Monday, December 29, 2008

Chocolate and Fruit

Oh, so many things to write about: like my trip to the fabric district where I got 8 yards of really good 60 inch fabric for 8 bucks; or how I spent the 3 days before Christmas covered in felt and how I discovered that making a felt horse is more difficult than I imagined; or the awesome Hanukkah party I went to (Thanks Appels! It was a lovely little present to see all of you again.) where I tried chopped liver(!) and found that while it looks and smells like cat food, it didn't taste that bad.

But instead I will write about more serious things.

A comment was made on my family's blog just now that got me thinking. Camille and I wrote about how Gina, who hates cherries, always manages to find the See's candy that has cherries in it. And Andrea (hi Andrea!) mentioned that chocolate should never be mixed with fruit.

I disagree.

What about chocolate covered strawberries? Or chocolate covered bananas? Or chocolate orange ice cream? Or chocolate molten cake with raspberry sauce? Or chocolate truffles with cream fruit filling? Or a banana split with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry ice cream and a cherry on top?

I can understand if you're working with generalities. If, say, as a rule you don't like fruit with chocolate but have your exceptions. Katie always point out that I do the same thing. For instance, I hate cucumbers, because the flavor is so over-powering that when it's in something that's all I can taste, and it's a taste that lingers for hours afterwards. But I have sometimes had them in certain dishes or with certain flavors that are stronger or compliment it and they're not bad. And I think that's okay. But can you really say that you don't like any of the things I just listed? Even chocolate covered strawberries? That's just kooky.

On a kind of related note: I got a gift certificate from a patient for a 1 pound box of See's and I cannot adequately tell you the glee that filled my heart. Glee, I say! Because I have never gone and picked out my very own See's. The boxes just show up at Christmas and you have to spend so much time using your psychic powers determining which ones are your favorite and which ones are gross. So the idea that I could have a whole box filled entirely with candies that do not have maple OR walnuts in them makes my heart swell a little.

If you agree with me on the chocolate and fruit thing you are invited over to share my box of See's, which will have a few of that variety.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Quik

The Knecht's celebrate Christmas in the morning. The rest of the day is spent like most days we're all together - cracking jokes about each other's head size, playing games and quoting Bill Murray movies - only on Christmas we're hopped up on sugar and wearing our jim-jams.

Like just about everyone else we have our traditions and one of them is a very large breakfast before the present opening commences. I know, we're like monks with all our self-restraint. The breakfast is jam-packed with all sorts of breakfasty type foods and it's all delicious and bad for you. We talk about this breakfast in epic terms and one of the highlights in a meal already full of them is the Chocolate Quik.

We love our chocolate milk. But my mom rarely got Quik on regular occasions when we were growing up because there's a lot of us and we already went through tons of milk in a week. If we had Quik on hand it would have been more cost efficient to just buy a cow to keep us in supply of milk. I grew up in Chino so it wouldn't have been so outrageous to keep a cow out back but who would pick up the manure? So no Quik before school. But we always had it on Christmas morning.

One year I came to the realization that I was a real live grown up and I could have Quik whenever I wanted. So the next time I was at the store I headed down hot beverage aisle to have a look. And I couldn't bring myself to buy it. Because Quik is a Christmas only treat. It seemed wrong to have it any other time.

I hope your Christmas is filled with your family's equivalent of yummy chocolate goodness.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Fiery Pits of Hell are up My Nose

Dear People Who Have to Be Around Me Today,

It's Monday, alright? I don't normally work on Mondays. I have a cold and I didn't sleep well and my left ear is so clogged up that I'm pretty sure Katie stuffed a sock in it as a joke last night (Why would you do that Katie? Why?!), and the homeopathic stuff that Doc had me put in my netty pot makes my sinus cavity feel like the Fiery Pits of Hell have relocated up there, or at least the boys locker room from the Fiery Pits of Hell, because that's what it smells like, and because I have to put it in my nose that's all I can smell and I'm not sure if I'm just smelling it in my nose or if I actually smell like it. And on top of all of this I have to work 12.5 hours today so maybe I'm just not prepared to look pretty or be chipper and maybe you should just back off and bring me a cookie. That would be a real big help.

Sorry about the smell,

Friday, December 19, 2008

A letter-writing opportunity from me to you

This article made me want to spit. And, given my extreme distaste of spitting, you can see just how angry that is.

Maybe it's just me but I feel that if we send a guy off to war and he comes back injured he should be set for life. All of his medical bills paid for, his mortgage paid off, his kids get to go to college for free, and his wife gets pedicures for life. He should certainly not have to worry about losing his job or his home because he was too busy learning how to walk with prosthetic legs.

On Veteran's Day I watched part of a show that surprised injured veterans from Iraq with home furnishings. I only watched part of it because I was a wreck after the very first one (Amanda, it was worse than the St. Jude commercials.) This guy came back from Iraq after he got his heel shot off. He lost it when his unit was being shot at and his friend was hit so to save him he laid down on top of him, without any cover for himself. And he came back to nothing. He was living in military housing with a wife and a new born and almost zero furniture. So they surprised him with some. Including stuff for his porch. And he broke down when he saw the porch. Just the porch! He hadn't even seen the two flat screen TVs they got him. And I thought, if a guy is so broken up over two lawn chairs and a table then we really need to be doing something more to make their lives easier.

So, if you're feeling the same way and would like to help out here's a link to Operation Homefront, the organization that is mentioned in the article. It seems like a pretty good group, and they have a lot of different ways to help, from volunteering to donating items or money to putting together care packages. Don't you think it would be so much fun to volunteer? We could all wear matching t-shirts! But I'm also going to suggest writing to your federal and state representatives and asking them to boost the existing programs and support any bills that would help out veterans and their families. Just type in your zip code in the box to the right on the linked page and a list will come up with all of their names and you can write one letter and send it to all of them. Easy! And fun. And they usually write back which kind of makes you feel special - like you're bff with powerful people and maybe they'll name a city street after you.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cats in Wigs!

The other night I saw this on TV.

It's my early Christmas present to you. You're welcome.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Debate on Cookies

I was reading up on a debate on cookies. I shouldn't have because now all I can think about are cookies and do I have all the ingredients I need to make some tonight (No. Blast. I'm going to have to go to the store.) I use to hate making cookies. They take too much time. But I have discovered that the benefit of making cookies far outweigh the effort. The benefit being eating them until you're sick. Totally worth all the work.

The debate opened up with the definition of a cookie. I never actually thought that a cookie needed to be defined. It seems kind of obvious to me. But some of these people threw in all sorts of weird things. One person even said that a brownie falls into the category of cookie. That's just ludicrous. A cookie and a brownie are completely different. For one thing, you can't pull a pan of cookies out of the oven and put it on a towel in middle of the living room floor and eat out of it with a spoon as you and your girlfriends watch a Doris Day movie. Brownies are a category unto themselves.

I guess that maybe I'm a purist because I don't even consider cookie bars to be cookies. They fall under the bar/square category. I think in order for something to be considered a cookie it needs to be individually formed, preferably by elves, not baked then cut. It can be cut in the dough phase, but not after. I also believe that cookies should not be healthy. I have never tasted a healthy cookie that was any good. It's the butter and the sugar that make a cookie good and if you take those things out then you don't understand the point of a treat. You probably eat low fat ice cream, don't you. And if you give healthy cookies to people then you really don't understand the point of a treat, or a gift for that matter. I once got a plate of healthy cookies that were more bran muffin than cookie and I had to throw them away.

And a cookie should not contain raisins. They are an abomination. Not only because they're gross when baked but because they look deceptively like chocolate chips. Which makes them gross AND sneaky.

So I'm opening the debate to you. Tell me your favorite cookie and what your definition of one is.

And if you feel like bringing me a plate of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, heavy on the chips, I will not object.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gimpy finger

I made a u-turn yesterday and the steering wheel turned one way and my hand went the other but my finger didn't go with it and now it is, as Doc says, "seriously kerfuffled." She used a divining rod to make sure it was not broken and then she tugged and twisted and used this clicker thingy to move my bones and joints back into place and then she rubbed it down with some kind of magical ointment and put a splint on it.

There are two points I would like to make now:

1.) Certain things become difficult when your right index finger is in a splint. Things like typing, and writing, and eating your leftover burrito, and cleaning mole from your leftover burrito off of your scrub top.

2.) I can't put my finger down which means that it's always in the #1 position. It makes me feel kind of awesome.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cures for the wet ponytail

I overslept this morning. I blame myself. I had sugar last night after 8 and when I do that I get really antsy and fidgety and when I finally fall asleep I have really crazy dreams so I don't get any real solid sleep and it's hard to wake up in the morning. Which is fine on a day when I don't have to wash my hair but today I did. And that wouldn't be a problem because it's Wednesday and I can get into work whenever I want to on Wednesday except that we had a repair guy coming in for our dryer at 8 and I had to be here. Which means that I had 30 minutes to get ready this morning and that is not enough time to wash and dry and tame my tumbleweed hair. So I was forced to do the wet ponytail.

Have I told you about the wet ponytail? I feel miserable when I have the wet ponytail. I feel like a failure. There was a time back in the old days at the school district when I hated my job and I would stay in bed too long because I didn't want to face the day so I would go to work every day with a wet ponytail. To me, it is a sign of defeat. So, even though I've gone months without resorting to it, the fact that I had to today put me in a bit of a funk.

But this is not a tale of despair. Oh no. Because minutes after I put my hair back in the wet ponytail I was driving to work and I passed by a woman walking her dog. Wait, strike that. She was pushing her dog...IN A STROLLER! It was a little white shih tzu and it was wearing a sweater and was sitting in the stroller like it was the ruler of all four legged creatures. And I just laughed and laughed and laughed. There are few things more ridiculous than a woman pushing a dog in a stroller. And I wanted to pull my car over and give her a hug and a handshake because how can you be sad about a wet ponytail after that?

Update: Here's another cure for the wet ponytail blues

I just got off the phone with our patient database tech support. He sounded EXACTLY like Kenneth from 30 Rock. So much so that when we were hanging up and he said, "I was happy to help you, Miss Rachel," I actually said, "Thanks, Kenneth." It just slipped out! I would have meant it too except that he was zero help. But he certainly gave me a laugh.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Another Royal Decree

A patient brought in homemade biscotti for us as a little holiday thank-you for curing her yeast infection. What? You've never had your chiropractor treat your yeast infection? You are so 20th century western medicine.

I'm not a big fan of biscotti*, mostly because I've never had success eating them. They're usually shaped like a bread stick but taste kind of like a cookie, but never as good, and that confuses my senses. And they're crumbly so when you bite into them they kind of fall apart just as you're putting it in your mouth and then you have crumbs all over you. They're a mystery.

But CeCe's energy push yesterday did not help today because we were dead and I was falling asleep, so I thought that I would have a biscotti with the hopes that the sugar would do me some good. Little did I know what danger lurked in those Italian quasi-cookies.

Anise! Loads and loads of anise!

I hate anise. I hate black licorice. Even the smell makes me gag a little. It baffles me how people can like it. Seriously, tell me why you like it? I truly want to know. Because I've never tasted a dirty sock dipped in Clorox but I imagine that black licorice isn't far from it.

And there I was with a crumbly mouth full of it. Another problem with biscotti is that it's dry and it doesn't exactly leave the mouth easily. I had to chew and chew and chew and then I flushed it down with about a gallon of water and the nasty taste is still in my mouth. Bleh!

And so, I think it needs to be done:

A Royal Decree!

We hearby decree that black licorice, or black licorice flavoring, such as anise or Clorox, shall never be used in foods. Being a Benevolent Queen, we shall allow black licorice to remain for those subjects, such as the Queen Mum, who enjoy it. But all black jelly beans shall be removed from any assort bag, as the Queen does not care to be casually snacking on jelly beans and unknowingly pop a black one in our mouth and have it stuck in our teeth for several unpleasant minutes, thus causing death by grossness. And while we're at it, the Queen would like to ban biscotti too, because it confuses her.

Hugs and Kisses,
Your Queen o' the Universe

*Remind me someday to tell you exactly how I feel about people who pronounce words the way they are pronounced in the country the word originated in.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Energy push

I was in the process of writing about how a guy selling magazine subscriptions came to my door last night and was so obnoxious that I actually had to tell him to stop high-fiving me. And then he asked to use my bathroom. Sure, because I certainly don't see anything wrong with letting strange men into my home to pee. I suggested he ask upstairs, where they have a very large weapon collection.

But that story will have to wait because I just got off the phone with CeCe, one of our patients and a former employee here. She's a gem and I love her. She is a very lovely and genuine person. She reminds me of Sheila*, only she's a lot less worried about terrorist cells in Michigan.

CeCe called this morning to place a supplement order and I mentioned in passing that we were pretty slow today. So she hung up and called back a few hours later to tell me what her plan was to get more people into the office. Here's what she said:

"Sweetie, after I finish my lunch I'm going to do a HUGE energy push on the office so be prepared. We're going to visualize and manifest success! First I'm going to drive out all the bad energy from your office. Really mix it up. And I'm going to push the bad energy out of the doctor's head space so her fears don't drag you down. Then I'm going to ground the practice to the core of the earth and let all that good energy rise up into it. Then I'm going to place guardian angels around the practice and then I'm going to call all the good spirits to come into your heart. So what I need you to do is help me out by doing the exact same thing on your end."

And I totally would, except that I forgot to put the guardian angels' numbers in my cell.

*It's a real shame that not all of you know Sheila. I use to work with her at the school district pre-blog. But years from now when I compile Rachel's Greatest Hits an entire section will be dedicated to her. Some of my best stories are of Sheila and her computer. I love her and miss her.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

80 year olds should not be on Facebook

I blame Gloria entirely.

Gloria and I have been friends for a long time. Since we were freshmen in high school. Which was nearly 20 years ago. And now I'm going to put on my caftan and knit something. But whatever, I'm 80. And being 80 you can imagine how ridiculous it is that I joined Facebook.

I joined Facebook! That exclamation point means I'm screaming in horror and shame because I swore I never would. It just seems like something only kids who wear tight jeans and have over-styled hair do. But at lunch yesterday Gloria told me she joined and that all of these people we were friends with long long ago are on there and it sounded like fun to see what they were up to and if they look like they're 80. So I joined. And every single person I know on the planet seems to be on there. Which should make it okay, right? But, I'll tell you, I still feel like a sell out. And the whole, "Will you be my friend" thing makes me feel strangely pathetic.