Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Mangos: A PSA

So, when I went to Summer's house on Sunday, I woke up the following day with a rash on my mouth. I get this rash a few times a year. I'm never totally sure what causes it. It feels like poison ivy, which I'm particularly sensitive to. I always figured that since she lives in the woods, some poison ivy oil floated over onto my lips. I took a picture of the rash, but this is almost a week after I got it, so it is hardly noticeable. It actually wasn't ever very noticeable, except for that it almost drove me INSANE, constantly.

I was trying to think of what could've caused this rash, and the only things besides floating invisible poison ivy I could think of were that I ate a mango, chomping down on the core and pretending I was an islander, and that we laid out in the sunshine. I thought it could've been a sun reaction, who knows.

Anyway, I did some research and I found out the following! DAMMIT! Mangoes are my FAVORITE! I'm thinking that if I discontinue my current practice of slobbering all over the fruit and pretending I live on an island, and if I eat it CAREFULLY with no face contact, and if I thoroughly wash the skin, I might still be able to eat the fruit I love so much? It said the rash could last as long as a couple of weeks. Check this shit out:


The mango (Mangifera indica), a large tree native to India and
Southeast Asia. This tree is grown throughout tropical regions of the world for its delicious, fleshy fruit containing a large, seed-bearing pit (endocarp). Mango trees belong to the sumac family (Anacardiaceae), along with poison oak, poison sumac and the cashew tree. People who are hypersensitive to poison oak often get a mouth rash from eating mangoes. In fact, there is some evidence that native born Hawaiians and Asians may be less susceptible to poison oak because of early exposure to mangoes.

Are Mangoes Allergenic? Mangoes may be allergenic as many tropical fruits often tend to be. They are not know to commonly cause life threatening allergic reactions however. The type of allergic reaction a Mango may cause is topical or dermatological. A person who has a reaction to Mango will find a rash much like that of poison ivy or poison oak. The rash may occur when the affected person comes into contact with either the sap from the Mango tree or from the skin of the fruit itself. The allergen itself resides in the skin/peel of the mango and not within the actual fruit itself. Eating the mango "meat" or pulp will not cause the rash to get into the throat or tummy per se but if the oleoresin from the peel/skin has touched the Mango "meat", a rash may erupt around the mouth. Some sources say that a Mango allergy may in fact cause a rash around the bottom as the mango is digested and passed through. That being said, there are many pediatricians who say that tropical fruits should be held off until 8 months old and up.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Grownup Cake: The Final Chapter

My parents had a Memorial Day party tonight, so I decided to take another shot at the Fantastic Lemon Cake. You might remember my first attempt, when the top of the cake stuck to the pan, or my second attempt, when the whole thing broke in half.

My third attempt, however, was triumphant. Glorious. PERFECT! All three of the Fantastic Lemon Cakes I've made have tasted delicious, but this one also looked beautiful. I almost shed tears of joy, I was so relieved to have finally mastered this cake. Hallelujah!!

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Deck Science

Today, Suzanne and I spent the afternoon with Summer enjoying the sunshine on her deck. At one point, I said, "It sure would be nice if I didn't have to sit up to have a drink of my Mango Rum Punch."

Summer said, "Hold that thought!" and ran inside to get some straws. A Mr. Wizard-style experiment ensued. She built an arch out of the straws, spanning the distance from my drink to my mouth. Suspense was in the air as we waited to see if I would actually be able to create enough suction WHILE UPSIDE DOWN to enjoy the drink, and I was!

Since this scientific breakthrough was so exciting, we decided the moment clearly needed photographic documentation. I hadn't brought my camera with me that afternoon, so it sure was a good thing that I recently got myself a camera phone!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Surprise Party for Aaron!

For Aaron's 33rd birthday, Michelle decided to throw him a surprise party! She invited a bunch of friends to their Columbus apartment, and Mer, Joey and I headed up.

The party was a huge success! Aaron was completely surprised. Michelle made tons of food, and I got to meet a lot of nice people. I even fought in a grape war!

The next morning, we headed to the North Star Café, my new favorite place to eat in Columbus. Mer and I shared the Cloud Nine pancakes, which are made with ricotta cheese! They might have been the best pancakes I've ever eaten. We also shared a tofu breakfast burrito. The weather was beautiful, and we ate out on the patio. I got a love note sent over to me! I guess it was rude of me not to acknowledge it with a wave, but I've got to admit, I was feeling a little hungover until those pancakes kicked in!

After breakfast, we headed to Jeni's Ice Cream for a delicious sampling extravaganza. Then we got some ice cream cones and headed back to Athens.

Click here for photos.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Baby Goats!

This weekend, Jason and I headed to Bluffton, Ohio to visit Rose for a weekend of fun and relaxation. On the way, we stopped by the North Market in Columbus to see if Michelle was working at Jeni's Ice Cream. She was! So we got to say hi, and I got to experience my first visit to the Jeni's Ice Cream counter. We tasted tons of flavors, and got cones to take with us. We also got two pints of ice cream to bring to Rose's. Thai Chili, and Wild Blueberries & Lavender.

When we got to Rose's, we went outside right away to meet the goats! One of the goats had just given birth to two babies. They were only TWO days old. They were the tiniest, warmest, fuzziest little babies! I almost died from cuteness overload. We hung out with the babies for awhile, then ordered pizza and played some games. I bought a new game, Apples to Apples, and I highly recommend it!

On Saturday, we took the babies outside for their first time ever! It was TOO MUCH CUTENESS. That's for sure. They frolicked in the grass, investigated everything, and learned how to climb onto rocks! They were really wobbly at first, but they got the hang of it pretty fast. I have a video of them playing on the rocks. Check it out, if you can handle the cuteness.

That afternoon, our buddy Hyatt from high school came out to hang out with us. We hadn't seen him in YEARS! It was a gorgeous day. We played Apples to Apples on the dock, and then played croquet. Then we went out for Thai food! Yum! Afterward, Jason, Rose, J'amie and I played poker. The next day, Jason and I headed back to Athens. Of course, we couldn't resist stopping at Jeni's for one more ice cream cone.

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Thursday, May 19, 2005


I got home yesterday from a busy trip to Baltimore. NBIA hosted our conference there this year. Friday night, Mer and I stayed with Michelle and Aaron in Columbus, then flew to Baltimore early Saturday morning.

When we arrived at the hotel, we got ourselves organized. Our hotel had a WHOLE MALL inside of it!! And the escalator to the mall was about 20 feet away from the registration desk where I would be working all day! Saturday, I actually had some free time so I went and bought some shoes. Then I met up with Nika, a friend from my message board. She showed me around Baltimore!

We went paddleboating, visited the Baltimore National Aquarium, did some shopping, had dinner at the PaperMoon diner, then went out for pomegranate margaritas. Baltimore is really nice, I had a great time. Sunday, it was time to work! Sunday is the longest day, registration opens at 7:30 a.m. and doesn't close until 9 p.m. We had our 20th anniversary celebration that night, and had a delicious birthday cake!

I worked registration Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning, with Cheryl, Lindsay and Sarah. Conference went great, we got a ton of positive feedback. The hotel and surrounding area were gorgeous. I also managed to go out for some awesome seafood. Crabcakes. Mmm! Tomorrow I leave to visit Amanda in Bluffton, to see some baby goats!

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Mother's Day

For Mother's Day, Mer, Pete, Dad, Mom and I went to Joy Creek Farm, where Mom keeps her horse. Each of us (except Mom, obviously) have only been out there once or twice, and certainly never as a family. The plan was to spend some time at Mom's favorite place, and hang out with her horse, Clue!

It was a perfect day. It was sunny and very warm. We all took turns riding on Clue as Mom led us around on the lunge line. We also all tried trotting. I've ridden horses of moms a couple of times in my life, but I'm very inexperienced. Trotting is SCARY! It's too fast and bumpy. My sister was the best at trotting, she was the only one who could figure out "the rhythm." I'm like, seriously? There's a rhythm? Because all I can manage is to hang onto the saddle while I bounce up and down! It's fun, but hard.

Then we got to ride him on our own all around the arena. I was much better at that! Mom said I was a natural at steering him. It was fun! He went wherever I wanted him to! We walked over hurdles, between barrels, along the fence, it was great! After we all had turns riding Clue, it was Mom's turn to put us all to shame!

After the day at the farm, we headed over to Mer and Pete's for a Mother's Day Dinner. They grilled pork tenderloin, baked sweet potatoes, fresh bread and a beautiful salad. We had champagne, and my Fantastic Lemon Cake for dessert! It was still nice out, so we got to eat dinner on the screened porch. I am so happy that the nice weather is finally here.

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Saturday, May 07, 2005

Grownup Cake, Take Two

I decided to attempt the Fantastic Lemon Cake once again, to bring to tomorrow's Mother's Day dinner. Last time I attempted to bake this, it didn't turn out pretty like I had hoped. My Saturday night plan was to have a PBR, blast some music, and conquer this cake. All was well, and the cake came out of the pan just fine, with nothing sticking at all. However, I was taken by surprise when the middle part of the cake pan, the part with the tube, came out along with the cake!! So far, the cake was in perfect condition, so I just had to figure out how to gently get the cake off of the cake pan tube. I was so, so careful, and the cake was almost off safely, and then it effing broke in half. GRRR! It's a step in the right direction, but I swear upon... um.... CAKE that some day I will bake this perfectly.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Deck Heaven

Since today was supposed to be absolutely beautiful, Summer, Yumi, Suzanne and I planned to cut out of work at 3 PM and meet on Summer's deck for a Friday afternoon filled with sunshine, tabloids, and champagne. The weather was beautiful and we had a fabulous time! We had champagne, mango rum drinks, and fresh strawberries as we enjoyed the marvelous day. Afterward we chilled in the hot tub for awhile. Later, Summer came to my house to watch some episodes of Felicity and eat Pita Pit. Quite the perfect Friday!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Joe's April Fool's Day Birthday Party

Tim and Anne had a birthday party for Joe last night. He's an April Fool's Day Birthday boy. It was a great party, complete with Flip Cup and TONS of cookies. Also, some live music and beer! Adam from Southeast Engine played covers of Guided By Voices songs in the basement. And of course there was some hot tub action.

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