Cultivating a dirty mind

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The only good thing about an empty jar of peanut butter is that I get to make oats in a jar.

Consumed: 1/3 C oats cooked in water. Sprinkled with cinnamon and vanilla. Allow to cool slightly in bowl, then poured into almost empty PB jar. Lid of jar was replaced to trap some of the heat, therefore melting the peanut buttery goodness! Topped with a drizzle of maple syrup and dark chocolate pumpkin granola.

Holy moley, deliciousness.

Truth be told, I’d been squirreling this jar away ever since last week in anticipation of a necessary Monday pick-me-up… It did the trick. And, for forewarning, I’ll shamelessly be breaking the “no chocolate breakfasts during the week” rule. That pumpkin granola is just irresistible.

As a flip-side to last week’s test-packed Friday, this Monday was relatively easy. If only I could get the post-test slacking off without the actual tests…

I’ve been on my iron supplements for about a month, so my doctor suggested I get my blood levels reevaluated. As a good patient, I listened and got my blood drawn.

Really, though, the results are sure to be a little anticlimactic… I already know my iron is up. I’ve been feeling stronger, staying awake better and generally feeling better. Score, score, score.

Regardless, I digress. After the blood work, I quickly went back up to the newsroom.

As one of my responsibilities, I write the daily news briefs. This basically means putting the headlines from the paper into TV-script format, without exactly repeating what was already reported. It’s kind of a fun challenge, because I try to avoid awkward transitions, such as the classic, “In other news…”

I managed to get all of the scripts (for noon, 1, 2 and 3 p.m.) done in time to deliver my actual news brief. Afterward, it was definitely time to break into my lunch.

Consumed: Flat Out wrap with hummus, carrots, lettuce and baby bella mushrooms.

Something was definitely missing from this wrap. Cheese? Tofu? Flavor?

At least part #2 of my lunch made up for it…

Consumed: Nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt with some more dark chocolate pumpkin granola and shredded-wheat cereal.

In typical Monday (and Wednesday) style, I had to rush off to my editing class after lunch. Still, I somehow managed to get distracted on my way up the hill by some beautiful flowers.

Because what says “Kansas” better than a field of sunflowers?

Out of character, I ended up being a couple of minutes late for my class. But, pausing to smell photograph the flowers is definitely a trade-off I’m willing to take.

Even though I get a lot of editing just from my job on the newspaper, I still really enjoy the class. Who knew that grammar could be so entertaining?

After the class, I headed home with absolute intentions to workout on the elliptical. However, upon actually arriving home, I talked myself out of it.

No real big deal, though. This weekend was filled with some really good workout, including Friday’s bike ride, Saturday’s nine-mile run and Sunday’s easy four-miles. I rationed that a rest day would ultimately do me better than pushing myself too far.

So, in lieu of a workout, I relaxed with an unpictured handful of whole-wheat cereal, dark chocolate M&Ms and Chinese history homework. A reasonable trade-off, in my opinion.

A little while later, Dan came by to visit and I was more than willing to put aside my homework for a bit of relaxing with him.

Unfortunately, work/studying/hunger cut our time together short, as he headed home for dinner and I headed off to the newsroom on editing.

To offer a bit more background: Two nights a week, I have technical “editing” shifts, where I go over the stories as they come in, check the layout of the page and approve the final product.

I don’t mind this too much, because it generally offers some free time and I really enjoy the people I work with. Still, it certainly does a number on my sleep patterns, usually leaving me feeling something like…

In order to offset the effects of a strange schedule, I really make an effort to plan ahead. This includes packing my bag with homework, getting everything laid out for the next day of school (because I crash as soon as I get home) and packing a still nutritious dinner.

Although there are a lot of frozen food options that would be easy enough, I don’t like settling on something sub par. Instead, I reached a bit outside of the box and took advantage of the newsroom’s microwave.

Consumed: Green Giant barley, carrots and green beans, plus a lazy girl’s baked sweet potato.

Okay, I did contradict myself a little. But, from my experiences, Green Giant always does a good job with the microwave steamers. Plus, I offset the stigma of frozen food with the delicious baked sweet potato.

I simply took out some anger on it with a fork, bandaged it up in a paper towel and nuked it for four minutes. Then, I squeezed it, flipped it and microwaved it for another two minutes (the second time varies, depending on the size of the potato).

Backtracking a moment, before actually heading to the newsroom, I made a swing by the gas station for some non-“healthful” caffeine-free Diet Coke.

I’m unconcealed in my love for Diet Coke, something I attribute to my Dad and his addiction.

Still, I limit myself by only drinking it about two times a week in times of desperation. Sometimes water and iced tea just don’t cut it…

With my  non-caffeinated  drink in hand, my homework in my backpack and my dinner stowed away, I was ready to take on editing.

Which, conveniently, leads me to another point…

As part of copy editing, my professor encourages us to cultivate dirty minds. This isn’t for profanity’s sake, but rather to make us consider all the ways a word or phrase may be construed.

Generally, I do a good job of catching things in the stories I edit. But, my own taboos occasionally slip by. This has recently been brought to my attention because of the phrases “E.D.” and “nut butter.”

In regard to these, I am unapologetic.

The terms may have alternative definitions. However, they have very real, understandable and entirely pure meanings to me and — I believe — my readers.

Anyway, if I was to listen to “Urban Dictionary” about everything, then apparently any references to “oats” would also be off-limits. And, sorry folks, that simply isn’t going to fly on this blog.

Questions: What do object, other than food, do you like photographing? Do you proof-read your blogs?

I’ve always enjoyed taking portraits, and I even took some senior pictures for some friends. I also seem to be attracted to taking pictures of flowers. For editing, I try to do a good job of proof-reading, but sometimes I glaze over things. It’s always easier to edit another person’s writing than my own.

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5 responses to “Cultivating a dirty mind

  • Circe

    I laughed out loud when I read the bit about “cultivating a dirty mind,” a couple of years ago I worked for an organization that was planing a day of family physical activity, but they called it the “Get off you Buttathon” apparently only 3 people googled “buttathon,” or evan had the slightest idea that “buttathon” could be considered lewd, no one on the planning committee believed that it would be be a problem. Anyhow, it was a total flop, and ended up costing us a ton of sponsorship money.

  • christina

    i like the green giant steamers too! i like photographing my friends (of course!) and anything colorful. your pictures are always very pretty. i always proof read my blogs!!

  • Katie

    I love taking pictures of people in action. I don’t do it very often because I feel like people would be off-put by me photographing them so I usually don’t. Wish I could though! Also I love the green giant vegetables. Pretty sunflower pics ps!

  • barneymccoy

    Addiction? Who said your dad had a Diet Coke addiction? Where is the attribution?- Dad

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