Monday, August 31, 2009

The Farmer's Market Mishap Of '09

Saturday morning my dude set off for the Hyde Park Farmer's market to buy some bread he'd heard about that is supposedly so delicious you'll punch your mom in the face for it.

When I finally woke up I walked down to join him. (This is the part where I saw Stella parked on the side of the road without me having driven her there, and then I told her it would be fine and that that mean, mean boy would never love her I like do.)

Then I found Adam carrying my helmet and an Adidas gym bag with a large baggette sticking out of the top of it.

I'd never been to the Hyde Park Farmer's Market before. Sad, especially since it's mere blocks from me every Sunday between 9:30 and 1:30.

Tomatoes, green beans, red peppers, free range meats, farm fresh eggs... waffles with whipped cream and berries. Oh yeah.

I may have grown up in Marion, Indiana, but the closest I've ever really come to a farm was during an elementary school field trip, and I wouldn't unplug my nose OR milk the cow. No way, José.

But when I get around farmer's markets I lose it a little bit. So it was while Adam was waiting for a turkey and cheese crepe that I lost it.

I marched right up to some farmer and told him I wanted a dozen eggs and two chicken breasts. He gave me a dozen brown eggs (brown eggs?) and a frozen package of... chicken breasts?

I marched right back over to Adam and handed him the bag. "Uhm, these eggs are weird. And I think the chicken still has skin on it. Yuck. I'm not touching it." (Even though I won't touch uncooked chicken that doesn't have skin on it either.)

This evening I get home from work to find Adam working away in the kitchen. He gives me a look (you know the look) and says, "You make questionable decisions. I had to de-bone and skin that chicken."

"Oh yuck!" I replied, cautiously peaking into the kitchen for fear of seeing the carnage.

"Yeah, you're not allowed to buy anything else at the farmer's market without supervision."

That's what he thinks. You should have been here for dinner. That free-range, local chicken was delicious. I'm going to get two packages next week.

Oh, and the bread was good too.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Only Thing Missing Was "The Chug"

One of my very best college pals, the singular Sandy Bressner, came to visit me Friday night. How terrific is it when you can not see someone for years at a time, but easily find yourselves right where you left off, laughing and chatting (and come on, let's face it) drinking.

Which explains why this photo would be cute, if I hadn't spilled half a beer onto my shirt.

No worries though, I "Photoshopped" it out for later photos like this one. Magic!

The visit was much like college in many ways. We watched some bands we didn't know, ended up at some burned-out bar, and I drank too much.

Just like old times.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


TGIT? Aww yeah, party people. Thursday is my Friday this week. Don't be jealous.

Instead, comfort yourself with this fantastic rendition of what's certainly '80s mall singing sensation Tiffany!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

There Are Four I've Loved

Me with my first car. (What? I can't hear you, my mall hair is in the way.)

I like to make the joke that my car is the only reliable thing I know. The only true constant. When I say we're leaving at 3, the Blue Angel is ready to leave at 3. If I'm 20 minutes late, she doesn't care, she's ready when I am.

That's the great thing about cars - they don't really complain a lot, they do the heavy lifting and if you're lucky, your car tells people something about you.

I mention this because I paid off the Blue Angel a few months ago. Wow, has it been five years?

I love cars. I know a lot about cars, older cars mostly. I can identify make and model, even the year on some of them. I can spot Ford truck 100 miles away (it was all my dad would drive for a long time) and I can hold my own on engine talk. (It's nice being a daughter to a mechanic sometimes.)

My first car was a 1978 Monte Carlo.

It had a V-8 305 engine in it (exactly what a 16-year-old needs), and it would smoke any dirthead in a V-6 Camaro who wanted to step to me. (Not that I ever did that, ok mom?) It was black and it awesome. (See photo.)

It also took most of my allowance to keep gas in it. Real smart of me to pick out a V-8 engine given a teenager's predilection for driving.

Still, I loved that car. My dad let me pick out and I knew I wanted it immediately. It cost $2,800. I was in to old cars and big engines, what?

The Monte Carlo also had this deafening exhaust leak. WHAT?! WHAT'D YOU SAY?! I THINK SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THE MUFFLER! I'd scream to my friends.

God I was so cool in high school.

My second car was far more practical. A 1985 Ford Escort hatchback. Easy on gas and bucket seats. A college car. I loved that car, even though it left me stranded on the highway countless times because it would flood itself on trips over 10 miles. My dad chain-towed that car all over Indiana. Good times.

My last Honda, a 1994 Civic, didn't have air conditioning so for three years I roasted in the summers, covered in sweat and anger. It was brutal. But I loved that car too. It was the first car I bought on my own.

It was on a lot in Virginia and the Escort had stranded me for the last time, I decided. When I finally sold the Civic (Smuckers, I named it) I cried a bit when they drove it away. I like to think she misses me.

Now it's me and the Blue Angel. She's reliable, sporty... she has a sunroof! We'll be together 'til the wheels fall off and burn.

It's me and baby girl against the world.

Friday, August 21, 2009

You Know What Time It Is?!

It's time for the Health Care Town Hall snap!

Thanks Jon Stewart. (Call me. I love you.)

TGIF everybody!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Barney Frank's Town Hall Snaps
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It's Raining Women, Hallelujah

Like all other sane, normal women, I hate baby showers.

I like babies and pregnant women fine enough, but I hate sitting around on Sunday afternoons guessing baby food flavors and pretending it's funny when everyone over-estimates by a football field the size of the mother-to-be's belly.

It's just not my idea of a good time. Because, like I said, I am sane.

I've actually gotten more mellow about it with age, though. The last few showers I've been to were fun, and I was happy to be there chatting with people I don't get to talk to that much. If I have to draw a picture of what the baby might look like to catch up with an old friend, then so be it.

Full disclosure though: I was briefly infamous in my former workplace for busting out of a particularly endless shower "early" - it was going on 3 hours people, what do you want from me?! - and the mom-to-be had just then started opening presents.

Do you know how long that takes? FOR. EVER. I figured I put in my two-plus hours, and I bolted.

Several days later my boss called me into his office wanting to know if "everything is ok" because several colleagues had reported back to him (god knows why) that I was acting strangely at a baby shower.

"No, I'm fine... It's just that it was already three hours long and everyone is being polite and all and so the soon-to-be-mom always slowly unwraps things - instead of really tearing into it like you're supposed to with presents - and then she holds each thing up, item by item and passes it around while everyone 'oohs' and 'ahhhs' over pacifiers and breast pads.

And that's not even the half of it. There's the games, Oh god the games!"

I think he caught my drift.

But like I said, I'm more amenable now, more able to embrace such things. Plus I like finger foods.

Ok get on with it here, Daugherty. Deep breath. Deep breath.

All right here goes... In a stunning twist of fate, I, Gina Daugherty, am throwing a baby shower... Complete with baby food and belly size guessing games.

But wait, there's more! Not only am a hosting it, I volunteered. And not just volunteered, I insisted.

There were many good reasons for this I won't get in to, but I will say that so far I've enjoyed buying invitations and cute plates and all kinds of stuff for little gift bags for everyone. I'm even excited about tying balloons to the front of the apartment building this weekend.

I feel like they announce, "Hey someone is having a baby!" and "Someone else is a party planner extraordinaire!"

I might hate baby showers, but I love to entertain, y'all.

Still, I promise all you women who might be coming to this magical event that it will last 2 hours and not a minute longer. Because once the clock strikes 4 p.m. on Sunday I will seriously kick your asses out. For which I know you will be grateful and silently thank me.

And do drop in for a piece of cake if you're in the neighborhood. It's gonna be NASCAR themed and I ordered a whole bunch of it. (Jk. Or am I?)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Now With More Sprinkles!

OmgHelmetSundae is back, and it's got the scoop (with sprinkles) on Brandon Phillips bobblehead night.

We had great seats thanks to Reds ticket guru Lance, who is always clutch no matter badly the Reds blow it. (Thanks Lance!)

A few days of radio silence from me as I'm off to visit the Daugherty Farm for my dad's bday. Maybe I'll post a picture or two on my photo blog while I'm away. (Did you guys know I started an iPhone photo blog? No? Eh, it's just as well, it's not that interesting.)

And I'm off!

Friday, August 14, 2009

TGIF! A BDay Shout Out To My Dad

My sweet old dad turns 70 years old today.

Damn. 70. Doesn't hardly seem right.

I wanted to post Johnny Cash singing Five Feet High And Rising for him but I didn't like quality of any of them on YouTube. It's a fitting happy birthday song though.

Johnny's cadence and story-telling on that one reminds me of him, and whenever my dad sings it he follows it up with, "Papa didn't like to talk much, huh?" Which always makes me smile.

But instead I'm post George Jones singing He Stopped Loving Her Today.

I grew up listening to my dad piddle around the house singing this song, and then hearing my mom huff, "Good Lord, Ray, stop singing that sad old song."

As soon as she'd complain my dad would would look at her and say, "You know, she came to see him one last time." Then he'd laugh at how he was torturing her.

I'll go home this weekend and we'll sing it together and wait for mom to cut us off. Happy birthday, Pap.

Give It Up For Basic Research

The scientist who discovered the chemotherapy drug that certainly helped save my life died today.

Barnett Rosenberg was 82. In the 1960s he serendipitously discovered cisplatin, which has saved hundreds of thousands of lives.

I'd never heard the name Barnett Rosenberg until I saw his obit.

It'd be near impossible as a chemist, a scientist, a human, to wrap your mind around the fact that what you discovered has and will save untold numbers of lives. People you will never meet are alive and attending family picnics and driving cars and swinging their kids around because of your discovery. You could never know the immensity of your impact. (It's good thing I am in no danger of curing anything; this would keep me up at night.)

This week I was interviewing one of the cardiologists at work and he told me the reason he likes academic medicine and research is because his studies get published and can then be used and built upon by others.

In this way his work is greater than just the handful of patients he can see each day; it has an impact on kids now and in the future that he will never see. (He said this far more eloquently than I am, but you get the idea.)

Which takes me back to Barnett Rosenberg and this article I found. Skip to the third graph... it starts talking about Barnett and how he wasn't even trying to cure cancer, he wasn't even working on cancer and, in fact, he wasn't even working on human disease.

How's that for a life less ordinary.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I'm Normal, Y'All

Well, so to speak.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

A Monument to My Failure

There it is. You see it? My nemesis.

Consider it seriously on, Rope. You got that? ON.

For the first time in months I went to the gym last week. Out of curiosity I asked the check-in girl when was the last time I was there.

She seemed to tap endlessly on her computer and after an interminable amount of time (I told my dude the computer probably doesn't go back that far) she told me I was last there May 1.

Huh. I thought it had been longer. (Score one for me.)

That's when Adam reminded me, "Don't you remember that two days before the Pig you decided it was 'time to start getting serious about training' and came to the gym?"

Oh right. I do remember that. I also remember walking for about a mile on the treadmill and figuring I could easily walk another 6 for the Pig. (And I was right!)

I digress. Back to my nemesis.

When we got upstairs I saw this rope.

Aww yeah! I thought. This is gonna be awesome.

Up until that moment I had thought of ropes snaking up to gym ceilings as my friends. In school I was the only girl who could climb the rope to the ceiling.

I remember the night at dinner in elementary school when I learned how to do it. I was telling my mom and dad that we were supposed to climb the rope in gym class, and I was irritated I couldn't climb it.

"The trick," my dad told me, "is to wrap your legs around it. Get it in between your knees or your calves, and use your legs to push you up, instead of trying to pull your way."

I practiced in my head at night. By the next gym class I was climbing to the ceiling like I was born to do it.

I tried this last week at the gym and failed miserably. As I dangled there on the rope I told Adam how annoyed I was.

"Well, you're not 40 pounds and in the fourth grade anymore," he said.

"True. But I could also climb it in high school, and I didn't weigh 40 pounds then either," I said, still dangling.

Then this happened: Adam hopped on the rope and without even so much as a grunt easily pulled himself straight to the top, hand-over-hand, like Spidey.

"I hope you get rope splinters in your hands," I said as he slid down.

So I tried it again. Honestly, I was a little self-conscious dangling there, wondering if the other seven people in the gym on this Sunday afternoon were watching me swing around on this stupid rope.

We were kind of making a scene. (Everyone else was wisely ignoring the rope.)

"Hold the bottom," I commanded Adam, thinking I could get some leverage from the stability.

But no. For the life of me I couldn't get it firmly enough between my feet to push off of it.

Rope - 1
Gina - 0

Immediately I decided that by the end of the summer I would climb that damn rope if it killed me. So I set out for the assisted pull-up machine to increase my upper body strength.

Big mistake.

For a week I couldn't raise my arms above my head. No joke. A week. ("Maybe I overdid it a bit," I'd groan while trying to pull my shirt on.)

That was a week ago and I haven't been back since.

But don't think I've forgotten, Rope. Don't think for one second I've forgotten. Plus, Adam won't let me. Tonight he said, "That rope is a monument to your failure."

Just wait until I can move my arms again. He's going to be seriously sorry.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

How I Spent My Weekend

Sad news for Stella - I've met a new soulmate. Its name is Sea Doo, and it was endless fun this weekend.

I had this little dream machine up to 65. I was flying, y'all.

I was trying to see if it'd actually go 70, as the speedometer suggests, but once I hit 65 it was literally about to bounce me off into the Ohio.

I was holding on for dear life. God it was fun.

As proof it's finally summer I have the outline of a life-jacket sunburned into my back and arms. Too bad it's almost over. *Cue the deep depression!

Friday, August 07, 2009

Kickin' Old School

Work it, y'all.


Thursday, August 06, 2009

Sadness... and Things Left at my Desk This Week

Adding to my collection.

Tomorrow is going to be super sad, y'all.

Tom, my med student BFF, will be leaving me to head back to school. What's worse, he didn't even finish our heart-aggregate-vaccuum! Boo.

But the good news is earlier this week he gave me a tour of the lab I sit near. God it was awesome.

There were cabinets full of medicinal shaped glass-jars and ancient looking bottles of chemicals; lots of ominous, syringey-type things hanging around and equipment that seemed to serve only the purpose of swirling containers of liquids. Plus, there were squat glass jars all over the place growing cells and DNA and donuts and stuff. Or maybe it was growing yeast. Whatever.

Needless to say, weird stuff goes down in the lab.

In other weird but fun news from the week, I found a piece of dark chocolate on my computer Tuesday evening, but rather than question who might have left it there (or if it had been lab exposed) I ate it immediately.

(Soon after, I started going through the list of people who might want to poison me and thinking I should have found the source of the chocolate first. I'm not saying there is a large list of people who want to feed me hemlock wrapped in dark chocolate, but I'm just saying you never know.)

I verified later that the chocolate came from a man I work with known as "Mountain." Awesome, right? (Note to self, acquire cool nickname.)

Also left at my computer this week was two little hotel soaps from China, which I did not eat. (Shockingly.) My Boss Man brought them back special request.

I've learned my lesson in specificity because the last time I asked him to bring me back a "present" from a conference I got a bag of Fritos from the Las Vegas airport. (Hmm, I ate those almost immediately too. Maybe they were the perfect gift.)

Anyway, tune in tomorrow for this week's TGIF Video! (I don't know what it will be yet, but I'm sure it will be on par with dark chocolate and Chinese hotel soaps.)

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Not Only Are They Alive, They're Thriving! (Mostly)

Memorial Day weekend I went out and got bunch of plants for the balcony. Wave petunias, impatients, red peppers and tomatoes.

I called my dad, who would gladly pass all of his days digging in the dirt making space for flowers, to tell him the exciting news.

"When do you want me to come down," was the first thing he said.

Last year when I got tomato and red pepper plants he came down to plant them for me. One, because he loves it and two, because I'm a notorious flower killer.

But this year I thought rather than have my poor ol' dad with his bad back drive three hours to crouch over some dirt I'd do it myself.

"When do you want me to come down," he said again.

So my dad (with mom in tow) drove three hours to plant my flowers and vegetables.

Look how tiny everything is in this photo.

And look at them now.

This tomato is even starting to ripen.

And the petunias are about to take-over.

Amazing what wonders water can do.

Everything was going along swimmingly up until a few weeks ago, when I noticed that my teeny tiny red peppers were suddenly gone. But since my red peppers tasted like weeds last year anyway, I figured it might be for the best. But still, did the wind blow them off? Did they get some disease?

Then Friday I noticed a green tomato had been plucked from the vine and dumped unceremoniously in the dirt. And it had evidence of having been violently gnawed on.

Squirrel! Was my first thought.

I see the little long-tailed rodent scaling up the side of the building periodically. If that little jerk eats all my tomatoes it's going to be seriously on, I told Adam.

Then today as we were going out for a bike ride guess who was hot-tailing up the side of the building to the third floor? Mm hmm. That squirrel. He didn't stop at my balcony for a snack, but he has a home on the roof I think, which makes my tomato plants nature's version of 7-11 for him.

He's not in this photo, but you can see what I mean.

If I don't end up with any tomatoes this year I'm going squirrel hunting.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Saturday Night This Summer

Saw 500 Days of Summer. I loved it. It was sweet and funny and wholly enjoyable. Plus we went to Graeter's beforehand, making for quite a magical Saturday night.

Speaking of summer, there are only four weekends left in August. If we don't have clear, sunny skies for each someone is getting punched. My pool pass is collecting cobwebs. Grr.

Keepin' It Real in the 'Nati... Real Ugly

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