Wednesday, December 15, 2004

When a friend of mine recently became ill with cancer and required surgery and extensive rest, a bunch of us from work got together and took up a collection. We used the money to pay for things like a housekeeper and a window washer, etc. We also bought her a month's worth of dinners from Supper Solutions. They have a list of entrees available, and you choose either 6 (for about $90) or 12 (for about $175). Then you go to their store, and all of the ingredients are there for you, along with a step-by-step list of instructions for preparing each entree. They go into zippered freezer bags, and get labels with the cooking instructions (all are for the oven or stove-top). Then you take them home, stick them in the freezer, and use them as you need them. Since each entree serves a family of four, it works out to be about $2.50/person for each meal. Plus, they'll let you divide up the entree into a few packages (for those of us only feeding two people at a time) at no extra charge.

My friend Tara and I are going over tonight after work to put together some entrees for our families - my mother and I are splitting 6 of them to try it out. So basically, for $45, I'm getting dinner for A and I for about a week. The choices look pretty good - orange chicken, a pork loin with orange marmalade, and stuffed pork chops. Yummm.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

tuesday is chooseday
    Would you rather be:
  1. A garbage collector OR a fry cook at a greasy spoon restaurant?

    fry cook - i would like to shout "order up" all day long

  2. The person who repairs downed power lines OR the person who cleans the shark tanks (while they're still in it) at aquariums?

    clean the shark tanks - i've met those power guys, that's not a fun job

  3. The person who does makeup on dead people for open casket services OR the person who who has to scoop the ashes of a dead person into an urn?

    makeup on a dead person. i think you just get used to it.

  4. A beat cop in new york OR a navy SEAL on a covert mission?

    beat cop. it's not all bad out there.

Monday, December 13, 2004

What's the worst possible thing that can happen to your diet? A "Cookie Exchange" at work. Good lord, I didn't even know there were that many varieties of cookies. While the meringues with chocolate chips kind of freaked me out (they were pink and green), there was peanut butter & chocolate fudge....and that was it for me. Goodbye good habits, hello one-size-up-in-my-jeans.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

I know that the holidays are a busy time for most everyone, but I really don't remember my own time being quite so jam-packed in recent years. I was supposed to go to Canada this weekend to see Vic, but I just can't do it - I'm exhausted, and the thought of heading to the airport and going up there, even to visit my dearest friend, just wears me out. So I called Vic and we talked and decided that now was not a great time for either of us, and we'll do it after the new year, when we've both had a chance to rest up from the holidays.

My project at work launched on Monday, to virtually zero problems. I can hardly believe it. While I did put in an enormous effort, I really think that's not the reason it went so smoothly - I truly think I just got lucky, because I sure didn't feel particularly well organized or prepared last week. Anyway, the site looks great, hundreds of customers hit it on Monday with no difficulty, so for all of that, I'm thankful.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Today is World AIDS Day. Each year on December 1, nations around the world participate in awareness campaigns and activism in support of AIDS research and education.

As some of you know, this hits particulary close to home for me - it's been 12 years since I lost my dear dad to AIDS. I want to tell each of you that this disease is every bit as painful and hideous as the worst stories that you've heard but didn't want to believe. My dad died at 45, and he looked 90. He was blind and suffered from hallucinations that made him claw at his own skin. He had to be tied to his bed in the end to keep him from hurting himself.

I think that activism in any form says that we're glad to be here, and we're willing to fight for the things that matter to us personally. I wish that I had 10 times as much time and energy as I currently possess, because there are so many causes that are near and dear to my heart, and it makes me feel fulfilled as a person to give my time (and sometimes my money) to help validate the work being done to fight this disease, or support that cause.

It's been a long time since I gave any money for AIDS research, perhaps because it always felt like such a drop in the ocean in terms of what was actually needed. For me, it's about setting the little examples whenever I can - volunteer work, campaigning, fundraising, and just being willing to talk to people about why I do what I do. That's the difference that I can make. It's one of my greatest sources of pride in myself.

UNAIDS: The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS

World AIDS Day website