Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mad Girl Versus the Angry Pancreas

At about 2 am last Friday morning I awoke with what I thought was just an upset stomach. I took a few Tums, updated my Facebook status and planned on heading back to bed. However, my body had other plans. My upset stomach soon turned into a sharp stabbing pain. I thought I could wait it out, but when I started having issues breathing I knew I had to take myself to the emergency room.

I'm not sick person and I try to avoid the hospital at all costs. I had an appendicitis when I was 15 and had to spend a week in the hospital. This was not a pleasant experience and I have avoided the hospital at all costs. A few years back I cut myself while doing dishes and tried to bandage it up myself. I soon realized that this cut was pretty serious and decided to take myself to the emergency room where they stitched me up. So, making the decision to go to the emergency room did not come easy, but I was pretty sure something was up.

I got myself dressed and went to hail a cab. Of course I get the cab driver who doesn't know where he's going and wants to make chit-chat with me as I'm doubled over in pain in the back seat. I finally make it to the emergency room where I got checked in and poked and prodded to see what the problem is. I had blood drawn, urine sampled, an EKG and an ultrasound. It turned out that I had a small gallstone that needed to be removed. At around 8am Friday I was actually admitted to the hospital. By this point I hadn't eaten (see my Last Supper entry) since the night before and haven't slept since 2am.

This is where my own little slice of hell awaits. Apparently they can't operate right away because I have Acute Pancreatitis - or angry pancreas. as I like to call it. So, I am kept in the hospital for observation. Thankfully, I brought my nook with me - I really don't know what I would have done without it. In the time I was there I finished Skin Trade by Laurell K. Hamilton, #2 in the Blackdagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward and started #3 in the series. Clearly, I am on a vampire kick. My other saving grace was my friend Jen. Jen was kind enough to come up to the hospital on Friday to get my keys and run back to my apartment for some necessities - like my nook charger and clean underwear. I also had her pick up some lip gloss and bronzer wich helped me look a little less like death.

Being in the hospital is not glamorous. Those dressing gowns are nasty as all get out. They are not comfortable (unless you enjoy letting your ass hang out to the general public) and certainly not cute. I managed to dress mine up with a pair of yoga pants and accessorized with an IV. The whole time I was in the hospital my only form of nourishment was from my IV. I wasn't even allowed a drink of water. By the end I was hallucinating about beer and chicken wings. I imagined my IV was filled with Makers Mark and my nurse was actually a Hooter's waitress.

The other big buzz kill was my 90 year old roommate. That's right, they put me with batty old lady. I like seniors about just as much as I like children. Not only did she feel the need to ring the nurses bell every 10 minutes, but she had to use a bed pan to go to the bathroom. So, I got to be present every time she had a BM. It was so disgusting I nearly vomited. I do not deal with other peoples feces or vomit very well. The smell alone makes me gag.

I was finally let go from my torture at around 5pm on Saturday and was told that I needed to return at 8am on Monday for my surgery. Thankfully, I was able to go home and relax a bit before having to return. My surgery went really well and I am now one gallbladder short. I did have a very bad reaction to the anesthesia and was quite nauseous for a while, but I was finally released to go home. I'm pretty sore and my throat still hurts from the breathing tube. The vicodin I'm on is easing the pain, but making be very tired. So now I have a week of recovery ahead and plan to polish off a few more trashy vampire books and crank out a few blogs along the way. Expect to hear a little more from Mad Girl as I recover over the next week.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Last Supper

On Friday morning at around 2am I took myself to the emergency room (more on this adventure later). The last time I ate was at 8:30pm Thursday and would not eat again until about 4:30pm on Saturday. Thankfully my last supper was a good one.

I wanted to make short ribs for a while and got this recipe from one of my co-workers. It was fantastic and so easy to make.

Dr. Pepper Braised Short Ribs

  • salt 4 3 inch short ribs
  • heat a skillet with olive oil and sear each rib
  • deglaze the plan with 2 liters of Dr. Pepper
  • put ribs in roasting pan and cover with Dr. Pepper from pan, 1/4 of a cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce and 4 cloves garlic
  • cover with foil and put in a 400 degree oven for 4 hours
  • when done let rest for 15 minutes

Fingerling potatoes are divine. Not only are they tasty, but I find them to be visually appealing as well. They don't need a lot of seasoning because they taste so buttery and delicious on their own.

Oven Roasted Fingerling Potatoes

  • wash potatoes and slice in half
  • toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
  • place on a baking sheet
  • bake at 425 for 30 minutes
  • use a spatula to flip and mix
  • place in oven for another 10-15 minutes

I do enjoy eating rice pudding, but have never attempted to make it. I cut this recipe out of a magazine a long time ago and just got around to making it.

Coconut Rice Pudding

  • put 1 quart whole milk, 1 cup arborio rice, 1/2 cup sugar and 2 cups water in a large sauce pan
  • bring to boil and simmer for 30 minutes
  • stir in 14oz of unsweetened coconut milk and simmer for 10 minutes
  • cool slightly
  • top with toasted coconut
Oh, and of course there was wine. I really enjoyed this Pinot Noir from Oregon.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Belgian Chocolate

Since it's Valentine's Day I will take a little bit of time to talk about chocolate. I recently discovered the joy of Belgian chocolate and thanks to a very informative gentleman at my local zuker waffle stand (doesn't every city have one of these?) I now feel that I have yet another item that I will have to be snobbish about. No more Hershey kisses for me -I've discovered the Belgian egg.

I'm not even sure if this is what it's proper name is, but it's shaped like a small birds egg so we'll go with it. I now firmly believe that all chocolate in egg form is delicious - for example, the Cadbury eggs and Kinder eggs. So these eggs I've been buying are actually quite special. First off they have one of the highest moisture contents of any chocolate. It's because of this that they are quickly perishable (within 2 weeks) and if you want to take them out of the shop you have to sign a waiver saying you will consume them within 48 hours. Of course, I was intrigued by anything you have to sign a waiver for. The other interesting fact about these eggs is that they are made in small batches and you can only get them every 16 months. The shop owner actually had to carry them back with him last time he was in Belgium. What really got me though was the fact that these were made for the King of Belgium. So does eating them put me one step closer to royalty? If they are good enought for the king then they are good enough for me. I'm starting to rethink Belgium. It's stuch a small country that does so many things well. I see a beer and chocolate trip in my future.

If you are in Chicago and want to get a zuker waffle and some chocolate then I stop by Baladoche (http://www.baladoche.com/).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Rejection Cocktail

How bad is it when a guy actually cancels a first date. I mean, at least give me the chance scare you off. What's even worse is that he calls less than an hour before our date is scheduled to start to say he has to take his mom to physical therapy. Seriously? I really just don't understand that excuse -what kind of last minute physical therapy could this woman possible need. To make matters worse I am functioning on little sleep and would have been happy to just stay in my PJs all day and rest. However, I put myself together and was checking CTA bus tracker when he decides to call me.

As if my dating life (or sad attempt at having one) could get worse. I got an e-mail the other day from a certain someone (Aquaman) who actually dropped off the face of the earth a month ago. It was a simple 'How are you doing' e-mail and I wanted to promptly reply: WHAT THE FUCK???. What sort of guy abruptly stops seeing you and then all of a sudden decides to contact me just when I was over him. I really don't know what sort of excuse he has, but I'm betting it has something to do with really wanting to get laid.

So, in honor of my extremely sucky dating life I'm making a cocktail -it's bitter, sour and self destructive. I present to you the Rejection Cocktail.

2oz Jack

splash of Jose

juice of half lemon

ginger ale


Put Jack and Jose in a glass with the lemon - stir. Plop some ice in and top with ginger ale and a few dashes of bitters.

Jack has always been a reliable date. He's strong, but a little sweet and never lets me down. He's my old reliable. As for Jose....well he's sort of that guy that you know you shouldn't go out with, but when you do you have so much fun -until you vomit the next morning.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My New Bar Is Open For Business

I am now the proud owner of a bar. I can finally move my little 'hobby' off my butchers rack and onto a more respectable location. The bar originally belonged to my grand grandmother and then it was my parent's. So clearly, it's seen a cocktail or two in it's day. The bar is sleek, black and very 1950's cocktail party. I'm still playing around with the configuration and I clearly can't fit all my accessories in/onto it, but it is a start in the right direction. I've also included a cocktail I'm dedicating to my friend Jenni. It's just a twist on an amaretto sour, but I think it's pretty fantastic -just like her! Enjoy!

This is the top of the bar. You will notice my liquor dispenser -one of my favorite things. I put some glasses on top to have at the ready for any last minute cocktail needs.

Isn't she sexy? I can't wait to introduce her to my friends.

The inside cabinet. I actually couldn't fit everything in there...

My old bar still houses my wine, shot class collection and a few regularly used bottles.

My shot glass/glass collection.

Kitchen cabinet housing my wine, martini, margarita and cordial glasses.

kitchen cabinet #2 with my pint and rocks glasses.

The Jenni Ludwig

2 0z amaretto

2 oz fresh sour mix

1 oz calvados

shake with ice and strain into rocks glass.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dating Aquaman

A guy recently asked me what my type was. I replied that I'm trying not to have a type. Having a type sets too many boundaries and a girl in my situation can't afford to pass on a guy just because he may mention in his profile that he likes to work out or enjoys fishing. So, I've kept my options open and this lead me to date a douche bag.

This 'relationship' (or month long one night stand) taught me a few things about myself. We really didn't have whole lot in common. He worked out almost every day, liked to hang out in Wrigleyville, and would always text instead of calling me. We may not have had an intellectual compatibility (I realized this when he asked me what a thespian was), but we certainly had the physical chemistry going.

The first time we slept together he didn't take his shirt off. I thought this was a little strange, but i chalked it up to first time jitters. That night, after we had sex he curled up next to me and proceeded to snore really loudly in my ear. Normally, this would have set me off, but I found it to be kind of cute. The second time we had sex he left the shirt on again and I knew we had a problem. We were clearly not making a porn. I firmly believe that all shirts and socks should be removed when having sex.

I thought the worst (hairy back) and I was prepared to accept that because I was really into him. So, the third time we slept together I got him to take his shirt off and thankfully he did not have a hairy back! Now this is where it got weird. One morning, after a night of crazy monkey sex he got out of bed and went to get dressed. I followed him into my living room where our clothes were scattered about. What I saw next really perplexed me. Somehow I had not noticed that he was wearing some sort of scuba suit underneath his clothes. I'm talking full pants and long sleeved top - it looked like he was going surfing. What the fuck! How had I not noticed that I was sleeping with Aquaman?...maybe I'd need to check him for webbed feet. This just seemed so strange. I know Chicago gets cold in the winter, but this was ridiculous. However, now I can safely say that I am willing to date outside of my type. Be it Aquaman, Sports Nut Guy, or any array of comic personalty I feel I am in a place where I am open to many diverse dating opportunities.