Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin Pies

I couldn't decide if I should post this for Halloween or Thanksgiving. Halloween is closer.


How Pumpkin Pies are Made

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The past few weeks I have been playing more games on my phone. I am normally not a gamer type person. Don't get me wrong, I love playing with my Wii but don't use it every day. I tend to go in streaks.

It started with Angry Birds. This originally was an iPhone game and has now been developed for Android. The Beta version was out for about 2 months. I could get so far and then got stuck and kinda stopped playing for awhile. Then two weeks ago they released the production version. It was sooo much better than the beta. I would sail thru several levels and then get stuck. I would go nuts trying to get past a few levels. One level had me for almost a week. Them damn pigs are going to be the death of me yet. For some crazy reason the big ones with mustaches remind me of Randy. No idea why....

Then, earlier this week WordFeud happened. It is basically Scrabble against another person. I've been playing against several Twitter tweeps and other random people. At any given time, I will have 5-6 + games going. Several of the games have been going on for a few days now as you wait for the other person to make a move.

I like the thrill of getting some crazy ass tiles and then being able to make a word from it. I spend alot of time rearranging the tiles in my tray before some words pop out at me. I guess that is just the inner geek in me.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Why I'm Running

If you don't know by now, I'm running a half marathon in December.

Here is why I'm running this. Courtney is a teammate of mine on Team Challenge WI. If this doesn't inspire you to donate, I'm not sure what will. She is a rock star and kicks some major ass!

Here is her story.

Courtney’s Story

I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in August 2006. I didn’t think too much of it at the time. What most concerned me was that my doctor said many people have to learn to make dietary changes, and he mentioned cheese as something some patients had to limit. I was appalled – “You mean even like cheese on tacos?!?” was my reply. I clearly had no clue what I was in for.

I maintained on my medications relatively symptom free until January 2008. Right at the start of spring semester, I went through a very serious flare up that eventually landed me in the hospital. I opted to go to a hospital in Kenosha near my family and the GI doctor I had been seeing. I was in the hospital for 10 days, and left in even worse condition having contracted a C Difficile infection on top of the UC flare. I saw my doctor a few times on an outpatient basis and he insisted I was getting better but it would be a “long road.” He was wrong.

At this point, I was barely able to walk (partially due to abdominal pain and partially due to my enormously swollen feet and ankles from the prednisone). I was taking around 25 different pills a day, and I had dropped from a healthy 130 to 103 pounds. I had been unable to attend school or work for over a month. My father was getting frustrated and urged me to get a second opinion. He brought me to Froedtert.

I will never forget the look on the GI doctor’s face when he saw me. He went completely white. I didn’t see him again because when I came back from my X-Ray I was greeted by the surgical team. It was the scariest moment of my life. Everyone who has UC knows that surgery is a possibility (and everyone who has UC also knows this means ostomy, perhaps the scariest word in the English vocabulary to a 23 year old female). I began to cry.

Little did I know, this doctor who was making me so angry was really just trying to save my life. He told me I had toxic megacolon, and I needed emergency surgery to remove my colon. However, they needed to get me hydrated and give me a blood transfusion before they could do the surgery, otherwise they weren’t sure if I would make it. They scheduled me for the 8am slot the next day. Nobody wanted to tell me at that point, but I was basically knocking on death’s door – had I waited much longer my colon would have eventually burst and fatality was a real danger. I found out afterwards that I may have been in the worst condition anyone there had ever seen.

Surgery for me gave me a new life. Yes, it was a long tough road, but I felt immediately better. Adjusting to life with an ostomy was hard at first (mentally and physically). Because I had been in particularly horrible condition, the construction of my jpouch had to be broken up into three surgeries over a 9 month period. I also tended to be a patient plagued with unexpected complications. Even today, I have to be on maintenance medications to treat recurrent pouchitis which my doctors think may be a by-product of the C Diff infections.

However, the ordeal has made me stronger. I am proud to say that even though the most difficult part of my illness occurred while I was in school I was able to stay on track with my program and graduate with my Master’s degree in Educational Psychology in May 2009. Despite small adjustments you have to make for living with a jpouch and pesky pouchitis flares (which, honestly, you may as well just have ulcerative colitis), I feel like myself again. I still have challenging days here and there, and I never know what the future will bring but, given all I’ve already been through, I do feel like I can handle just about anything. For me, this ½ marathon is extremely personal, and will make me feel like I have finally conquered the disease that kept me down for so long.

What is a j-pouch you ask?

A j-pouch is a surgical procedure that eliminates the need for an ostomy (external pouch) for patients who’ve had their colon removed due to ulcerative colitis. When the colon is removed, the rectum is also taken out because it is typically diseased as well. The surgeon then constructs a new “rectum” out of the patient’s small intestine.

The surgery can be performed in two or three steps, depending on the health of the patient, and a temporary ileostomy is necessary until the new plumbing is healed enough to operate. After the operation, “j-pouchers” are able to pass stool through the *ehem*” usual route,” but because they lack a colon, they have to use the restroom much more frequently than other people. In addition, there are new dietary restrictions – generally, people with a j-pouch would want to avoid veggies and other high fiber food as they take longer to digest, and well…. Let’s face it, we just don’t have as long as the rest of you ;).

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


With the Halloween season approaching, I thought I'd write about scary movies.

Part of this post started with my watching Ghost Adventures on the Travel Channel. The first episode I seen was where they went back to a place called Bobby Mackeys.  This was a place where several years ago they had some video "proof" of something they called a spirit.  They captured EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena ) telling these guys that they were not welcome and other weird stuff. In many cases if you closed your eyes and didn't see the words on your TV you could not make out anything but white noise. There were a couple that you could make stuff out.

I watched another episode last Friday. They went to the Stanley Hotel. The inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining".   Here to the caught something in the background that looked like a person walking into the woods. I don't know. I'm not sure. Same thing with the EVPs. Not very clear.

Now I should back up and say that I'm not sure if I believe or not. I have never personally experienced anything paranormal but I can't say that it doesn't exist.  This thinking would also apply to my opinions on UFO and aliens. I think it is very naive to think we are the only intelligent life form out there.   I should also say that stuff like this I do not like to watch alone. I do freak out easily. 

Ok back to topic. I started to watch Paranormal Activity last weekend.  I say started.  I got about 25 minutes into it and had to stop. I was home alone and it was getting a bit to freaky for me.  I will try to watch the rest of it this week. I really only seen the first part of it when the door moved a little bit.  That was enough to freak me out.

On Saturday there is a Haunted Brewers tour. I'm not sure what it all entails but sounds like we meet at this bar and walk over to a cemetery and visit the graves of some of Milwaukee's founding brewing families.  It is supposed to be nice out and could be interesting.  I think I will bring my camera along to see if I can capture anything. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Scary Thought

This morning I was talking with a couple of other women while getting a birthday bagel. 

I asked them if they had been watching the miners being rescued. 

One girl, who is 38, said what miners? 

I replied with "The ones in Chile. They have been trapped there since late August." 

She replied back with "Oh, I don't watch the news."

I asked her if she read the paper either online or in print.

She said that she never read the paper. But she does read People magazine every week.  

I was dumbfounded. How can someone at that age be so, for a lack of a better term, ignorant about the world around them?

I guess I have always loved to read and the newspaper is something that to this day I look forward to reading each evening. I may not always be the most knowledgeable about some topics but I try to at least have an idea of what is going on around me.

Back to the miners. I have been reading the coverage on most of the morning.  It is riveting.  I remember being in Las Vegas and getting ready for lunch one day and turned on the TV to catch a bit about the mine collapsing. I remember hearing that they thought the miners may be down there until Christmas time before they could be rescued.  I'm glad that the miners didn't have to wait that long. 

I watched the first miner being brought up last night. It brought tears to my eyes to see how a group of people and a government can work together to achieve something so good.

I'm glad this mining accident has a happy ending.  Most do not.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Today's the Day

Well as of about 6:00pm tonight, I will have committed myself to raising awareness and money for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation and Team Challenge WI.

That means I need your help.

I need to raise a shitload (yes, you will get the bad jokes about digestive diseases) of money. $3600 to be exact. So far, I'm at $645. Very short of my goal.

How can you help, you ask? Well, go to my website and make a donation. It doesn't have to be alot. I know that not everyone can afford large donations but maybe think about just giving $1 for each mile I am running. $13.10. For some of you, that may mean giving up your Starbucks for a couple of days. But to me, that will move me closer to my goal.

My fundraising deadline is Nov 15th. I don't want to be sitting there a day or two before that stressing out about this, when I should be concentrating on my training.

As an added bonus, for every donation that is made, you can pick a song for my marathon playlist. I figure I need about 100 songs to cover my running time. Just leave the song and artist in the comments section of this post and I'll add it to my very empty, as of now, playlist. All I ask is that there is no Christmas music. Anything else, I'm game for.

Also don't forget you can also help out by attending my fundraiser at Horny Goat Brewery on Nov 28th. You can RSVP either on the facebook page or the Twtvite page.

If you have already donated, a huge THANK YOU!!!

Saturday, October 09, 2010


So here are a few of the latest emails I received from

Do guys think this really works? I hope not.

First up we have this guy. Guess his name is Mark. Maybe. Has he ever heard of a capital letter? I don't think so. Also, I know I look good. Thanks you for pointing that out.

Then we follow it up with Bruce. WTF!?!

Did he really say "I Guess the Lords Angel spent several Hours when Creating you"?? Where do guys gets this crap?? What is up with the random capital letters on words? Can you send a few of them to mark. He is missing a few.

Needless to say, I hit the delete button on both of them.