Wednesday, January 28, 2009

My Mission to Help Find a Cure

As I was typing the subject for this post I got a text message from a really good friend saying her step dad's cancer has spread to his stomach and liver. When I read that my stomach became twisted in knots, I could feel my eyes tear up, and the memories of when my dad was diagnosed

Living with cancer, whether you're a survivor, family member or friend is a sobering experience. The tribulations of day-to-day life just don't seem as important. It's something I don't wish upon anyone, and the fact that there are still people out there being diagnosed and losing their battle is just not okay with me.

I'm not a doctor or a scientist; I get queasy at the very thought of donating blood, and I don't think I could ever be as strong as those who are fighting that evil six letter word.

The only thing I can do is what my gut tells me to do. I may not be the fastest runner, but every time I put on those running shoes and trained for my previous half marathon I envisioned the pain and lack of strength my dad had while he was going through chemo. I imagined what it must have been like for my grandma to have a mastectomy to get rid of her breast cancer for the second time. I sympathize with every patient and empathize with family members and friends going through this hard time. If they were able to get up and out of bed day after day, then I can certainly run in their honor.

Cancer victims have it so much harder than anything going on in my life right now, which is why I'm committing myself to raise money again for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It may seem like a daunting challenge to raise close to $4,000, especially in this economy, but it literally breaks my heart when I hear that someone close to me is going through this trial. Running the marathon (I'm doing a full marathon - 26.2 miles this time) is an after thought. If people are surviving every single day from this terrible disease then I can certainly bust my behind, get out there and make some money for them.

I actually didn't intend for this post to go in this direction today, but my heart is heavy right now and this is the only way I can express my thoughts. We pray every night that my dad's cancer will remain in remission and by asking for money I feel I'm at least doing a little something to help keep it gone forever.

I'm Running for a Cure and would love it if you could join me.
came flooding back into my mind. People shouldn't hear news like that.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

"Rosa sat so Martin could walk.
Martin walked so Obama could run.
Obama ran so our children can FLY!"

I know this has been floating around the Internet since Obama began his quest for the Oval Office, but I thought today would be a good day to post it again. Not only that, but it's a darn good possibility that Obama will still be in office when that day comes and I do have children, so that means something to me.

I didn't vote for Obama, but I think everyone's excitement has worn off on me, because I can't wait to see him become our president. It's something spectacular to see this many people aware and awake regarding our country.

My boss gave us the day off today to watch the inauguration, so except for a short blip when I go pick up my computer (!!!) I'll be glued to the televsion. I'm thrilled to be living through part of this history today.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Makin' Muffins

Thanks to Ashley (a fellow gal I "met" through a military girlfriend's Web site), I had a new recipe to bake today. I know, I know, you're probably thinking, "Jessica, you can't cook." And while this is true, I really like trying. So here's my adventure in making a new (and healthy!) recipe. (FYI, they don't look anywhere near as delish as they do on Ashley's blog!)

Flax Seed Cranberry Muffins

The recipe calls for flax seed, and seeing as how flax seed is in the name of the recipe I decided to find out what flax seed was. Basically it has lots of Omega 3 and is high in fiber. You can sprinkle it on just about anything and it's great to cook with.

My mom and I picked some flax seed up at Whole Foods, but what we didn't know is that the seeds come whole and we needed them ground. Great. After trying to grind them with a coffee grinder (it was broken) we moved on to using a blender. That did the job.

Now it was onto the next part of the recipe. Cranberries. Since cranberries aren't exactly in season, and I forgot to buy some frozen ones, we decided to just go with cranberries in a can. In the end all, be all of things, I think the cranberries worked even though there was lots of sauce (we rinsed off all the goo till we only had the berries left).
Ok, so moving on. I had to mix the dry ingredients and then the wet ingredients in separate bowls. Now, had I actually read the directions (this seems to be a recurring problem with me...) I would have read that I shouldn't put the cranberries in till later - oops! Here's what the wet stuff looked like (appetizing, huh!):
There's applesauce, eggs, egg whites, vanilla, cranberries and oil. Yum.

I almost forgot that I had to grate orange peel in there. I've never "zested" anything before, so I got out the grater and tried to make this work.

I mixed the whole shebang together and filled the muffin tins. The batch made 19 muffins, but I have enough flax seed left to make another batch. Next time (and there will be a next time because I think they're really yummy!) I'm going to make mini muffins.

They taste almost like bran muffins, but are a little sweet and a little tangy.

They may not look all that delicious, but trust me, they are!

Flax Seed Cranberry Muffins

1 3/4 cup of Ground Flax Seed
1 cup of whole cranberries
2 Eggs, 4 whites or 4 total eggs
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of applesauce
1/2 cup of brown sugar
tsp. of baking powder
3 tsp. of cinnamon
1 tsp. of nutmeg
1/2 tsp. of salt
1 Tbl. vanilla extract
2 tablespoons grated orange peel
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional for topping) -
I didn't add the nuts


Preheat oven to 350 F.
Liberally butter muffin tins. Makes anywhere from 12 to 24 muffins. Do not use paper muffin liners - they will stick.
1. Pour boiling water over cranberries. Let sit for 5 minutes and pour off water.
2. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients (minus the cranberries) separately, then mix them together.
3. Let mixture stand for 10 minutes to thicken.
4. Fold in cranberries.
5. Fill each muffin cup about half way, and sprinkle with nuts.
6. Bake about 15 minutes (a little longer if you're only making 12) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Keep up to a week in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A Belated Christmas Story

I've had my iBook G4 since April 2006 and I've loved it each and every day. But in the past year it's been having some problems. Luckily none of them have been computer-threatening (i.e. I haven’t lost info on my hard drive….knock on wood), but they have been just plain annoying. On top of that, it doesn’t have much space anymore. I’m constantly moving photos and music to my external hard drive just so I can have more room. I realize these aren’t huge problems, but it was enough to pique the interest of my tech-savvy boyfriend.

And so, for Christmas Kenny presented me with a gift in the form of a card, and inside the card was an I-O-U for anything at the Apple Store. Needless to say, I’m one lucky gal! I tossed around the idea of getting an iPod or an iTouch (I may have left my iPod on an airplane last year when I went to visit the previously mentioned boyfriend). But when it comes down to it, a computer is what I want and a computer’s what I’m going to get!
I think I’m going to place the order today (through my Apple-store-employee-and-cousin Monica) for a new MacBook and wait on pins and needles till it comes in the mail and then I’m giving Kenny the iBook so he play and tweak it to his liking. In the mean time, I need to ship my iBook off to the Apple-fixer-upper place because it broke again, but I think I’ll wait on sending it till my new one comes in.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Answer and Quote

Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner from yesterday's question. The answer is July, so congratulations goes out to my mom!

And for today, I finally got my wall calendar in the mail today, so I'd like to share January's quote with you:

Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. - Albert Einstein

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Answer and New Question

So what sort of animal is a porgy?

it's a fish!

Now onto today's "Hard Ass" question:

Once called Quintilis, which month was named in honor of Julius Caesar after his death?

Don't forget...nobody likes a cheater!
The answer will be posted tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Saturday Hard Ass

I bought myself this Smart Ass daily calendar for 2009 and so far I like it. Here's the question for today - comment and tell me the answer. No cheating!!

What sort of animal is a porgy?

(I'll post the answer tomorrow)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Soy de Burque

A column I read today in the Albuquerque Journal that I wanted to pass along:

Here's a Q Tip for You: ¡Viva Burque!
By Leslie Linthicum
Journal Staff Writer

The city of Albuquerque's official nickname — The Q — has been a thorn in the side of a growing revolution of city dwellers since it was rolled out a little more than a year and a half ago.

The revolution has been led by the anonymous subject of today's column. The Q drives him mad. Not because he's got any particular beef with the 17th letter of the alphabet, but because of what it represents: "We as citizens were never asked what we wanted to call ourselves," he says. "It was brought upon us. I think it's strange, this whole idea of branding a city."

Since Mayor Martin Chávez's desire to come up with a city brand resulted in the official Q logo, billboards have advertised Albuquerque as The Q; the mayor's radio show is called "The Q Hour;" local shopping cards are Q Cards; the annual Downtown music fest was named the "QJam;" and the new bicycle borrowing program is being named Q Bike.

The mayor is a happy early adopter of the Q. "I just like the heck out of it," he said when the logo was rolled out.

Outside of official channels, The Q isn't exactly spreading like the flu. Ever heard anyone say, "I'm spending the weekend in The Q"? Or, "I just moved to The Q and I'm lovin' it"?

Ever heard anyone outside official channels use The Q in any context, ever?

Spending about 30 seconds on Google reveals what we all suspected: The Q did not spring from the loins of originality.

The Q is an arena in Cleveland (still time to get Monster Jam tickets!); a gay dance bar in Lincoln, Neb.; a hard rock radio station in El Paso (and a host of radio stations elsewhere); the subway train that goes to Coney Island in Brooklyn; and the nickname of Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Mass. (It is also the odd devotion of a librarian at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, who has a trippy Web page devoted to "facts and fancies concerning the seventeenth letter of the alphabet.")

So back to our anonymous hero, who fought back and launched the Burque movement. With a Web site and T-shirts and bumper stickers for sale — and a You Tube video showing how to make your own Soy de Burque shirt — he has reclaimed some control over what he wants his native city to be called.

He opts for Burque because that is how he grew up shortening Albuquerque. While his shirts have shown up in shops and on chests around town, he has remained unnamed through it all, opting for Burque to get all of the attention.

"I'm just a guy on the street. I'm just another regular old citizen," he says. "It's not about me and I don't want it to be about me."

The Burque movement has spurred quite a little nickname war — one that Burque is winning on the streets.

Or was winning.

Then came the dark day late last year when the city's new blue curb side recycling bins were delivered. It's hard to do battle with a city-funded blue army.

"I was driving down the street and everybody had their canisters out and I just saw Qs everywhere," he says. "I thought, 'What can I do? It's this thing that's just being pushed on us.' "
What happened next will help explain why Mr. Burque likes to remain anonymous.

"I stared at it for a little while. Then I got some vinyl and cut out some stencils and went out and put my own little mark on it."

And the official Q became BurQue. Seditious or delicious, depending on your point of view.

The Duke of Burque is excited about the possibilities for all those Q's as Albuquerqueans receive their recycling bins. He points out that those without stenciling skills can use a "Soy de Burque" sticker to amend their Q.

"I think people can go crazy with it," he said. And then added judiciously, "I'm sure it's city property, so I'm not encouraging anybody to do anything with them."

He's also not pushing Burque — that would be as bad as what the city is doing.

"You can call it Albuquerque. You can call it ABQ or Duke City. You can call it The Q. You can call it Burque," he says. "It's about where do we live? Who are we? Shouldn't we have a voice in this?"

If you've never had any trouble spitting out "Albuquerque," all four pesky syllables and two Q's, feel free to continue. If you want to be the first in the city to actually say you're "from The Q," well, good luck. If you're thinking of joining the Burque Brigade, please, some words of advice. Practice rolling your r's. And, remember, Burque does not rhyme with turkey.

You can reach Leslie at 823-3914 or Read all of her columns at

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Well, the sore throat I mentioned in my previous post turned into something gross. I went to the doctor's office yesterday and had a strep culture done by a very rude nurse. The "rapid" test came back negative and she sent me home with instructions to sleep and drink.

I slept and drank as much as I could yesterday, but around 2 am I could feel my ear starting to hurt. By the time I woke up in the morning I could barely swallow, couldn't talk, and it hurt even to move my head. I went back to the doctor's office, this time to see my real doctor. She took one look at my throat and was writing a prescription two seconds later.

It just sucks that I'm sick again. I'm going to look into taking a daily vitamin and really working on getting enough sleep, eating healthy, exercising, and drinking lots of water a day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Getting Healthy

One of my best friends from high school is literally traveling the world right now. Mike has been to Italy, Greece, Egypt, and is now on his way to India; I’m so impressed that he actually “did it.” Everyone talks about achieving their dreams, but how often do we actually get out there and make them happen? He sold his car, bought the ticket and hasn’t been back home for many months. It’s just amazing to me.

When he first left I would get a little sad reading about their (he went with another friend of mine, Abel) adventures, but now I can read them without wanting to purchase the next flight out of town. These days I’m not as antsy reading about how much excitement he’s having because I know that I’m just in a transition phase right now. Traveling is in my blood and I know I’ll be back with my passport in tow when the time is right.

In the mean time, I’m keeping my adventures close to home. In other words: I think I’m about to start fighting off yet another cold. I’ve literally been going nonstop for the past 17 days; I’ve been traveling, drinking, eating all the wrong foods, not sleeping, not drinking water, and so on and so on. My body is pretty mad at me right now and is screaming at me to start taking it easy again and bring it back to a healthy state.

With that said, I worked out this morning despite waking up with a sore throat (bleh) and a somewhat stuffy nose and I had a Lean Cuisine for lunch. The workout darn near killed me, but hopefully I can keep it up. And later today after I get home from work I’m going to take a nap and work on catching up on all that sleep I’ve missed.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

When Bliss Says Bye

Kenny's plane took off ten minutes ago and I'm not on it. No, not that I was supposed to be on it, it's just that he's going back to Georgia and I'm staying here, the way it's been for the past two years.

You'd think saying goodbye and dealing with a long distance relationship would be easier after two years of sporadic encounters, but it's not; if anything, it's getting harder.

The two of us had an unbelievable time together during the past two weeks and we were lucky to see each other nearly everyday. In fact, it was almost like having a boyfriend who lived here! But now we go back to our countdown (26 days days possibly; 40 days for sure) and look forward to the next time we see each other.

Till then, I'll truck on and continue my life of having a relationship thousands of miles and several states away, and I'll be thankful for dating in the 21st century when I have devices like cell phones (what would I do without unlimited texting???!!!) and instant messaging.

Here's to seeing my love again in t-minus 26 days...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Through My Eyes

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed NYE and had fun with friends/family. I rang in 2009 at my friend Brandon’s NYE party. This is the same party where Kenny and I met three years ago, so it holds a special place for both of us. It turns out that I definitely can’t drink like I used to in college; I was out of commission pretty much all day yesterday.

While I was lounging on the couch during my daylong siesta I stumbled upon Project 365. Basically it’s a yearlong photo documentary of whatever type of pictures I feel like taking that day. I started Through My Eyes to serve as my digital scrapbook for the next 365 days and I plan on being diligent and posting pictures as often as I can. I’m hoping to get a good following over there (i.e. I’m hoping people will leave me comments on my pics!), and I have several ideas on how to not get bored with taking a different picture everyday. Some ideas:

1. Guess what the photo is – I’ll take a close up picture of something and people will have to guess what it is.
2. Theme weeks – one week of the same type of thing
3. Food – I plan on baking a lot more this year (see the last post)
4. YOU tell me what to shoot!

I guess I can add this to my 2009 To-Do List! On that note, it’s time for me to start snapping some photos. Happy January second.

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