my middle name, Lee, because I thought it was a boy's name.
9. My anatomy lab was one of the most fascinating things I have ever done.
10. I love to vacuum.
11. If I could go anywhere on vacation I would go to Greece.
12. I get motion sickness, I hate to fly, I am scared of heights and spiders.
13. Birds freak me out. I think it is because when I was in elementary school my friend Hillary's family had a parrot, named Rio. Everytime I would go over to her house, for some reason that bird would attack me. He would bite me when I was sitting in at the dining table or in the living room. He would even go to the extent of chasing me through the house until he pinned me into a corner and would bite me so hard it would draw blood. I will never have a pet bird...I just do not get it.
14. My favorite things to eat: peanut butter, strawberries, frozen yogurt, chocolate. Heck just throw those all together and you can probably get me to do anything. But I also love cheese, pizza, sushi, all Mexican food and Italian food.
15. It bugs me that legal pads are yellow.
16. I am constantly thinking about food. I get really excited thinking about what I will eat next, and sometimes before bed I even plan what I will eat for breakfast the next morning.
17. I have spent a total of 18 months on crutches...not concurrently.
18. I save almost every card I am is impossible for me to throw them away, no matter what the occasion. Birthday cards, all the cards I received in the hospital, and any other letters just saying hello.
19. My mom made almost every Halloween costume I ever wore. The ones I can remember are: a bumble bee(<--), Pippi Longstockings with a jumper my mom sewed, her boots that were multiple sizes to big, stockings, and a wig made of red yarn and wire to make the braids stand out straight; a princess; a queen(-->); an elf, complete with pointy ears and felt shoes with bells on the ends; Juliet; a clown, matching my friend Megan in preschool; and an angel at 1 year old.
20. I like to make funny faces in seems I always have:

Grandma C. and I after one of my soccer games

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Comfort Food and Bob Saget

My mom is a wonderful cook. I think the reason I am such a good eater is because she cooked such a wide variety of food when we were growing up and if we did not like it-well, too bad. I am very appreciative of this because I am not picky and there are very few foods I dislike. There are specific recipes that strike up feelings of comfort, reminding me of my mom and the positive associations I have with her food. One of these is her banana bread. When the bananas were not eaten and the spotty brownish-black began to overwhelm the yellow, I knew it was time. My job would be to mash the bananas with a fork, and help mix the ingredients. I loved to lick the batter from the bowl after it was poured into the loaf pan, a sweet, sticky banana flavored treat. The whole house would smell of the sweet bread, and when it came out of the oven we would enjoy it while it was still hot.

1 3/4 C all-purpose flour
2/3 C granulated sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 C shortening (oil and butter both work)
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
(optional: chopped nuts)

Mix together dry and wet ingredients separately, then combine. Bake in loaf pan at 350 degrees for 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. Enjoy!!

I'm not feeling great today...really sick to my stomach and my back and knees are killing me. So I am seeking comfort in cheesy old school TV-Full house, and eating a bowl of soup. This picture looks like Bob Saget is scratching his butt and little Olson is watching. Funny. Both of these pictures were taken with my phone, not perfect quality but pretty darn good considering, and it is so much easier to upload them than from my camera. Have a good day!

The Big Easy

Happy MARDI GRAS!!!!!

I don't celebrate or anything, but I have wanted to go to New Orleans for awhile. I love this painting by Daniel Wall, it makes me feel like I am there on Bourbon Street. Catching a glimpse into the area through movies set in New Orleans makes me want to go even more. One of my favorites is A Love Song for Bobby Long, as well as The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I am so drawn to the music, the cuisine, and the architecture, but can do without the bugs and humidity. I think the closest I have been to New Orleans is walking through the French Quarter at Disneyland.

Ellen's monologue about Mardi Gras was pretty funny :)

Lunch with my jo confabulating and avoiding the yobs

This Week I'm smiling about:
*Everything Slumdog Millionaire related. I was so thrilled with all the awards it won, and thought it was especially deserving of cinematography. I can't get enough of the soundtrack, just makes me want to get up and pretend like I know that really cool dance they do at the end. Maybe I could incorporate my crutch into it and really make it extra special.
*Scrabble. I've always loved playing with my mom, but Brent and I have recently become addicts, playing a few times a week building up our skills and ocscure vocabulary to beat Jordan and Becca. (Jo, azo, butty, qi, nog, ort, confab and yob to list a few) Use them and sound smart.
*Overripe bananas that no one eats because that means I can bake banana bread.
*Looking at the best- and worst-dressed lists from the Academy Awards. I get such a guilty pleasure from celebrities and their fashion blunders, and at the same time wish I had an event to wear some of those dressess.
*Fresh berries. I can eat them all day long.
*I love days that I can meet Brent (my jo!) on his lunch break and eat with him.
*Colored gel pens. They just make me want to write and doodle all over everything.
*The day aunt Lori and I get our monthly issues of The Sun Magazine...which happened to be today. I think this is my third time receiving it and each one is like opening a present.
*I gave Brent a fondue pot for Valentine's Day and we made 3 different courses on the night of Academy Awards...a cheese fondue with chipotle gouda, dipping green apples and French bread; an Asian beef broth, using it to cook beef, shrimp, and veggies; and finally a milk chocolate and marshmallow dessert fondue, dipping strawberries, blackberries and graham crackers. Yummmm!! Can't wait to make it again, it is surprisingly easy.
*Borders rewards coupons that give me an excuse to spend time looking at and drooling over all the books I want. I usually don't buy anything, but I love just browsing.
*Tall, nonfat, extra hot, dirty chai tea lattes. Instant comfort.

My BĂȘtes Noires:
*People who ask if I need special accommodations because of my crutch, like the host at Islands today asking if I needed a larger booth. I appreciate the concern but man does it get annoying.
*People who cannot drive.
*I need more shoes. All I can really wear is flats and flip-flops and I wear the same 2 or 3 pair. I miss heels.
*Crossword puzzles. They make me feel stupid just like Jeopardy does, but I still try. Does anyone else feel this way? Probably not.
*Milk that expires before the sell by date. I tasted some this morning that smelled a little funky and oh I thought I was going to puke the instant it hit my tongue. Gross!
*March is just around the corner. Where did February go?
*That feeling between knowing the only way to decrease my pain is taking a pain pill and absolutely dreading the inconsistancy and unpredictability of how the pill will affect me that time.
*The inability to find jeans that actually fit!!
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