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Showing posts from August, 2014

An Ex-Smoker on E-Cigarettes

I used to smoke up to 6 cigarettes a day. I quit in early ‘09 after trying and failing to quit in ’08.
Smoking is nasty. It’s the leading cause of preventable death in the US—either directly from lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or through the various health risks that increase with the habit, like stroke, heart disease, or some type of cancer. If you’re a woman, smoking makes it harder to get pregnant, and if you happen to be pregnant, your fetus’s healthy development will be impeded. If you’re a man, your swimmers won’t be as potent. [Source: Health Effects of Cigarette Smoking (CDC)]

Over the past couple of decades, the public health campaigns and policies against smoking (especially indoor smoking) have been effective…perhaps too effective. For now nicotine has shaken free of its complacency and insinuated itself into a new form: the e-cigarette.
The e-cig is a battery-operated nicotine delivery device for people who love the stuff and don’t mind look…

Recipe: Easy White Bean Dip

My sister-in-law taught me this recipe. It goes great with pita chips or veggies.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Makes: 20+ oz.

Ingredients: White kidney beans, garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper

Drain and wash the beans.Peel the garlic (amount is up to you...I used 5 cloves for 19 oz. of beans) and toss into the food processor.Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.Add beans.Add salt and pepper to taste.Blend! Such easy!

This post brought to you by my constant, gnawing hunger.

Comic: Ick

Don't lie. You know exactly what I'm talking about.

Our bellybuttons are scars from when the umbilical cord fell off. Most people are "innies," like myself, with enchanting depressions in the abdomen. A small percentage are "outies," who have extra scar tissue from the umbilical cord. (Full Wikipedia article here.)

I vaguely recall Fragrant Mother instructing child-me to apply lotion to a Q-tip and swab around in there to clean it up, but, filthy tomboy that I was, I didn't really listen. I would allow years to pass before I looked down and went, "Oh yeah, maybe I should clean that, too!" and then promptly pass out from the eldritch horrors that I retrieved and inadvertently awoke from their microbial slumber.

This comic is about the last time that happened, aka last week. Ick.

This post brought to you by a rhinovirus! Ick^10.

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Guardians of the Galaxy is a hilarious, well-written, and well-made romp featuring a relatively obscure band of alien superheroes. Its goofy irreverence is on display from the moment its title shows up on screen, all the way through to the Easter egg at the end of the credits. And since it's PG-13, it's certifiably fun for the whole family!

The movie chronicles the accidental formation of the "Guardians of the Galaxy," which starts when Peter Quill/Starlord (Chris Pratt) retrieves an orb from some ruins. As it happens, Ronan the Accuser (a scenery-chewing Lee Pace), a nutjob Kree, has promised to deliver the orb to Thanos the Mad Titan. He sends Thanos' adoptive daughter Gamora (Zoe Saldana) to take the orb from Quill. Meanwhile, raccoon-like bounty hunter Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and his sidekick Groot (Vin Diesel) try to nab Quill because he now has a bounty on his head from taking the orb before the Ravagers, a crew of bandits whose leader (Michael Rooker, eeee…

Movie Review: Riddick (2013)

Riddick, the third in the Chronicles of Riddick series, recalls the original Pitch Black by pitting the titular character (Vin Diesel) against hostile alien (and human) life on a distant planet. This outing is probably the darkest, bloodiest, and manliest of the three, and I say "probably" because I never watched the middle one.

Fortunately, Riddick's gravelly voiceover recounts past events at the start of the movie. Apparently, Karl Urban's evil eyeshadow betrayed him and Riddick is left for dead on an alien world. Riddick lives up to his fearsome reputation by surviving and defeating the various predators intent on his demise. He even adopts a puppy! And then he must pass through the Swamp of Horrors, which he does in the manliest way possible: puppy clutched to chest, handmade bladed weapon held high as he slices effortlessly through a large scorpion-ish monster. I was briefly afraid my husband had gotten pregnant from watching that scene, it was that manly.