31 May 2011

Running around like a madwoman

Today was the last day I had health insurance.  Thrilling.

So I spent the day getting a blood draw, doing physiotherapy, and getting a massive amount of drugs from CVS.  I basically had the pharmacist go down my central profile and put through anything that would go through that I don't already pay out-of-pocket for (I pay OOP for my quinine sulfate, so there was no sense in getting that one refilled today).

The blood draw was... interesting.  They had a new woman today.  I was hesitant.  As loyal readers know, I am no stranger to blood draws.  But my veins can be a little tricksy.  My left arm is pretty shot from my 2008 stays in hospital since the IVs kept infiltrating and blowing all my veins.  So they insist on sticking my right arm, which annoys me since I carry my bag on my right arm because I open doors with my left arm and use my phone on my left side. 

Anyway... the two regular ladies, J and M, know that I don't mind how many times you stick me (really, I don't - if I minded sticks, I couldn't be me), but I hate hate HATE when they go in, miss the vein, and then start digging around with the needle.  I'd really rather you just pull out and try again.  That digging around shit just pisses me off.  But I got a new lady.  I didn't even ask her her name because she annoyed me from the beginning.

Have you ever met someone and their face just annoyed you? or their voice? or just the way they walked?  I don't know which it was, but SOMETHING about this woman annoyed me right off the bat.  First, she has no inside voice.  "DO YOU HAVE YOUR PAPERWORK?"  "no"  That's right.  I whispered it, as if to compensate for her yelling at me, despite being three feet from me.  J told her that she had it.  New Woman (NW) tells me to take a seat in Chair #1.  I do, and fervently hope that J or M will be in soon to take my blood.

A few minutes later, NW comes in and says, "GO SIT OVER THERE.  SORRY," and points to Chair #2.  There's a slight possibility I sighed and rolled my eyes.  Chair #2 sucks.  It isn't padded.  And it's in a dark corner.

NW comes over.  Doesn't verify my name or DOB.  Great.  My luck, she's sending off the wrong test.  I'm probably getting a PSA done, and I don't mean a Public Service Announcement.  We do the elaborate blood draw dance (she applies tourniquet, I squeeze fist, she palpates, sanitizes, palpates again, sticks, I release, she draws, applies gauze, I apply pressure, she applies tape), and I leave.  I make it a point to say hi to M and tell J to have a good day on my way out.

I then walk to CVS.  Almost to CVS, I feel something...  odd on my arm.  I look down and realise that the blood has soaked the gauze ALL. THE. WAY. THROUGH.  This has never happened to me before.  So I go to CVS, tell the pharmacist what I'm trying to accomplish today, and squeak on to physiotherapy.  Once there, I tell Kara (the awesome Patient Service Rep) that I have A Situation.  I ascertain that she does not get grossed out, come around her desk, and show her what's going on.  We scoot to the restroom, she appears with the first aid kit, and she fixes me up.  Whew!

And I now have a big-ass, day-glo bruise.  I have NEVER looked like this or had an experience like this after a blood stick.  NW is never touching me again.  Mind, it didn't hurt at all.  But what if I had been wearing a Kyle Busch shirt, yo?

The rest of my day...?  Well, it didn't get any better. 

30 May 2011

Book Review: Mourning Gloria

This is a mystery I reviewed for Fresh Fiction.  It is part of the China Bayles series, which I had never read before.  I was hesitant to take on reviewing a book that was part of a series when I hadn't read the prior books in the series, but this book is written so well, that it doesn't really matter.

The full review is here.

29 May 2011

A Day of Racing (the non-spoiler edition)

As per usual, my day today was spent watching a LOT of racing.  Since I didn't get to sleep until about 3:00 a.m., I didn't get up in time to watch the F-1 race in Monaco.  But I heard the results, and now I'm kind of glad because it would have ticked me off.

Then, on to Indianapolis for the Indy 500.  There was only one goal here - DO NOT LET DANICA WIN.  Fortunately, I had many allies in this goal.  I was sure that as long as we worked together, we could achieve this goal.  We almost won before the race even started -- on Bump Day.  Danica's car had problems in technical inspection and missed her spot in qualifying.  Then the skies opened up, and they thought she wouldn't be able to qualify.  Unfortunately, it stopped raining, they were able to get the track dried off, and she qualified for the race.  So now it was time to make sure that she didn't win.  Preferrably, she didn't even do well.

One of the things that pisses me off about IRL racing is that the cars can be forty seconds behind the leader and still be in something like tenth place AND on the lead lap.  In NASCAR, if you're forty seconds back, you're at least one lap back (if not two), and you are most definitely NOT in tenth place.  (You're probably something like 20-something place.)

Another things that I've grown to dislike about IRL is that when Dario Franchitti is interviewed, if his wife (Ashley Judd) is around, they will actually frame the shot to centre it around her.  Yesterday, they were doing the post-race interview of Dario.  Ashley was standing in the background talking to some people, and the camera MOVED so that Ashley was in the centre of the shot and Dario was now on the right third of the shot.  And then Ashley started posing.  Stabbity stabbity stabbity.

As soon as that race ended, it was on to Charlotte for two hours of pre-race coverage before the NASCAR race started.  Then the race itself, which took about 5.5 hours.  As the race drew to an end, I figured I wasn't going to be happy with who won because of the guys in the top ten positions, there were about two or three that I liked - not great odds!  So then it became a game of "who do I dislike the least."

The best part is some of my friends and my Mom play a game where we pick a driver we think will do well in the race.  I picked a totally illogical pick because I "had a feeling."  And he ended up having a really decent night!  In fact, he finished better than all the other picks, which were completely logical and made much more sense!

After all that helping people drive, I am exhausted!  Off to bed I go!

28 May 2011

Parking Wars

Tonight, A&E had a "Parking Wars" marathon.  If you haven't seen this show, the first few seasons were set in Philadelphia, then they expanded and started filming in Detroit.  Basically, they follow PPA PEOs (Philadelphia Parking Authority Parking Enforcement Officers) and their Detroit equivalents around and watch them do battle with the citizenry as they give out tickets, boot cars, and tow cars.  In Philly, some of the more "colourful" scenes take place at the impound lot in South Philly, which is located behind IKEA.

Part of me would like to have this job just so I could zap people who do illegal things.  Illegally park in a handicapped space?  Zap - $100 fine for you!  Block the handicap ramp on a sidewalk?  Zap!  Park next to a fire hydrant?  Zap!  Park too close to a corner and make it difficult for people to see if there's oncoming traffic at an intersection?  Zap!  Park in a bus zone so people can't safely board and exit the bus?  Zap!

But watching this show makes me happy that those people do the job so I don't have to.  Man.  They're just walking down the street on their beat, not even writing a ticket and people will heckle them!  "Get a real job!" as if they have some deadbeat, loser job.  One person asked a PEO, "Do you even have a high school diploma?" 

And I'd never realised how dangerous their job is, either.  The people who boot the cars - Christ!  People come out and flat go postal on them!  They're booting the cars, and people come out and try to drive off!  One guy drove off the the boot half on his wheel, dragging on the street.  It was returned the next day (a random guy found it in a park), and it had brake fluid all over it.  They think it probably broke his brake line.  But it could have just as easily broke off and hit them.  Several other people flat out tried pushed and shoved the people.

Some of the people are just hilarious, though.  For instance, the guy who claimed he couldn't be towed because he's sovereign (he lives in Detroit).  Or the woman in Philadelphia who called 911 because the PEO gave a guy a ticket for double parking and she hates the PEO.  "He gives everyone tickets!  I hate him!  He gave the Pepsi guy a ticket!  And the beer distributor!  I had to deliver a 90-year-old man for five minutes across the street!"  (That last sentence in itself gives me a visual that I don't really need.)  I mean, that's stuff you can't make up.

I can't imagine going to work every day knowing people are going to yell at me, to my face, for things THEY did wrong. 

27 May 2011

List #11: Restaurants I Love to Hit When I'm in KCMO

1.  Dixon's Famous Chili
You guys have heard me talk about their chili and their tacos.  Dale always gets their burrito.  I have no idea what's so great about it.  I know it's huge, though.  And I know that while Mom is busy eating her chili and I'm busy eating my tacos, he's busy eating his burrito.  Fun for everyone!

2.  Cross' Tavern
Best chicken livers and gizzards ever.  I hate livers.  Mom hates gizzards.  We get the combo platter, and we're as happy as Jack Sprat and his wife.

3.  Sonic Drive-In
It's my favourite fast food place ever, and there aren't any that are close enough here.  So I make Mom take me there at least once.  When she comes here to visit me, sometimes I make her stop there on the way to the airport, get me a burger, and fly it here to me.  I love the Super Sonic burger #2.

4.  El Azteca
It's a Mexican restaurant in KCK (that's Kansas City, Kansas) that's actual Mexican food.  Although KCK isn't the best part of town (sorry, Jennifer Jo Cobb).  We're pretty sure we watched a drug deal go down on our way there one time (it's the BEST story - remind me to tell you some day).  And there's one server who is just a little TOO eager to do her job.  She won't let your drink get less than an inch low before she hustles over to ask "More drink, si?"  So conversation is difficult when she's coming over every three minutes (there are usually four of us - Mom, Dale, Laura, and me).  But the food is SO good.

5.  Robert's
This is a Chinese restaurant that has an actual name.  I think it's Golden Dragon or some such.  But everyone in town just calls it "Robert's," since he's the owner and the only server.  He's been on the news because of his phenomenal memory.  If you go in once, he'll get your order.  You may not go in again for three years, but as soon as you walk in, he'll seat you, point to you, and recite your order.  He has Caller ID on his phone, and if you call him to order take-away, if you don't want your usual order,  you better talk fast, because he'll answer the phone, recite your regular order, tell you the total, when to pick it up, and hang up (but not in a rude way - not at all!).  Not only all that, but he's hysterical, and has awesomely good food.

The last time my mom and I were there, I told my mom that there's a place here in Philly that has chocolate fortune cookies, and Mom told Robert she wanted chocolate fortune cookies.  Robert exaggerated his accent and said, "No speak-a the English!  No English!"  We about died laughing.

26 May 2011

Where did spring go?

First, I know I usually post a recipe on Thursdays, but I haven't tried anything new lately, so nothing new to post.  Sorry.

Somehow, spring has disappeared and summer got here way too soon.  Don't get me wrong - I enjoy summer, but it has it's time and place -- after spring and before fall.  Not after about two weeks of spring and then a full week and a half of rain.  That's just lame.

I had a rather exciting day today.  A woman I did some work for when I was getting my Master's degree had referred me to a colleague of hers for a potential job that may or may not exist.  I went for an informational interview today, just so we could find out more about each other.  It ended up that we quite like each other (professionally), and I'm feeling very optimistic about how this might turn out.  There's actually much more involved, and this might get a little tricksy, but I don't want to go into detail here.

My mom has her biopsy tomorrow, and she's just hoping the weather is good.  She's been making jokes about hoping that they aren't in the middle of cutting her head open when they announce needing to run to the basement to take cover.  So, now you see where I get my morbid sense of humour.

My headache was kind enough to hold off until I got home from the interview, so I apologise for the rambling.  More tomorrow.

25 May 2011

Wednesday Weigh-In

Well, not really.

I've been battling a massive headache for the past couple of days.  Usually, I would just pop an Ultram and go about my day.  But the last time I took one, I had Ultram hang-over for the entire next day.  Ultram is what my neurologist gave me to replace Darvocet, and I'd been taking it with great success until the most recent time.  Since I had physiotherapy today, I didn't want to take something that might make me groggy and clumsy.  And I have an important day tomorrow, so I'm also wary of taking it tonight.

All this to say that I slept in until the last possible moment this morning, dashed off to physio, had a tornado scare back in Missouri to deal with, came home, ate something in bed while I read until I fell asleep (which took about 20 minutes), napped, and showered.  By that time my friend was at my door, and it was time to go run errands together.  We hit IKEA and Target, and had supper at IKEA.  That was my big day!  Somewhere in there, I did weigh myself, but it wasn't my usual "first thing in the morning before I've eaten," so I'll just do it next week, and report in then.

In other news, I found out tonight that Katy Perry's contract rider is FORTY-FIVE pages.  What the hell crazy-ass demands can someone make that could possibly take up FORTY-FIVE pages????  I was talking to Mom about this, and I said that I think my two "demands" would be "please make sure there aren't any pork-type snacks" and "please make sure there is plenty of water available," since I don't drink any caffeine and I'd feel bad if they wasted money getting a lot of soft drinks.

Mom said hers would be "Please have Diet Pepsi in bottles."  (She hates the way it tastes in cans.) 

Apparently, we make crappy divas.

So, if you were a huge star, what would your rider have in it?

24 May 2011

Starting Physiotherapy (Again)

Today, I began my newest round of physiotherapy.  The physiotherapist that I had last time has apparently received a promotion and is now at a different office.  So I'm with a new-to-this-office therapist called Sandra.

There was a little bit of confusion today when I got there.  I filled out the form showing where my pain is and what kind of pain (stabbing, burning, aching, etc.).  I showed that the pain is in my groin and left lower back - just as it's always been.  But when Sandra called me back to the room for the consultation before we got started, she asked if I was there for my shoulder or hip.  Uh - what?

It seems that when the resident filled out the prescription for my therapy, he used the diagnosis code for a shoulder labral tear instead of a hip labral tear.  Meanwhile, I had filled out paperwork indicating a hip problem.

Of course, I didn't know this part, so I now think Sandra is a moron for asking me this question.  For those of you who have met me in person, you know I'm not that great at hiding what I think via my facial expressions.  "Uh, I've been hip and groin issues since October of 2009.  That's what I've ALWAYS been coming here for."

Then she explained her confusion, and we got it sorted.  Whew.  For the record, I no longer think she's a moron.

I explained the story of how this all started (by now, I've become an expert at getting medical professionals from October 2009 to the present in under five minutes), and we went from there.  She's really pretty awesome.  She thoroughly explained her plan of attack, and then answered some questions I had about why my ROM (range of motion was so limited), what we could do to get it back, would I ever get it back fully (remains to be seen - maybe not, and maybe not without surgical intervention), why does my back also hurt (because the hip and pelvis are connected and when the hip loses mobility, the sacrum can hurt because it's moving around more but it also has less room to move around), and why a labral tear decreases my ROM (too lengthy to go into here, and the drawing she made me made the explanation make more sense anyway, and this blog ain't that fancy!).

After all of that, she took me through some stretching exercises.  Then she took control of my leg and just stretched me out herself.  Her plan is just to work on stretching first to try to increase the ROM and loosen up the affected muscles.  Then she wants to work on strengthening the area.  This seems to be opposite of the previous guy's plan, and I like this.  She also asked me what the results were from my first stint of PT there, and we discussed that. 

All in all, I really like her, and I'm feeling very optimistic about this.  Unfortunately, I only get to see her again tomorrow, and next Tuesday until I get a job.  On Tuesday when I see her, she'll set me up with a home plan, and we'll just go from there.

23 May 2011

Book Review: Deadly Notions

This was a book I reviewed that is part of a cosy series.  I normally don't like to start in the middle of a series, but the idea of a cosy series centred around a sewing circle really intrigued me.

Having been raised by a mom who sews (and I have the scar on my forehead to prove that I grew up playing under her sewing table - one day she accidentally dropped her scissors and realised maybe that wasn't the safest play area for her child), I sew a bit, too, and I definitely enjoy reading about sewing.

This was a good enough good that I'd like to read more, but I'd probably put these on a "library status" -- enjoyable, but I don't know that I'd read them over and over.

Go here for the full review.

22 May 2011

The Week: Looking Back, Looking Forward

This past week has been largely uneventful, except that I turned in official notice to turn off my COBRA health insurance at the end of this month.  I knew this was coming, but it was still a gulp-inducing moment to get the official notice that said that as of 01 June 2011, I would have no health insurance.  Eesh.

Yesterday, Rachel came over.  We picked up my Angel Food boxes, which meant that I spent part of last night and today processing (cleaning, chopping, properly storing for maximum freshness, etc.) the produce.  I like to do this all at once so I can get the bulk of the garbage out of the house all at once, and it's all done so when I go to cook, I can get down to it.

Rachel and I hadn't planned ahead with what to cook, so we cheated and ordered in a pizza.  For dessert, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  We finished the Top Chefs: All-Stars season, and then we watched a few episodes of Millionaire Matchmaker, which is a show I've sucked her into.  It's so much fun to watch millionaires have the same problems trying to find love that the rest of us do (and sometimes fail even worse than the rest of us do!).  And we discuss the advice that Patti (the matchmaker) gives her clients.

This coming week, I've got physical therapy on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Tuesday evening, I'll see my friend Anju so she can pick up her share of the Angel Food stuff.  Wednesday, my friend Megan are going to hang out.

And, that, my friends, is the über-exciting life of me!

21 May 2011

Angel Food

So, I know that I've been promising you for awhile now that I would tell you about Angel Food, but different things kept popping up.  So tonight's the big night (ooh, aah!).

Angel Food Ministries sells people quality food at really inexpensive prices.  It's not seconds or day-old, and it's always restaurant-grade.  Even though it's very inexpensive, and their goal is to help out low-income families, everyone can order.  You don't have to qualify, there are no applications, etc. 

Each month, they post the "menu" for the various boxes online, and you place your order.  You can either place your order online for a $2 convenience fee or go to your pick-up site and place your order there.  So you always know in advance what you're getting, although they do reserve the right to make substitutions, if necessary.

I'm always amazed at the quality and quantity of food I get for the price.  This month, my May Bread of Life box (for $35) contained:
1.5 lb NY Strip Steaks (4 x 6 oz)
2.5 lb IQF Split Chicken Breasts (in a resealable bag)
1.5 lb bone-in pork chops (4 x 6 oz)
1.5 lb fully-cooked meatballs
1.5 lb maple-flavoured breakfast sausage links
1 lb 100% ground turkey
1 lb 100% ground chicken
1 lb garden peas
1 lb green beans
28 oz diced tomatoes
1 lb seasoned waffle fries
1 lb pasta (angel hair)
1 lb long grain brown rice
16 ct Sweet Hawaiian dinner buns
32 oz 2% shelf stable milk (the kind in a carton, not instant milk)
1 dozen eggs
7.5 oz package Break-n-Bake cookies

The Bread of Life box is meant to feed a family of four for one week, so I decided that a family of one should be able to eat on it for four weeks.  And, thus far, it's worked out well.  I've even had some left over!  I've also been pleased that some of the meat products that I thought would be pork have been chicken or turkey (like sausage or meatballs, although last months meatloaf contained pork).  Fortunately, I have friends who I sell/trade the pork products to/with.

I also order a Fresh Fruit and Veggie Box for $24, which included:
1 head sleeved Romaine Lettuce
2 lb bag Fresh Sweet Georgia Vidalia Onions
1 pk grape tomatoes
1 lb carrots
1 5.5 oz green onions
2 cucumbers
6 oz bag radishes
4 baking potatoes
1 head green cabbage
1 cantoloupe
1 golden ripe pineapple
6 lemons
4 red apples
4 navel oranges

They also have excellent customer service.  Two days before the pick-up date, a representative from your pick-up site calls to remind you that your pick up date is coming.  Last month, the pick-up was delayed a week.  In our box, we got a copy of a letter that was sent from the vendor to the transport company communicating their displeasure, AND a letter to all the Angel Food clients apologising for the delay and containing a 10% discount code for the May order.

They have a really large variety of boxes, including gluten-free boxes, after-school boxes for children, and "premium" boxes with "fancy" food.  There are also larger boxes, and there is no limit on the number of boxes that a person/family can order.  They also accept food stamps, if any of you use those.


20 May 2011

List #10: Shows That I Dearly Miss (Because I Think I'm the Only Person Who Watched)

1.  Early Edition
This was a show starring Kyle Chandler (of "Homefront" and "Friday Night Lights").  He got tomorrow's newspaper today, and would run around (when he wasn't tending to the bar he owned) trying to prevent Bad Things from happening.  As he succeeded (or half-succeeded), the headlines and story in the newspaper would change.  As a result of his escapades, he often had run-ins with the police.  As happens in television, even though the show took place in Chicago, he often ran into the same detective and had to come up with explanations for how he just happened to know where the missing child was (before she turned up dead the next day, for instance).

2.  Joan of Arcadia
This starred a young Amber Tamblyn (of "General Hospital," "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants," and now "House").  She saw and talked to God who often gave her tasks.  Joan would carry out the tasks knowing (not at first, but after the first few) that they would result in SOMETHING.  For instance, when God told her to join AP Chemistry, she met Adam.  Adam came to her house to study, and mentioned to her mom that he knew where they could get a hand-controlled car (for her brother who is paralysed).  The mom looked into and was able to get the car.  The cool thing about this show is that it wasn't actually about religion (though God was a central character), wasn't about kids (though most of it took place in a high school, but was just well-written, well-acted, thought-provoking entertainment.

3.  Snoops
Yeah, okay.  This was just basically fun, entertainment.  Two sexy woman (Paula Marshall and Gina Gershon) and a sexy dude (Danny Nucci) have fun with their private investigation business.  Glen (Gina Gershon) was a "rules be damned" kind of woman and had all kinds of flashy, high-tech devices at her disposal (bra cams, anyone?).  Mostly, I was in it for Gina Gershon being tough, sexy, and breaking rules.  Hell, yeah.

4.  Sports Night
Once voted "The Best Show You're Not Watching" which was enough to save all the previous winners of this award (for at least one season)... until SN.  Yay.  "Sports Night" was a show-within-a-show.  "Sports Night" was a sport wrap-up show a la "Sports Center" on EPSN.  But this show also took you behind the scenes so you could see the production meetings, the on-air talent trying to write, etc.  Written by Aaron Sorkin (of "West Wing" and "The Social Network"), it was sharp, fast, and witty.  And it lasted only two seasons with a hell of cliff-hanger.  Oy.  I still have yet to forgive either Sorkin or "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" (which is the show who took over our timeslot - damn you, Regis!).

5.  Three Rivers
Set in Pittsburgh at Three Rivers Hospital, centred around the Transplant Division.  It had the eye-candy cast including Alex O'Loughlin (the "Hawaii Five-0" reboot) and Katherine Moennig ("The L Word").  It would start showing how one person's life was in danger and would most likely die.  Then we'd see the person in the Transplant Division who was awaiting the organ.  Part of the fun of this show was how high-tech their hospital was.  Having worked in an essentially non-profit hospital, I was in awe of what they had their (yes, I'm aware it was actually a Hollywood hospital).

6.  Hack
Set in and largely filmed in Philadelphia, David Morse starred as disgraced police officer turned cab driver.  Michael Olshansky (Morse) was wrongly charged with corruption, and he drove around Philly trying to help people as a vigilante cab driver.  He was assisted by his former partner (Andre Braugher), who was one of few on the force who still believed in him.  Braugher's character would tell Olshansky about a case that the police could use help with, and Morse would do what he could, which was more than the police could, since the police were bound by all those pesky laws.  I'm not doing the show justice, but if you're familiar with either Morse or Braugher, you know neither of them do crap work.  (Also, one scene of this was shot in my friend's house!)

19 May 2011

Recipe: Turkey Burgers with Grilled Onions and Bleu Cheese

From Diabetic Cooking, March/April 2011

1 lb ground turkey breast meat
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 t Worcestershire sauce
6 t extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 t smoked paprika
1/4 t ground cumin
1/2 t black pepper, divided
1/2 t salt, divided
8 oz thinly-sliced onions
1 oz crumbled bleu cheese

1.  Combine turkey, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, 2 t oil, paprika, cumin, 1/4 t pepper, and 1/4 t salt in medium bowl.  Shape into 4 patties.

2.  Heat 2 t oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom of pan.  Cook patties four minutes on each side or until no longer pink in centre.  Remove from heat and place on serving platter; cover to keep warm.

3.  Add remaining 2 t oil to pan residue in skillet.  Heat over medium-high heat and cook onions four minutes or until beginning to richly brown, stirring frequently.  Stir in remaining 1/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper.  Spoon onions over patties and top with cheese.

Yield: 4 servings

Calories: 237
Total fat: 10 g
Sat fat: 2 g
Protein: 28 g
Carbs: 8 g
Cholesterol: 60 mg
Dietary Fibre: 1 g
Sodium: 491 mg

Dietary Exchanges: 4 meat, 1 vegetable

18 May 2011

Wednesday Weigh-In

I'm down 0.4 pounds this week. 

I will be excited when my hip stops hurting and I can increase this by exercising again.  The radiologist who did the injection said that it usually will hurt for "a couple of weeks" before it gets better.  The two weeks are up tomorrow.  So tick-tock. 

Yesterday, I watched a "Made" marathon.  You probably haven't watched this show because (a) you have a job and (b) you aren't obsessed with shows aimed at the teen demographic (ahem-Julie lol).  The show is actually pretty cool, though, despite the formulaic-ness.

They take a teenager who wants to be "made" into something completely out of their comfort zone.  They set them up with a "Made Coach," and they have a specific goal and timeframe.  And the madness ensues.  For instance, the shows yesterday were the theatre geek who wanted to try out for the soccer team because he was tired of the jocks at school calling him a fag and picking on him for being into theatre.  The über-academic lanky white girl with no dance experience who wanted to perform a hip-hop routine at the school talent show.  And the girly-girl who can't leave the house without make-up and wears three-inch heels to school who wanted to try out for the school rugby team because the other girls in her family are jocks.

The Made coaches are usually pretty awesome - the rugby coach was from the Team USA World Cup team.  The soccer coach was from the local professional soccer team.  And the hip-hop coach was from the local scene. 

The formula usually goes like this: Teen starts out gung-ho, teen realises this is Hard Work, teen pouts, Made Coach gets all tough on teen, teen throws tantrum, Made Coach and or teen's parent(s) have heart-to-heart with teen, teen realises giving-up is Wrong, teen digs in and Works Really Hard.

The thing I like about the show is that the teen doesn't always make the goal.  For instance, Michael finished his training for the soccer try-outs, but he didn't make the team.  But, of course, along the way, he learned the value of Hard Work, not giving up, team work, he made friend with some of the jocks (awwww), he learned discipline, blah blah blah.  So they learn that just because they didn't meet the goal they set out to meet, that doesn't mean they failed.

It's a fun show.  I kind of wish there was a show like this for adults, though.  I think it would be fun to watch adults step out of their comfort zone and be coached at something they'd always wished they'd done.

If you had the chance, what would you like to be Made into?

17 May 2011

Update on My Mom

My mom went to see her rheumatologist today to follow-up on her hospital visit.

Not to brag or anything, but her rheumatologist was flabbergasted that the doctor in hospital didn't do the biopsy, as I had been pushing for.  "Wait - what?  They DIDN'T do the biopsy?  Why not???  We better get that scheduled right away!"  So she's going to see a surgeon tomorrow for a consultation and to schedule the biopsy on her ophthalmic blood vessel... JUST LIKE I WANTED THEM TO DO ALL ALONG!

This biopsy will tell us definitely whether she has the arteritis or the second option, polymyalgia rheumatica.  The treatment for both is basically the same, but still - we want to know for sure what we're dealing with.

Now, here's the funny part.  When Mom was in hospital, I had asked her if she was having joint pain.  And I SPECIFICALLY said, "Are you having joint pain?  Like, pain in your knees?  Or pain in your shoulders when you go to put your coat on?"  (In the interest of full disclosure, I know nothing about rheumatica.  My friend Peter, who is a doctor I worked with at Temple zeroed in on this the night I called him when Mom went to the ER.)  And she said no.  That type of pain is a symptom of the rheumatica, but not of the temporal arteritis.  Okay, fine.  So, today, when her doctor brought up the rheumatica again, I said, "Oh, yeah!  That was why I was asking you about the joint pain!"  She said, "Well, I have been having some pain in my elbows and shoulders."

"Uh, Mom...?  THOSE are joints."

"Well, I was thinking more about the muscles when you asked."


16 May 2011

Book Review: Show Me Good Land

This is another book I reviewed for Fresh Fiction.  Admittedly, it wasn't my favourite book that I've reviewed, but there were aspects of it that I really adored.  I liked that it was basically a round-up of everyone in a small town, and it showed the reader how each person was connected to the central figure.

The mystery involved in the story was also interesting, and it took a backseat to the rest of the story until the end of the story, when a wicked twist is revealed.

My full review of this book can be viewed here.

15 May 2011

The Week: Looking Back, Looking Forward

In the past week, I had two appointments.  One is not worth discussing, but the other was with the doctor who has been trying to figure out what is going on with my hip/groin issue.  As you know, I had the big-ass needle inserted into my hip joint the week before, and then they took some images of the joint.  This appointment was to get the results of that.

It ends up that he was right all along - I have a torn hip labrum and some of the cartilage in my hip is gone.  For those of you who aren't medically inclined, the labrum (in very simple, non-medical terms) in this material that is in the hip joint between the ball and socket parts of the joint.  And mine is torn.  Let that image sit in your mind for a minute.  And then remember that I've been living with this since October of 2009.  No, that's not a typo - October of 2009.  The plan is to try physical therapy for awhile, but if that doesn't help, then we'll be looking at surgical options.

I also had something else rather exciting happen last week, but I don't want to discuss it, lest I jinx it.  But if something develops from it, I'll be sure to let you know.  :)

My friend Ria was in town, and I got to hang out with her Wednesday evening.  We went to Vientiane, a Thai/Laotian restaurant.  Thursday morning, her husband came in for breakfast, and we went to Honey's for breakfast.

My friend Anju and I tried out a new-to-us restaurant that's actually within walking distance from my place - Pattaya Grill, which is a Thai restaurant.  I had a coupon for 20% off, and Anju was nice enough to treat me to the rest, which was quite generous of her.  I had Drunken Noodles for the first time, and I'm excited to eat them again.  Wow - so good!

This coming week, I need to follow-up on a possible job lead that a former colleague shot me on Friday.  On Saturday, Rachel is coming over and we're going to watch the end of the Top Chef: All-Stars season.  And, apparently, I'll be starting physical therapy - joy.

14 May 2011

Corner Café

Tonight, I called Mom to tell her about my Pay Per View adventures with DIRECTV (it was Harry Potter, get your minds out of the gutter!), and she wasn't home.  This was odd since I knew she had gone to lunch with her brother-in-law and his grandson (and some other people on that side of the family), and they didn't have any other plans for the day.

I called her later in the evening, mostly just to make sure that everything was okay.  She said that when they were out earlier, Dale (her husband) had asked for a piece of sugar-free chocolate pie to go, but when he went to eat it tonight, it was coconut pie.  So they had gone back to the Corner Café to exchange it.  They were told that when the server went to get the chocolate pie for him, they were out, so she just gave him coconut.  Uh, what?

Dale said he liked coconut, so that was fine.  This exasperates me, but it's not my pie.  At this point, though, they weren't sure if it was the sugar-free pie (and since Dale is diabetic, this important), so they threw it out and cut him a new slice from the sugar-free coconut pie.

Now, this is where the story is actually important.  Mom was making fun of Ray and Kathy (who had actually chosen the restaurant) because when they get stuck on a restaurant, they go there (LITERALLY) every day.  They were there on Thursday with Mom and Dale before they went on a Kohl's shopping spree, and they were back there today.  And Kathy had mentioned that they were there again Friday.  I said to Mom that she was not much better because she had been there twice in three days.  But then when she mentioned going back to return the pie, I said, "Ha!  Now you've been there three times in three days!  You're tied with Kathy!"  She maintained that it didn't count because she didn't go IN to the restaurant -- she just drove there and Dale went in.  So DALE it tied, but she is not. 

I told her that I was going to blog about how she's just as bad as Kathy.  She said, "Then I feel bad for YOU because your life must be pretty boring if that's the most exciting thing you have to blog about.  AND if people actually read that, your friends must be pretty bored, too."


13 May 2011

List #9: Things I Wanted to be When I Grew Up

(This is in no particular order.)

1.  A little black boy tap dancing on Bourbon Street
We spent a LOT of time in New Orleans when I was growing up.  And I was too young to understand the several things wrong with this statement.  I just knew that there were little black boys having fun tap dancing on the corners of Bourbon Street, they were having all kinds of fun, AND they were making cash.  FUN!

2.  A tri-professionalist: a teacher, a farmerette, and a Burger King drive-thru cashier
When I was looking through one of my childhood diaries many years ago, I found an entry that said exactly this.  I remember writing it.  For a long time, I wanted to be a teacher - I think this is mostly because I got to boss people around (also, I remember telling my mom that I'd get to wear heels and I'd get to clack down the hallways).  A farmerette sounded cool because I'd get to be around animals and save them from being killed.  I decided that a farmer was dumb when I could be a farmerETTE (apparently, Smurfette had a bigger impact on me than I realised).  And, finally, I had to be a Burger King Drive-Thru cashier because they were the epitome of cool.  They were the first people that I had seen that got to wear the headphones when taking orders.  That was really super awesome.  I just HAD to have THAT job!  (Give me a break.  I think I was about ten when I wrote this.)

3.  A marine biologist
I thought it meant I'd get to swim with dolphins.

4.  An English literature teacher
I thought it meant I'd get to read all day.

5.  A librarian
I thought it meant I'd get to read all day.

6.  A playwright
Then I found out I'm much better at writing narrative than dialogue.  I absolutely suck at dialogue unless it's a transcript of one of my mom's phone calls.

7.  An astronaut
But there's a height requirement.

8.  An attorney
Most of you know this story.  I won't go into it again here.

9.  A public health practitioner.
This one is ongoing, and shall be continued.  Stay tuned.

12 May 2011

Recipe: Avocado-Tomato Salad

2 medium ripe avocados, peeled and cubed
2 c grape tomatoes
1/4 c thinly sliced red onion
1/4 c reduced-fat Italian salad dressing
1 T lime juice
1 t sugar
1/2 t chili powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper

1.  In a large bowl, combine the avocados, tomatoes, and onion.  In a small bowl, whisk the remaining ingredients.  Pour over avocado mixture; toss gently to coat.

Notes: I made the dressing the night before and refrigerated it.  This worked well (in case you should ever need to save time the day of, like I did).

Nutrition information for 1 cup:
Calories: 197
Fat: 16 g (2 g saturated)
Cholesterol: trace
Sodium: 279 mg
Carbs: 15 g
Fibre: 7 g
Protein: 3 g

Diabetic exchange:
2.5 fat
1 starch

11 May 2011

Wednesday Weigh-In

This week, I'm down 0.8 pounds!  I'm (again) surprised by this since I didn't a great deal of exercise, except for walking around the city on Thursday, Saturday, yesterday, and walking up and down the stairs a LOT yesterday doing laundry and taking a few loads of trash/recycling out.  But the walking wasn't a particularly cardio pace, but still - it's better than nothing, and it was pretty much all I felt up to after the arthrogram on Thursday (the procedure involving sticking a big-ass needle into my hip joint and then injecting loads of crap into my joint).

And, while I'm here, an update on my mom: As scheduled, she did come home Friday afternoon.  She's been feeling really tired since then, but she felt well enough yesterday to attend a luncheon she had committed herself to weeks ago.  It was her first "real" outing since coming home.  I want to thank everyone again for their thoughts, prayers, and concerns; it all meant a great deal to both of us.

10 May 2011

Philly Elections in a Week

I don't usually go political here, but I got a surprise in the political propaganda that was shoved under my door yesterday.

As most of you know, I originally moved to Philly 12.5 years to go to law school.  After my first year of law school, I interned at the office of the District Attorney of Philadelphia in the Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit.  We handled the prosecutions of domestic violence, rapes, crimes against children, and elder abuse.

Two of the people running for judge in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas are people I worked for that summer - one of them is Christopher Mallios, Junior.

Chris was someone I greatly admired and respected.  Not only was an out gay man, but he was very open about it.  While I was out in law school, I wasn't confident enough to be out during my internship, but I watched him closely, and I considered him a role model.  Last night, I looked up the questionnaire he submitted to Liberty City, and (as I suspected) he has continued to be unashamedly openly gay during his campaign.

I actually emailed him last night (expecting that he would not remember me), but I wanted to let him know that I remembered him because of the impact he had made on me.  And I wanted to let him know that he had my support.  He wrote me back this morning, and his kind words meant a lot to me.

I think the City of Philadelphia would greatly benefit from someone like Chris on the bench.  If you don't agree with me, that's fine.  But don't forget to vote, anyway.

09 May 2011

Book Review: Bel-Air Dead

As many of you know, I'm a fan of Stuart Woods, but his latest books haven't been hits with me.  I was really pleased when I received an ARC of his latest book "Bel-Air Dead" from Fresh Fiction because he has FINALLY returned to the Stuart Woods of old!

The sex scene were appropriate!

The flying scenes were not tedious!

The investigation was left to the detective!

It's as if Woods has read my last several reviews!

My full review can be found here.

08 May 2011


I spent a lot of today prepping for tomorrow.

Tomorrow could be big.

07 May 2011

Productive Saturday

This weekend, I'm cat-sitting for my friend's cat.  So I jaunted down to South Philly and visited Bella for about an hour.  We sat and talked for awhile, I petted her while I read a book, and then we played for a little bit.

On the way back to the city, I stopped at Borders because they are going out of business.  Everything is 60-80% off - even the bookshelves are for sale!  I got two magazines (80% off, sadly, all of the knitting magazines were gone), and a cookbook.

Then I walked to Trader Joe's to get a few things.

Meanwhile, I called to check on my mom.  She's doing well, but resting a lot.  She woke up, cooked breakfast and did a load of a laundry, then took a nap.  Then she woke up, took the laundry out, and was ready for another nap.  Poor thing; I feel bad for her.

She's planning on going to her Mom's house tomorrow for Mother's Day, and I hope she's up to it!

06 May 2011

List #8: Things I Learned This Week

1.  My Mom Will Always Make Me Laugh When She Says "Who" After I Say "Mandy Patinkin"

This is a LONG-standing inside joke.  I've blogged about it before, but I'm way too tired to go digging for it.  Some of you may remember it.

Basically, it started after a NASCAR race when Juan Pablo Montoya got punted by another driver.  I called and told her "My name is Juan Pablo Montoya, you killed my car.  Prepare to die," and she didn't laugh.  Then, I couldn't believe she didn't remember oh-so-many multiple times that Scott M.  and I watched "The Princess Bride" in our living room in middle school.  So I told was telling her about it.  I mentioned that Mandy Patinkin was in it.  "Who?"  "You know, he was Yentl."  (One of her favourite movies.)  She remembers the movie, doesn't remember him.  "Okay, he's in Criminal Minds."  "Which one is he?"  Well, since I don't watch that show, I have no idea which one he is, but I tell her "I think he's the guy in charge" (I've half paid attention the few times they've had it on when I've been there on holiday).

But I told her that he has once of the most famous lines in "The Princess Bride" - My name is Inigo Montoya..."  So that Christmas, I got her the movie.  When it got to that line, so said, "All this because of a stupid wreck?"  Pretty much, Mom.

Ever since then, every time I say "Mandy Patinkin" (and he comes up in conversation much more than one would think!), she says, "Who?"...   even doped up on morphine.

2.  Some People Are Incapable of Keeping Secrets

Mom told me not to tell anyone she was in hospital because she didn't want anyone to visit her.  However, she has a friend lifelong friend named Juliah.  They were born a month apart and lived a block apart since they were born.  They were to the same school from K-12 and lived in the same city until Juliah moved to Colorado several years ago (oh wait - there were a few years when Mom's first husband was stationed in CA, compliments of the Navy, but you get the idea).  Anyway, I called Juliah and figured that was safe because Juliah wouldn't go visiting Mom from CO, AND I knew Juliah would want to know Mom was in hospital.  What I didn't realise was that Juliah then called her daughter Rhonda (who lives in the same area Mom does) and sent Rhonda to hospital to visit Mom.  Also, Juliah promised to tell Mom that it was me who called her.  Guess how long THAT lasted.  HMPH.

(Btw, I texted Rhonda and thanked her for visiting my mom.  She texted back "Of course.  Thanks for letting us know.")

Then, Dale went to bowling league and blabbed to his bowling partner and Mom's bowling partner.  Dale's bowling partner, K, told his wife, C.  C went to visit Mom.  Mom's bowling partner L went to visit Mom.  Dale blabbed to his brothers D and R, so then then the sister-in-law K found out and went to visit.

Clearly, people should not be trusted.

3.  Some People Who Ride Public Transit Are Gross

While I was waiting for the trolley the other day, this woman sitting on the bench took off her flip-flops, and proceeded to put lotion on her bare feet.  The only thing I kept thinking was that she was then going to handle the handrails with the same hands she had handled her bare, sweaty feet with.  And if the seats were full, she might have to hold the bars on the trolley to steady herself if she was a standee.  I decided that I was NOT going to get on the same trolley with her.  And that I was going to start carrying more Purell with me.

4.  Sometimes, I'm a Little Too Organised for My Own Good

I had an appointment for an MRI and an arthrogram yesterday.  Since I was raised by a police officer and a teacher, it has been drilled into me that "YOU ARE NEVER LATE."  Although it was going to take about 30 minutes (tops) to get to this 11:15 a.m. appointment, I left my house around 10:05 a.m.  About halfway there, I realised that I had left the scripts at home.  I got off the trolley at the next stop, crossed over to catch the trolley going back home, went home, looked for the scripts for about three minutes, then remembered where they were.  They were in the side zipper pocket of the bag I'd had with me the entire time (I had put it there last week).  Back on the trolley I went.  And I still got to the appointment on time.

5.  It Doesn't Matter How Often Mom "Watches" "The Mentalist," She Still Has No Idea What's Going On

Don't get me started on the epic (and utterly ridiculous) fight we had about this show a few months ago.  Just trust that after the show was over, I called her to discuss it, because I know she and her husband watch it (because I've called during it only to be told that I was interfering with the watching and enjoyment of said show), only to discover that she had no idea who I was talking about.  Basically, the end of the conversation went a little something like this:

Me: You know, THE MENTALIST!!!!!! (almost screeching)

(And it didn't better from there.  We actually ended up hanging up on each other.  Yes, over a tv show.)

Last night, I called her to see if she had watched it from hospital because the end was REALLY good (don't worry; this is a spoiler-free zone).  No, she had gotten sucked into a show on HGTV.  I told her something about Rigsby and Van Pelt.  Then I said, "You have no idea who I'm talking about, do you?"

Mom: Uh...  the main guy writes books, doesn't he?
Me: You're thinking of "Castle."
Mom: Oh.  Right.
Me: Nice try, though.
Mom: OH!  The main guy does all the thinking!
Me: They're CBI (CA Bureau of Investigation) agents, Mom.  They ALL do thinking.
Mom: Oh.  Well... the main guy... uh...  is cute?
Me: Mom... make an effort.  Or just give up.
Mom: Yeah, I have no idea.
Me: The main guy used to be a psychic, and his wife and daughter were killed by Red John.  And he's spent the years since looking for Red John.  That's the entire premise of the show.  That's why he consults for the CBI.
Mom:  Yeah, I have no idea what show that is.
Mom (laughing): Apparently, only he watches.
Me: This is the show with a Chinese guy on the team.  And he has funny one-liners.  Ring a bell?
Mom: Nope
Me: I give up.

05 May 2011

Recipe: Mexican Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
2 t olive oil
8 slices rye bread
2 T mayonnaise
1 c fresh salsa, well-drained
3/4 c shredded Mexican cheese blend
2 T butter, softened

1.  In a small skillet, sauté peppers in oil until tender.  Spread four bread slices with mayonnaise.  Layer with peppers, salsa, and cheese.  Top with remaining bread.  Butter outsides of sandwiches.

2.  In a small skillet over medium heat, toast sandwich for 2-4 minutes on each side on until cheese is melted.

Notes: I buttered all of the bread first and laid them out (buttered-side down) on a cookie sheet.  Then I mayonnaise-d four of the slices of bread.  I thought this made more sense than making sandwiches and then trying to butter the outsides.

I did NOT use rye bread.  I HATE rye bread.  Rye bread is disgrossting.

Next time, I will mix the salsa, peppers, and cheese together, and then just spoon the mixture on the break.  Much less labour intensive than all of those steps.

Otherwise, the flavour profile of this sandwich - good heavens!  SO GOOD!  Rachel and I both ate two of them, AND a salad that we made (that recipe will go up next week).  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

04 May 2011

Wednesday Weigh-In

I'm down 0.2 pounds this week.  I'm happily take it since I did little to no exercise this week and I ate like a happy little pig (yay Angel Food delivery!  If you aren't familiar with Angel Food, I'll be blogging about it once the Mom-hospital saga is over; that was to be yesterday's blog entry before Mom decided SHE needed the spotlight).  The reason I didn't do much working out was because my hip/groin pain decided it needed to act up.  Yay.  Speaking of which, my MRI is tomorrow, complete with the lidocaine injection directly into the joint (is anyone else imagining a big-ass needle?).

The Mom Update: It ends up that the MRI today did NOT indicate that she has temporal arteritis.  However, the doctor is not ruling it out completely yet.   In the meantime, they have ruled out tumours, cancer, and stroke.  And they have relieved her pain (thank you, truck loads of morphine), so that's good.  In addition to the morphine, they've also had her on huge doses of IV steroids, and she can't go home until they titrate her down to a dose she can manage orally at home.  Until then, they are awaiting the results of some other labs they took to see if that gives them some answers as to what is going on.

Right now, it looks like she's be in hospital until Friday.

03 May 2011

Thinking of My Mom

I had a blog topic for tonight, but that was pushed aside when my mom called me today and said she was waiting for Dale (her husband) to get home so she could go to the ER.  She's been having a really bad headache since Sunday night/early Monday morning.  On Monday, she went to the chiropractor and got minor relief.  This morning, she called her doctor, but the phone rang and rang and she never got through.  So she called the chiropractor again.  That provided little to no relief.  I told her to just go to the ER.  She said she would tomorrow if things weren't better, but for now it was on to Grandma's (her mom) for sewing day.  I told her I thought sewing was a Bad Idea, and she said she was just going to Sit and Visit (a good ol' Midwestern past-time).

I had a doctor's appointment of my own today, and when I got out, I hit Trader Joe's, then called Mom to see how she felt.  This is when she said she was sitting at the door waiting for Dale to take her to the ER.  I knew this was bad.  This is the person whose leg could fall off, and she would pick it up and keep trekking.  Okay, clearly, that's hyperbole, but you get my point.  If she's giving in and going to the ER, this isn't a good sign.  She had even already written down all her scripts, her doctor's info, and emptied her purse except for her insurance card and driver's license.  This was a woman on a mission.

A few hours later, I got a call from Dale.  Apparently, he's FINALLY learnt his lesson; he's learnt to call me and give updates when my mommy is in hospital.  This is a vast difference from the time my mom had been in hospital for TWO DAYS and he didn't bother to tell me.  I found out only when I finally called his daughter to find out where the hell everyone was and why I couldn't get ahold of anyone, and SHE tells me "Oh, your mom's been in [name of hospital] since [two days ago]."  Suffice to say, I went a bit postal.  This incident was repeated AGAIN a year later.  So I think he's finally caught on.

Anyway... my mom was originally scheduled for a biopsy on her ophthalmic blood vessel tomorrow, but she JUST called and said they changed it to an MRI.  The think she has temporal arteritis.  They caught it in time before the inflammatory response of the ophthalmic blood vessel cause any permanent vision changes/damage, so that's good news.  The other great news is that this is a completely curable condition.  She'll have about a year of oral prednisone treatment, and that is stuff that her current rheumatologist can oversee.  After that, there will be no lasting effects.

For now, she's loaded on morphine because the swelling of the blood vessel has caused her some pretty major pain.  She seems to be in good hands.  The treating neurologist is a visiting doctor from Loyola (in Chicago), because the neuro team who regularly staff that hospital are all on maternity leave (they must have had one hell of a party nine months ago).  Despite all of the things I've heard about the "new" hospital in the city, Mom has had no complaints thus far (except that she thought the garlic mashed potatoes came WITH the strip streak for supper and they did not).

And, as always, it's difficult to be half a country away from someone I care about who is going through a scary time.

02 May 2011

Book Review: Jump

Recently, I started reviewing books for a site called Fresh Fiction, thanks to my friend Diana.

The first book I received and reviewed for them was Jump by Terra Little, a fellow Missourian.  This book was excellent, and I find that I cannot stop recommending it to people.

The full review is here.

01 May 2011

Burlesque (or: Phone Calls with My Mom)

I called my mom tonight, and she informed me that she was just sitting down to watch "Burlesque."  I reminded her that I had also wanted to see it.  Knowing that she and her husband rarely rent movies just for the two of them, I suspicious asked "Is Laura there?" (Laura is Dale's daughter.)

Mom: Yep.
Me: So you're watching a movie I wanted to see, but with Laura?
Mom: Pretty much.
Me: You're showing favouritism!  That's not nice!
Mom: I think my daughter has told me that before.
Me: Well... I want to watch the movie.
Mom: I can turn it up and hold the phone up and you can hear it.
Me: Hmmm.  Okay.  That'll work.
Mom: If I had a webcam, you could watch it.
Me: I have a webcam!
Mom: Okay, aim it at Missouri and see if that works.
Me: Why are you watching the movie without me?
Mom: Because I want to see Cher.
Me: Then just fast-forward to her part.  Don't watch the rest.
Mom: I can call you when it's over.  Will that help?
Me: No!  I don't want to just see the end!
Mom: Oh.
Me: Next time, can you just watch movies that I DON'T want to see?  I can send you a list.  It's a big one.  You'll have plenty to choose from.
Mom (laughing): Okay, honey.  That sounds good.