Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ashley is Right

The other day @themagicash declared that everyone should eat Greek yogurt. I expressed hesitance and was told not to be scared, that it was tasty. I'd always been a little curious so it didn't take much convincing for me to pick some up at the store. I still wasn't sure if I'd eat it or not, but I'd taken the first step of at least getting some into my home fridge. It didn't last too long in there though, I ended up grabbing it last night when my sweet tooth had me digging around looking for a snack.

I concur with Ashley that it is good stuff. I don't know if all Greek yogurt is created equal, but the stuff I picked up rocked my world. The texture reminded me of mascarpone cheese. It was thick, rich, dense and creamy. The cherry stuff on the side was superbly sweet like the best cherry pie; it paired very well with the tangy yogurt.

I picked it up at HEB and it was not cheap. $2 for a single serving of yogurt is a bit steep in my opinion, but I think it's good enough to warrant buying again. I just can't afford to make this my go to yogurt every day. It was extremely satisfying last night as a dessert. So now I will investigate other options, maybe I'll find something more economical. Even if I stick with this brand it may be less expensive to get it without the added toppings, one of the options was honey and a honey bear is cheap. My comparison to mascarpone also has me thinking that it might be tasty with some brown sugar and nutmeg, which then led me to perhaps adding some cinnamon to the honey...

Thus begins my new infatuation with Greek yogurt. Ashley was right, it is good stuff.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Mothers Room

I am grateful that my job has created a space for mothers to be able to breastfeed, or express breast milk in private. There is no way that I could go an entire work day without pumping, and my office has neither a door, nor even walls that go to the ceiling. Without this area that has been set aside I would be forced to make use of a bathroom stall, or something. I don't even normally have a car that I could go hide in.

It would be nice if it were a bit less scary though. Yesterday I almost jumped out of my skin when a spider skittered across the table. It was a small skittle sized skitterer, but too close for comfort especially with exposed breasts. The obvious wear on the used office furniture and clinical tiles on the floor don't lend themselves to a cozy atmosphere either.
The room is really just a decent sized chunk of an existing bathroom that has been walled off with Herman Miller walls. The walls almost go to the ceiling; it has no windows, and a door that locks. You have to sign out a key from security to be able to get in. One of my coworkers voiced a bit of envy that there is a mini-fridge in there. I had to explain that it's not full of snacks & beer (or even bottled water) it's just for people to store expressed milk in. All of a sudden the fridge was much less exciting.

I don't think anyone keeps their milk in that fridge though. I know I don't. I didn't know if there would be a non-public place for me to put milk while at work, so I brought a cooler with me. Seeing as how I keep almost forgetting my purse in my office I have a small phobia that if I actually did put milk in that mini-fridge I would make it home without it. That would be the suck.

The room at least has a normal sink in it. The main bathroom sinks are strange round jobs. You press a pedal with your foot and the water comes out like a sprinkler. I dreaded having to wash my pump bits with that sort of sink. Having a hot water tap is nice too, the round sinks don't have that since they don't have regular taps.

So I'll give the company a point in it's favor for creating a room for moms to use, but I take a half a point back because it's in a bathroom and is kind of creepy. Any of you other moms out there that have had to deal with expressing breast milk at work or school, what facilities did you have to use?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Those Other Pursuits

I've gone from not playing any video games, to revisiting some old ones, and suddenly I've got all sorts of digital distractions.

First there was Batman. Now, I haven't been playing Batman myself, but I have been helping. I am the Alfred to Jeff's Bruce Wayne. I sit back an watch the story unfold while helping to spot secrets. I highly recommend this game. Jeff had a lot of fun playing it, and is still working on some of the challenges which is a good indication of how much he likes it. The story unfolds fluidly through game play with lots of nice video, but the scenes aren't so long that you're getting antsy waiting for the fighting to start again. If you like Batman and fighting games then you need to play this, if you like Batman and know someone who can play it for you then you should get it for them so that you can watch.

I downloaded Word Ace for my iPhone, and it's been mostly a positive experience. The dictionary and I disagree sometimes on what is or is not a valid word, and I have a feeling that some of the people are "cheating" because there just can't be that many people who can make a 7 letter word with 1 vowel and 4 Ks without help. I could be wrong, maybe I just haven't met this subset of humanity before, these scary spelling superstars. I have enjoyed trying to stretch my brain even if I don't like some of the gambling aspects (like bluffing). With 1000 free chips a day, it's not like you really have to worry about the "money". A big plus here is that I can play it one handed. So I can play a few hands while Max insists on sleeping in my arms, and it doesn't disturb him. I did once end up at a table where the chat involved people asking for pics of each other, and talking about digging insecure *itches, but that was once out of tons of tables. Mostly there is little to no chat going on, and it's a single line at the top of the screen, unless you click to enbiggen, and is pretty easy to ignore. The few times someone has talked to/at me it was to ask about the pic of Cabbit that is my avatar or to say "nice" when I got a good word out of the letters.

It seems like ever since Professor Layton and the Curious Village I've been waiting for the next Layton game to come out. The wait is over with Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box. At first I was not enjoying the game as much as I had the first. I'm not a huge fan of the voices this time around, and I think the puzzles are a little easier than before. Although that means less trial and error for me. I'm still having hell with the jumping balls over other balls to make all but one disappear puzzles, but your mileage may vary. After playing a bit I've come to enjoy at least as much as the first, and the built in mini-games I've liked quite a bit. There is the finding tea ingredients and making tea for people that is okay. The build a camera (super fun) leading to some spot the difference in two pictures puzzles that are pretty good. But my fave was the get your hamster in shape so he can spot hint coins for you game. I named my hamster Jeff.

Little Big Planet has been out for a while now, and really shouldn't be news to anyone. Jeff and I played a demo of it, and even though there was a two-player mode (actually up to four I think, but there's only two of us) I wasn't really sold on it. The controls are a bit wonky and I have a hard time navigating my sack person in the depth of field available. Still, it is a platform game so it is right up my alley. When we were outside a level and I started exploding my sack boy over and over, giggling at his different facial expressions it clinched it for Jeff. When he had to go out for cat food last night, he came back with Little Big Planet. I'm glad he did, we played through a few levels last night and had a really good time. The one and only time we tried to join an online player we couldn't get in. We were watching this other person play and finally managed to escape the level, right about the time it looked like our characters were popping in. Ah well, we'll try again sometime... maybe. Oh, and by the way, platformers where you need to swing from place to place over gaps are difficult to manage with two players. I can't imagine trying to get 4 people in sync on some of these levels. Sounds like a fun thing to try when they group has had a beer or two and something to avoid once people move on to their third. Playing as a vampire frog though, that makes it all worthwhile, a vampire frog that can explode.

The other game that Jeff came home with yesterday was The Beatles Rock Band. Totally digging it. Load times between songs (including having to hit start every time) are kind of annoying, but other than that it is a lot of fun. I enjoyed singing, and really look forward to getting more mics so that we can play some harmony with people. It would also be nice to have a mic stand so I could sing and play at the same time. This is music that I know well enough that I don't have to stare at the lyric line the entire time. It's been really great to play Rock Band and be excited by more songs than not. Usually I feel a bit musically backward for not having heard of the bands and not knowing the music. The game does not disappoint this Beatles fan. Over and over I was thrilled with the songs they chose. The videos so far have been entertaining too. I had no idea what big dorks they were, it's terrific.

Have you played any new games lately, even if they're only new to you? I'd love to hear about them.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Stalled Madness

They are done. What began April 30th has finally been completed. Through moving into a new house, pregnancy, and finally adjusting to life with a newborn (which includes typing one-handed, but not knitting one-handed) I have worked on these socks.

Lucky Diamond in 3 colors of Socks That Rock - Lightweight

The socks were done a week ago, I just haven't made time for the blog lately. What free time I have has been consumed with other pursuits. Still, I worked on these socks off and on for 4 months so I think they deserve their day in the sun.

I enjoyed knitting this pattern much more once there was no deadline, no trying to get through acres of seed stitch in the fastest time possible. It was fun to watch the diamonds emerge as the lines of cabled stitches crept toward and away from each other. The heels are knit last, and ended up being purple out of necessity when I ran out of red. I've come to like the purple heels. I kind of like that they don't really match, and I think I might do funky heels on other pairs in the future just for fun. Since no one sees your heel in a shoe it's almost like a little secret you get to wear. Before that though there are still more pairs to finish. I can't believe how much knitting is half done around here.

Now if you'll excuse me, the socks and I are going to play at little Professor Layton before Max wakes up from his nap.