mood swings

I went through a fairly exhausting couple of weeks prior to going home for Greek Easter. Fun times, and crazy stressful times.

It started when I had my psycho-crazy reaction to Zyrtec. The culminating event was when I went out to eat with one of my bestest pals and didn’t want to eat anything! (On the bright side, she said she had raging PMS and wasn’t feeling much food either).

We both got gorgeous salads… and ate almost none of them! (Took about 5/6ths of each of them home. Our waiter probably thought we were lunatics).

Hers:

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Mine:

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(Arugula, hearts of palm, avocado, parmesan, GREAT vinaigrette).

It was just a crappy few days. During this meal, I recall, along with the depression/anxiety/lunacy I’d been feeling for a few days prior, I also had a raging headache and nausea that caused me to go dry heave in the bathroom for a bit. Then I went home and went to bed at 9 pm. Then I said I was NEVER TAKING ZYRTEC AGAIN.

Fortunately I rallied by a few days later. I had American Good Friday off. I spent a delightful morning at my new favorite place (I confess this picture was taken when I was there a few weeks prior but it was too good not to post).

cat on my back!

I went with my friend from school, who doesn’t have a car. I feel like it’s important for the car owners to take the eco-friendly public transit only folks on adventures in the surrounding countryside! It was a beautiful day and the kitties were pleased.

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Can you even with this cat?! Such confidence in the strength of those branches! (Though, of course, if he fell, being a cat he would land on his feet)

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Then I had a retirement party to attend, woohoo! Heh. So my friend spent several years in a high pressure economist job (like, work on Christmas Day and every weekend stressful) and accumulated enough savings that he decided that not only could he quit his job, but he could chill for awhile without having to immediately find a new job.

Thus, a retirement party.

We were encouraged to wear golfer attire. This was my first attempt, but I decided I just looked like a clown.

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So I wore a cute shirtdress, a visor I got at the dollar store, and tall socks and sneakers, and called it a day. The party was lots of fun- there were really disgusting prune juice cocktails (hahahaha), and we played bingo. The highlight was just sitting on Myra and Alex’s wonderful screened in porch and hearing music drift over from a concert being held nearby.

And then, yet again, I was in biochem study mode for the remainder of the weekend.

I had my usual study group over both Saturday and Sunday. We had an AWESOME breakfast on Saturday because my friend Steph brought eggs from her happy chickens. She hardboiled those, I roasted some asparagus and opened my fancy balsamic reduction, and we had a reallll good breakfast.

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Saturday night I took a break and had a welcome-to-town dinner for my cousin and her husband, who just moved to Chapel Hill (yay!). I introduced them to Myra and Alex, because they are all 1. Lawyers and 2. Obsessed with their dogs.

Despite Lochsie’s cuteness (demonstrated below)…

lochsie the troublemaker

… Lochsie’s manners leave something to be desired and she was rather unwelcoming to poor Mike and Sophia’s dog (who, incidentally, was about four times her size). So Lochsie went off to doggy jail and we had a fun dinner.

Then I went to American Easter with my beloved Andrea and her family, and that was wonderful. But my anxiety about biochem grew throughout our delightful brunch, and I reluctantly said goodbye to the mimosas and lox and went back to biochem.

This round of studying, we had collaborative snacks. I contributed leftover bruschetta (which Sophia brought the night before and was BOSS), roasted almonds, curried red lentil dip with crackers and carrots for dipping, and (in the tupperware with the lid on) leftover strawberry shortcake).

But lest you fear that there was a single cake for dessert (and please note that on this day I’d already had strawberry shortcake for breakfast and amaretto pound cake at Easter lunch), Steph also brought her Easter leftovers: peanut butter M and M eggs (diabolical) and carrot cake. The carrot cake began as an Easter basket cake, but since most of the cake was gone, what was left looked like headphones!

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Once biochem was done (did a lot better than the horror of the carbs test, thank God) I rewarded myself with sushi. Bento box: $12 and you eat it for three meals. Did my usual: four sushi pieces, a small spicy tuna roll, and teriyaki salmon. Comes with salad, miso soup, and rice.

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Leftovers went into a pretty perfect meal: leftover perfectly cooked sushi restaurant rice topped with fried eggs, with roasted asparagus and avocado on the side. Like, all of my favorite things.

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I also made a Madhur Jaffrey vegetarian favorite: chickpeas with tomatoes and parsley. My grandmother always made lentils on Good Friday, so I was pleased to be making an equally comforting vegan bean dish during Holy Week. Ostensibly I should have been eating vegan all the way through Lent, but I find it excessively challenging/restrictive and already tend to feel that I’m not getting enough calcium. I do cut out meat all through Lent (part of the rationale for this, by the way, is that meat is expensive and spending less money on it enables one to donate more money to good causes, or caring for the poor.) Anyway, at least in this meal I felt like I was being legit on the Lent front.

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It’s very simple. I didn’t follow a recipe (though you can find it in her excellent vegetarian cookbook). I just threw olive oil (a good amount) and garlic (also a good amount!) in a pan, added tomatoes (fresh are good, canned work great too, in this case I used canned tomato sauce for a smoother texture), then the chickpeas, then LOTS of parsley. Key was using chickpeas cooked from dry instead of using canned. They are just SO much more delicious, and their texture is delightful.

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And then, in a final treat yo self moment, I went to the gynecologist and rewarded myself with froyo 🙂

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