Thursday Things

1. Little known fun fact about me: once upon a time, I was on a billboard.

billboard

^^ Proof. Also, don’t you want to go out and immunize your children immediately?! How can you say no to that FACE?! Also, also, that haircut. #90sproblems

Cashing in on my 15 minutes of fame at such a young age is likely what has prevented me from achieving any success in the–more fun facts!–reality TV shows I have auditioned for over the course of my life (Endurance when I was 15, which was the best show ever, thanks for asking, and So You Think You Can Dance last year. The Endurance audition was a serious thing; the So You Think You Can Dance audition absolutely was not.).

Anyway, last week my dad texted my siblings and I to let us know that he and a couple of his coworkers had been selected by his company to appear on…a billboard! That means my family is now 2/5 in billboard fame! Haha.

And in case you’re wondering about the story behind how got myself on a billboard at age 4, some time before May of 1995 (when this billboard was up, according to the date on the photo I have), my mom took my sister (my brother wasn’t even conceived yet) and I to a…retirement party? Something like that. My dad, who was a teacher at the time, must have been in school, and my sister and I were both young enough to not be in school full time–my sister wasn’t in school at all–so this party must have taken place during the day, explaining why my sister and I ended up there. I was bored as hell, because there’s nothing less enthralling as a four year old than sitting around with a bunch of grownups, so I put my head down (I actually do remember doing that). Someone snapped a photo of me in that tortuously adorable position. One thing led to another, and some time after the party my mom asked me if it would be okay with me if they put my picture on the billboard. I do remember having absolutely no clue what a billboard was, and asking first to have a billboard explained to me. Once that happened, I agreed (as if my four-year-old opinion held any actual sway), and thus began (…and ended) my career as a child model.

Happy to sign autographs at any time.

2. I have a love/hate relationship with quinoa that, historically, has fallen more on the “hate” end of the spectrum than love. I like how quinoa tastes, I like that it’s a pretty solid choice from a nutrition standpoint, but darn if I don’t LOATHE preparing it. Rinsing quinoa is the worst, and the dread of having to rinse my quinoa (or feeling that I should rinse my quinoa because the Internet told me I should) has been enough to keep me from preparing quinoa in any capacity for like six months.

Two weekends ago, I finally convinced myself to go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond, because I had finally built up a long enough list of household items I needed to justify going…and also, Bed, Bath, and Beyond is close to Best Buy, where I was headed to buy my new MacBook. (Unrelated-to-quinoa tangent: I’ve found that living in Chicago has made working up the energy to run errands that aren’t on my way to somewhere else a monumental task. When I had a car, if I needed to run an errand, I would, you know, run that errand. Now? Oh man. I have to be absolutely, 100% out of something that I absolutely, 100% need to convince myself to go to stores that aren’t on my normal way from Point A to Point B. In fact, even if I do absolutely, 100% need something, sometimes even then I won’t go to get it and will figure out a way to live without it, because I am apparently the laziest bag of bones on this planet and absolutely cannot stand going somewhere inconvenient.) While at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I bought myself a cheesecloth, which I will acknowledge I avoided buying in the past because I hated the name (I’m a headcase, all right? This shouldn’t be new information to anyone.). Word on the street was that a cheesecloth was the ideal way to rinse quinoa, and goodness knows I was in the market for something that made rinsing quinoa easy. On Saturday, I had grand plans to make quinoa pizza bites (freaking delicious, in case you were wondering) for the first time in probably at least a year, so I broke out my cheesecloth, ready to tackle my quinoa rinsing like a champ.

WELP.

quinoa

After measuring out my quinoa onto my cheesecloth, I tried to move the cheesecloth from the counter to the sink, and it…could have gone better.

Have you ever spilled quinoa? That ish gets EVERYWHERE, and it does NOT go away. The clinging power of quinoa puts velcro to shame.

I have now concluded that quinoa categorically has it out for me.

3. Tuesday morning I was in a woe-is-me-I-am-a-month-and-a-week-from-turning-25-and-not-at-all-where-I-want-to-be-in-life mood, which seems to be my mood of choice lately, occasionally sprinkled with some general grouchiness or despondence for good measure (I’m a real treat these days). I hadn’t watered my flowers for almost a week, so before I left for work I went out to my deck to give them all a drink, and while I was out there, I saw one of the dogs who lives in my building (I think his name is Henry?) wandering around the building’s “backyard.” Incidentally, the last time I saw him was when I planted my flowers three months ago. When I was planting my flowers, he trotted right up the steps to my deck and helped himself to a tour of my apartment, since I had left the door open, so I knew he was a very friendly pup. I instantly perked up when I saw him and said, “Hello!” (as I am apt to do when I see animals…is this a character flaw?), and he bounded up the stairs once again to come visit. He gave me some kissies, tried to get into my apartment again (the door was closed this time, and I’m not entirely sure how my roommate would have felt about a rouge bulldog wandering our place anyway), and wiggled with delight as I petted him and scratched behind his ears until his human whistled, at which point he returned to his home.

IT WAS THE BEST.

I was wearing khaki capris that day and he got them all dirty with his grass-stained paws, but I could not have cared less. I was so, so happy to have some puppy time, and it was EXACTLY the mood booster I needed.

Mood substantially improved, I finished getting ready to go to work, when I heard fairly loud peeping outside my window. I’ve been around the block enough to know what a bird sounds like when it’s right outside my window, so I looked, and lo and behold: a lady robin! Now, robins are hardly a rare sight in Chicago, but never up to this point have I seen one perched directly outside my window. I said hello to her as well (obviously), and she continued to peep away while I watched her. I figured she would fly away soon, but she wasn’t going anywhere, so I accepted the fact that I’d be late to work and continued to watch her peep. AND THEN! Another robin flew in, this time a boy robin. I thought he was going to chase Mrs. Robin away, but not at all! He had a big black bug in his mouth, and he fed it to Mrs. Robin! (At least, I think this is what occurred. The first robin I saw looked different than the second robin who came in with the bug, and at first I thought it was maybe a teenager robin that Mom was bringing breakfast to, but upon further Googling I don’t think the first robin was actually immature, because it had a fully red tummy, and teenager robins have speckly tummies.) It was SO COOL! Then Mr. Robin flew away, and Mrs. Robin resumed her peeping for a moment, and then got quiet. Then she pooped, but once again, I did not at all care, because there were birdies right outside my window and I got to see nature nature-ing IN THE CITY!! I hoped to see Mr. Robin come back with more grub, but I did have to go to work eventually, so I left after Mrs. Robin did her business.

Various conclusions I drew from this experience:
– While a boyfriend would be ideal, a dog (or regular access to a dog) would be a perfectly acceptable substitute…perhaps even preferred, given that a dog would always think I was the best thing to have ever happened to the world, would love me unconditionally, is easy to make dinner for, would likely be willing to cuddle, would always listen to me and would never interrupt, and would NOT become less cute as it aged.
– My neighborhood birds have better success in love than I have, probably because they aren’t attempting to strongarm the Interwebs into finding them a man.
– (I’m going to get religious on you, sorry not sorry, skip it if you don’t want to read it) God was listening Tuesday morning as I cried while doing my breakfast dishes. Sometimes I’m okay with my singleness, but sometimes I am most definitely not, and it frustrates and upsets me to no end that I feel like my, “Help me find someone, or if not, at least make me stop caring so freaking much and just be okay with being single,” prayers have felt mostly ignored for…like 14 years (with the exception of the two and half months I had of dating my ex-boyfriend). While I ideally would have preferred an acknowledgement to come in the form of Prince Charming knocking on my door, offering to finish my dishes (and maybe even unload the dishwasher for good measure), having the dog come to visit and the birds hang out by my window–two things that rarely, if ever, happen–felt kind of like a, “Hey, I know you’re upset, and I know this isn’t what you asked for, but I do want you to know I’m at least listening and will help you smile in the meantime” sort of thing.

Have you ever been on a billboard? No? Yeah, that’s what I THOUGHT! Hahaha. To be fair, most of the time I forget this ever happened to me. But when I remember, OH BOY do I remember 😛
Am I the only one who can’t seem to get quinoa to cooperate, like ever? No? That’s just me…?

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13 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. You’re supposed to rinse quinoa? That’s news to me! I’ve never done it and I eat quinoa like three times a week. I make a big batch and then just reheat as necessary. But, yes, I agree, if you spill it you will be finding it for months and months.

    I wish my pup liked people more so you could come cuddle him. Alas, he’s just not that into…anyone (except Jason and me). The Prozac is helping, though!

    Also, that billboard story is amusing. Do you know who it was that took/asked to use your photo? Did they work for a graphic design company or something?

    • A while back my digestive system just was not handing quinoa well, so I did some Googling and the Internet told me I’m supposed to rinse it. Apparently it has some sort of coating, and it’s recommended to rinse it off before making quinoa. See: http://www.epicurious.com/archive/blogs/editor/2013/03/rinsing-quinoa-do-i-really-have-to-do-that.html. Though I don’t think it’ll kill you to not rinse it.

      I’m glad to hear Prozac is chilling Chewie out! I think it’s so interesting that Prozac works on dogs like it works on humans. I wouldn’t expect it to have the same effect!

      My mom works at a hospital, and the retirement party was for someone who she worked with (I assume, since it took place at the hospital), and the billboard was put up by that same hospital, so I imagine it was all some sort of internal thing. Though now that I think more about it, I wonder how they knew who I was just from the photo? Unless maybe my mom is in another photo, and that’s how the identified me.

  2. Okay SO COOL that you were on a billboard! You’re pretty much a big deal in my eyes haha what are the odds!

    I made quinoa mac and cheese once and it was pretty good (I think?) but I never ate it again so I guess it wasn’t life-changing. I’ll stick with regular pasta which you can buy with the protein added in so basically it’s as healthy as quinoa, right? At least that’s what I tell myself 😉

    • *brushes shoulder off* I mean, yeah, I am pretty famous. HAHAHA. As long as one person thinks I’m a big deal, I’ll say my billboard campaign was a success 😛

      I’ve made quinoa mac and cheese before too! I actually totally forgot about it until you just mentioned it, so I suppose it was equally as un-lifechanging for me. Then again, I don’t cook nearly as much as I used to, so I’ve forgotten about all sorts of things I used to make. And yes, I’m pretty sure pasta with protein counts as the same thing. If you boil it and it’s a grain, it’s the same thing in my eyes 😛

  3. That billboard picture is just adorable! Can I get your autograph now before the paparazzi take over?

    I feel your pain with the quinoa rinsing and spillage (those little buggers get EVERYWHERE). My solution: Costco sells giant bags of quinoa that are pre-rinsed. It’s worth every penny. =)

    Love hearing about the dog and the birds!!! BTW – I say “Hello!” as well when I come into contact with little critters. =) It gets a little crazy when I’m at, say, a zoo! LOL

    • HAHAHA of course 😛 You get first dibs on my autograph.

      I didn’t know Costco sold pre-rinsed quinoa! That alone would almost justify a Costco membership for me if I ate quinoa more often. Then again, if I didn’t have to rinse it, maybe I *would* eat it more often!

  4. Quinoa is the glitter of food products. It gets everywhere and never fully goes away. Good thing I don’t like it much at all…I think I have one recipe that I can stand it in. Otherwise, give me brown rice or give me death. THAT BILLBOARD! Please tell me you get royalties.

  5. I despise rinsing quinoa! But I just saw in an above comment that you can get it prerinsed?! That is amazing! I don’t have a Cosco membership, but my parent’s do. Looks like I may need to mooch of of it now haha.

    Thanks to both of you for sharing!

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