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4.16.2005 ||>   One of these mornings you goin' to rise up singin'

The last two times I visited Pennsylvania, I went to Valley Forge National Park. Both of those times were in the fall or winter and the park was a cold, barren place. It was easy to imagine the Revolutionary War soldiers freezing in their little makeshift cabins. As I shivered in my modern faux fur lined coat, I could see them wearing much less, getting infectious diseases and being found dead in their beds.

What a welcome relief it must have been for those survivors to see Valley Forge in the springtime. The park is covered in an emerald blanket of grass instead of the uninviting snow. The trees flower and grow leaves and the flowers bloom. Today I'm going there and what a nice day to do it! I hope the dogwoods are blooming now, but if they aren't it will still be fun to sit out and have a good time.

Sepra was livin' easy on 11:01:00 AM || Site Feed ||

4.15.2005 ||>   The sun also rises in my food

Before I left for the US, I had a conversation with a fellow volunteer about food. This wasn't unusual, as the topic of food was one of our favorite things to talk about, second only to bodily functions. This volunteer was wondering how she could ever go back to supermarket milk. We wondered how odd it would seem if she just bought a cow so she could have fresh milk everyday.

As for me, I hated pasteurizing my own milk. It was the quality of my eggs that kept me up at night. For the time I lived in Tashkent, I had the freshest eggs ever. There was one guy in the bazaar that I bought from whose eggs were so fresh that the yolks were a deep orange and the shells still had the occasional feather attached. It was as if he grabbed the egg from the chicken just as the egg came out, and then brought it to the bazaar. I only bought from him for my last nine months in the country.

For this reason, I haven't been interested in eggs since I came back. Looking at the insipid, pale yolks here, I have yearned for something more. But I have recently found someone who lives on a farm and who has way too many eggs. Yesterday I got my hands on two dozen farm eggs. I made baked potato with egg and the yolks stood out like miniature sunsets against the white flesh of the potato. It was beautiful.

Baked Potato Eggs -- prep time: 10 minutes; total time: 1 hour

2 large baking potatoes
1 tablespoon butter or sour cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
4 small eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub the potatoes and pierce each with the tines of a fork. Bake until fork-tender, about 40 minutes. Carefully cut each potato in half. Scoop out the insides and stir in the butter and cheese. Salt, pepper and/or herb to taste. Spoon the mixture back into the potato halves, creating a hollow in each center. Break 1 egg into each hollow. Arrange on a baking sheet and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until set

Tip: The least messy way to cook this is to first poach the egg until the white is set and then put the egg in the hollow of the potato. Then bake for another 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Also, to cook the potatoes faster, put in the microwave for 5 or 10 minutes to make tender, rather than the oven. Then bake after the eggs have been put in.

Recipe adapted from Real Simple

Sepra was livin' easy on 10:39:00 AM || Site Feed ||

4.13.2005 ||>   Who would have thunk it?

Throughout my life, I have always tried to be unique. I often have these great ideas, which I think were never done before. Unfortunately, they do get done. When I was a teenager, for example, I thought it would be awesome to do a musical with only songs that have been on the radio for years. I also thought it would be cool to do a musical with songs from a single album of an unrelated artist. Then Moulin Rouge and Mama Mia! came out and I realized that I wasn't as creative as I thought. But then last night something happened and I finally did something I'm pretty sure that no one else has ever done before.

I flushed my deodorant down the toilet.

Now, I always thought when I did something totally original it would be because of my inner genius and not my thorough clumsiness. But I'll take what I can get.

(Incidentally, I got the deodorant out of the toilet by simply sticking my arm up the hole and wiggling it out. Good thing that there wasn't anything major accompanying the stick!)

Sepra was livin' easy on 10:35:00 AM || Site Feed ||

4.12.2005 ||>   Due to popular request: a romantic comedy

About a month ago I was a receptionist for a day at this company. Receptionists have a great job: they get to know everyone, they know all the good gossip and all they have to do is transfer phone calls and answer emails. Everyone is nice to the receptionist because she or he knows all the dirt and can make you very uncomfortable if you are rude.

A third into my shift, this very nice computer guy came over because he was bored and wanted to chat. My supervisor introduced me and as we are both geeks, we started chatting. He told me a lame story that wasn't funny and I told him a story that was even less funny and we generally had a good time laughing at ourselves. He also told me that there were new jobs opening up in the company and that he would give the boss my resume. I thought about having his first born in gratitude while I thanked him and told him I would email it over. He left and that was that.

After some time and a streak of Freecell where I had won a million games in a row, he came back. We chatted again and I told yet another anecdote that wasn't in the least amusing and gave him more information than he needed. Amused by this, he asked me out. Surprised, I said yes. We exchanged phone numbers and I said I would call him after work. He left again.

Then he came back and asked me again what my name was.

We've been dating for about a month. This also goes to show that a person does not need to have a social life to get dates, she or he merely needs to get a receptionist position.

Sepra was livin' easy on 11:12:00 AM || Site Feed ||

4.11.2005 ||>   Friends and enemies are all that came to burn her name

Yesterday was my last day at the temp job that I've been at for four weeks. I liked the job itself, but this weekend I was supposed to train the new manager coming in. Luckily for me, I didn't have to do anything as she was bent on trying to show me where my place was.

Except that, I knew my place. I had thought, as my position was support, that I would be doing it by giving her the information she needed so she wouldn't be too overwhelmed. My mistake.

The highlight of the experience was when she asked her manager, who didn't know anything about the demos, to show her the demo while I was standing right there. The manager looked at her and said, "But I've only seen it twice, Sepra knows everything about it." Nope, not interested. And on we went like that for the entire day. Yesterday, she thanked me for allowing her to "pick my brain." I just smiled and said nothing. People that insincere aren't too successful at customer service anyway, and she'll get hers.

Sepra was livin' easy on 4:02:00 PM || Site Feed ||