Checking In


I apologize for my lack of content lately. Work has been quite a pain, and it's been all I can do to keep up with my day-to-day stuff when I get home from work, so blogging has taken a back seat. I got a massage Saturday, came home, and passed out on my bed for 2 1/2 hours! And I didn't move the whole time--woke up in the exact same position I fell asleep in!

So, I told myself that this was going to be a better week. The first of July is tomorrow--and that means the end of our fiscal year as well. What a great time for a fresh start. Of course, today being the 30th, I walked into some more ick at work this morning. However, tomorrow is a whole new day. I'm choosing my attitude and things will be better!

I am also reminding myself of the people around me who are facing much more significant challenges than a few weeks of stress at work, and that helps me to keep things in perspective.

On a brighter note, my PRK procedure is less than two weeks away! The isolated moments of panic and excitement are getting closer together. By this time next week I'll probably be barely able to contain myself!

I hope this post finds all of my friends doing well. Peace. Out.

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad


Omigosh! This is SO GOOD!!!

quinoa salad

1 c. quinoa
2 1/2 c. water
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. fresh lime juice
1/2 t. cumin
1/4 t. hot pepper sauce (or to taste)
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 (7 oz) can Niblets whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and well rinsed
4 oz baby carrots, thinly sliced on the diagonal
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 lg. red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1/2 med. red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or put through garlic press
1 T. canned chili peppers, rinsed and well drained

Place quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold running water, drain. *Note: If you use Ancient Harvest brand quinoa, you don't have to rinse it. Follow the cooking directions instead of the following* Bring water to boil in a medium saucepan, add quinoa. Return to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Drain quinoa in strainer and rinse under cold running water. *Note: I just cooked it until all water was absorbed, spread it thinly in a bowl, and cooled it in refrigerator*

In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, lime juice, cumin, hot pepper sauce, and black pepper. Set aside.

To the quinoa, add the black beans, corn (I used frozen corn instead of canned), carrots, celery, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and chili peppers (I didn't use any chili peppers). Pour in olive oil mixture and stir gently until well blended. Cover and refrigerate at least four hours. Before serving, add more olive oil and lime juice if salad has become too dry.

Letter to my 7th grade self


In "blogspeak," there is something called a "meme" going around, asking you to write a letter to yourself in middle school. I fired this one off in 30 minutes to my 7th grade self:

You are about to like something classified as a "boy band." They will name themselves New Kids on the Block. You will like them a whole lot, but it will only be for a short time. Then you will be embarrassed that you ever owned their tape, or had their pictures taped to your walls. You will shun them. However, around your first or second year of college, you will unexpectedly hear one of their most popular songs. And it will make you happy. And you will appreciate their sound in a whole new way, and you won't be embarrassed to admit it. Because all of your friends will feel the exact same way.

In high school, everyone you know will start listening to country music. It's true.

You will experience a high degree of angst in high school and college, but eventually you will get over yourself.

Although you really really really want to get the heck out of Dodge, you will end up going to the last college you ever thought possible, just 30 minutes away from home. And you will meet some of the best people there, including professors. But don't worry. You do eventually get the heck out of Dodge.

Your female friends in 8th and 9th grades are going to be MEAN. Yes, meaner than they are now. When you grow up, they will make a movie about this phenomena called, appropriately enough, Mean Girls. Stick by your friends, remain loyal, and you will get through it. When things get to be their worst, and you feel like your life is over, get some perspective by the fact that most of them won't even be your friends by the time you are 20.

In a couple of years, your mother will buy you an album by a band called Pearl Jam. Pay attention to it, even though you will like this other band, Nirvana, better.

There are a lot of untrustworthy people in Pomona. But once you leave Pomona, open yourself up to trusting others.

Very important. During your freshman year of college--in that ongoing fight you are trying to stay out of: D. is the bad guy and L. is the good guy.

Oh, and your freshman year of college is going to be one amazing year.

In 2003, the Jayhawks will change forever. But there will be some really really good years before that happens.

Pants DO eventually come in a long length. I recommend you keep your eyes peeled.

You won't have cable your first year in college. And you won't really miss it.

You won't be in a ton of clubs in college, as you will be in high school. And you won't really miss it.

I suppose I can't ask you to change the past (your future), as that would create some sort of weird rift in the time-space continuum. However, credit cards are not your friends. Even though significant damage will be done, you will someday see the light and start being responsible with your money. Someday.

You are going to have some crazy ass roommates. Learn from them. Enjoy the ride, and know when to exit the ride.

Someday, gas is going to go up to $2.00 per gallon. You will be angry. It gets much worse.

NOLA pt. 4: On all the rest


*Note: I apologize if the text layout around the pictures is jacked up. It's taken me several hours over a few different days to get this posted, as Photobucket and I have been going around and around. At this point, I am VERY open to other recommendations for an image hosting service.

Oh, there are so many other topics I could post on, but I have a feeling it would be like making friends watch a slide show narration. Interesting only to me. However, I would like to share a few more pictures of my trip. Wanna see 'em? Here it goes:

The "menu" at the Cafe du Monde:


It poured like this at least once per day during my trip. I happened to be out in the French Quarter during this particular downpour:


Here's a pic of Brad and Angie's place. At least, according to the horse and carriage tour operator I overheard:


Pics of St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square:


A pic of the Sainte Jeanne d'Arc statue in the Cathedral (that's Ms. Joan of Arc to you and me):


The view from the Riverwalk--not so pretty, but the cool breeze coming off the river was fabulous:



A few pics of my bed and breakfast, La Maison Marigny:




A pic of the cemetary (the cemetary REALLY needs to be a separate post, perhaps it will):


And last, but certainly not least, from the Jackson Square, a pigeon with a mohawk:




Both are surgical procedures performed under a local anesthetic that uses a laser to correct one's vision. LASIK is probably the most popular procedure, as it has very little healing time. However, the procedure I'll be undergoing is called PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy). PRK has a longer healing time. The reason for the longer healing time is the way the procedure is performed.

In a nutshell, LASIK uses a laser to cut a flap from the top 1/3rd layer of the cornea, then uses a laser to reshape the underlying layers of cornea. PRK uses a chemical solution to dissolve a much thinner top layer of the cornea, then uses a laser to reshape the layers of the cornea. The higher the vision correction, the more layers of cornea need to be used in the reshaping process. My corneas happen to be on the thin side, and therefore there aren't really enough layers to successfully perform the LASIK. Hence, because I have such a large correction, I am undergoing PRK instead.

One downside to LASIK is that the flap never completely heals, and any moderate trauma to the eye area can cause the flap to re-open. One advantage to PRK is that it has been around for many years longer than LASIK. However (and this is a big one), the healing time for PRK can last months. I have read varying experiences on different blogs, but they range from some mild discomfort and irritation for a few days to extreme pain for a couple of weeks, and everything in between. I suspect the variation in experiences of pain have a lot to do with individual differences, including tolerance to pain. I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I do know that even when my contacts were at their most painful, I could wear them for several hours knowing that relief could be mine at any time just by removing the contacts. I won't exactly be able to "escape" the pain from the PRK procedure.

Consistently, these blogs report a week or two before the person feels comfortable enough with their vision to drive, and up to a month to see actual improvement in vision. Good correction is usually achieved by six months. Let me clarify. Once the laser correction is done, the vision is corrected. But because the very top layer of cornea is gone, the vision itself isn't very functional. People typically report a haze, ghosting, starbursts, and halos until the cornea has healed completely (3-6 months to heal).

Another disadvantage is severe light sensitivity. As most of my work is done under fluorescent lights, staring at a backlit computer screen, I'm not sure how long it will take me to be fully functional at work.

I am definitely going to have to sacrifice and "pay" for the opportunity to be able to see without contacts or glasses. But I strongly feel that it will be worth it. Another consistent bit of feedback across all blogs I read was that the individual absolutely regretting having PRK one week, two weeks, even one month out. However, by one year, every single person said that PRK was worth it, and they would not hesitate to do it again. The long term results for them far outweighed the short term pain and inconvenience. Let's hope I will be able to say the same.

My procedure is exactly one month from today!!

Subscription Feed

If you look over to the right of the screen, you'll see a new link to subscribe to my blog. I find it pretty convenient to use a feed reader service (I use Google Reader) as a central location to keep updated on the blogs I'm most interested in.

The Date My Life Will Change


Sounds dramatic, but I have high hopes.

I am scheduled for vision correction surgery on July 10, 2008.

It's not LASIK, as my corneas are too thin. It's a surgery called PRK. It has a bit of a longer recovery time (a few days), but is just as effective.

A Carefree Mind of My Own - Design by: Searchopedia convertido para o Blogger por TNB