Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Where I am is here

I suppose I'm a little more than behind in blogging, but life has been exciting and speeding by quickly so I don't feel guilty. After all, if there's life to be lived, sometimes it's more valuable to drive a ways for great experiences than to document anything else.

Last Friday I drove my sister, Anna Jo back to Chicago. She had spent the week in Ohio working and visiting us and Christine. I haven't had a chance to do very many "summery" things and so a couple of weeks ago I had told Anna Jo I wanted to go back to Chicago with her so we could do fun "summery" things like go on a picnic! So, we drove back Friday night and spent the night in. We watched "Valentine's Day," which was wonderfully mushy- as expected. We all went to bed and the next morning Jeff and I woke up quite a bit before Anna Jo. We waited impatiently for her to get up. Jeff went out and got her tea to help the process along (and just to be nice). I can't remember if it was before or after the run, but one of Anna Jo's close friends, Christine called in the morning and she talked to her for awhile. It's so wonderful the way good friends can make our moods so positive! We went on a 40 minute run along the lake and my hamstrings buckled a bit, but we still both made good time. We returned to the apartment, showered, and then began our walk to the grocery store. On the way, Heather, another one of my sister's dearest friends called and they happily talked for awhile. Anna Jo even got to talk to Heather's daughter, Anna... which was especially adorable! Once at the grocery store we made salad-bar salads, chose sandwiches and drinks, and then headed off to Oz Park.

Anna Jo had "suggested" Oz Park the night before, but Jeff had decided on it months ago and had even visited alone to find the ideal spot for the event. The weather was super toasty on Saturday so I asked Anna Jo if we could take some pictures before eating so we wouldn't be all gross and sweaty. We wandered off towards the Scarecrow and my mom called. Anna Jo and my mom talked for a little while and I took pictures while they talked. Then I claimed to need to call someone else and sent Anna Jo back to start eating. I had her leave her camera and water bottle with me (don't want her hands to be full). She walked over and Jeff was on one knee and asked her to marry him. It was great! Plenty of phone calls and pictures ensued. I treated them to ice cream... primary duty of M.O.H, I think ;)and then went on my merry way to try on some Vibram Five Finger shoes. I didn't buy them because I wasn't quite ready, but now I'm wishing I had. I'm too scared that I will get imitations to buy them off any other website (and they're out of stock on their own and on REI's... sigh). Purchases like these are part of the reason why I am attracted to full-time jobs [more on that after the story of this weekend]

Jeff, Anna Jo, and I re-met up at their apartment and Jeff and I both took naps. Then we went to a ridiculously nice Italian dinner (Yay for Bubby & Groupons!) at a restaurant whose name currently escapes me. Then we ventured off to Guthrie's to play games with people from Jeff and Anna Jo's programs. There was a perfect 12-15ish to share the excitement and we all had wonderful times. I will admit that I spent an hour of it outside having quality conversation on the phone and people-watching, but sometimes you need a break from the excitement to tell people about it ;) I'm ridiculously blessed...

Afterward I ventured off to this hostel that made me quite nostalgic for Spring 2009 and excited me for any future traveling I may do (a girl can dream).
The next morning Jeff and Anna Jo picked me up (it was pouring so it just made sense). We looked at the pictures (so great!) and then I drove home in the rain (the whole way). Okay, not the whole way, but the whole way once I passed all the Pride insanity. I really wish I'd been able to participate in the Pride excitement, but I needed to get home to prep for Monday. I did, however, get to see all the people setting out for the parade and walking in masses and... it just makes my heart glad that we're finally traveling in that direction.

So, the shoes are one reason I'd like a full-time, regular(ish) job. I would like to be able to buy certain things and not worry or feel guilty. I would like a "regular" job so I would have time and energy for running and finding new running partners when Tealla's in Italy, Anna Jo's in Chicago, Jessica's in Columbus and I'm in NY. I want to have time to cook healthy dinners and invest in friendships and relationships. I want to be able to pay off debt and send pencils to these amazing kids in Nagpur, India who deserve so much more than what they have...

Yet, I feel this attachment to theatre. I read things like Kristi's blog and relate too well. While I don't want to act, there's that same "what am I doing?!" question. I also worry that I'll "settle" or "not reach my full potential". It's confusing. I just need to keep reminding myself (what I want to shake into every person who regrets "giving up a dream") that whatever I decide is what I truly believe(d) was best for me and the people around me at the time that I made that choice. If I want something else later I can do my best to achieve it, but where I am in the present is simply a result of the best possible decisions given the information and maturity I had at the time... and that's okay. Actually, I think it's a little more than okay, I think it's kind of amazing.

But I still want to help people express and grow and create!

One day at a time... I may be mostly dealing with t-shirt orders and bloody noses right now, but it's by doing that that helps foster this environment where these kids can laugh and be and it's alright. Yeah, the arts are awesome.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy as a Clam

Last summer I decided to readjust my eating habits using Weight Watcher's point systems. I didn't join the actual organization, but rather used some of my friend's books to analyze and log what I was eating. I became more aware of my intake, while increasing my running, and lost a fair amount of weight without much stress. My mom has decided to join WW this summer and in only a week has done great. She has begun to seriously control her portion size and is already feeling better about herself. I decided with someone else in the house doing it and all the phone applications that make point tracking so easy, I might as well go on it as well. Every time I encounter a "stressful" situation I tend to gain weight and while the weight I'm currently at isn't terrible, I'm not stressed right now. If my body feels much bigger, I won't feel healthy.

So it has been 5 days and my biggest hurdle has been boredom eating. I still do it during the afternoons at work (and with candy! terrible...), but I at least recognize where my fall is coming in. If I keep on task I should, with the aid of activity points and my weekly allowance, be able to finish the week without exceeding the allotted points.

Along with losing some of the extra pudge, this summer includes a focus on trying out (fairly simple) recipes that are tasty and semi-healthy. Sometimes it is difficult to figure out things that you are creating from scratch or that lack nutritional information, but with some helpful cookbooks and handy internet sources I am on my way.

A few things I have tried are...

Low Fat Zucchini Bread (3 points for a typical sized piece). I left out the raisins and it was still very tasty. I have made regular zucchini bread many times before, but with the egg whites this recipe is healthier. There are also non-fat recipes out there, but I didn't have any whole wheat flour on hand... next time :)

Orange Pineapple Honey Chicken
- I made this before the WW, but it's a great way to make a juicy, flavourful chicken, without adding too many calories or points for tastiness. I also did not make 8 chicken breasts as I was only feeding my mom and myself. I did a bit of division and then added a little more of a couple of a things until I felt it "looked right".

Parmesan and Prosciuto Loaf- I have had this small soup and bread cookbook for quite awhile, but hardly make any recipes from it. This was one of the "most okay" for you. It took awhile for the bread to rise (twice), but it turned out wonderfully and is definitely a recipe I'll keep for when people come over or if I need to take food to an event.

Fruited Brown Rice- This was one of the recipes in my Dad's new "501 Delicious Heart Healthy Recipes" book. Many of these recipes are low WW points since they are low fat. This recipe was a little fatty, but worth it. It involved:
1 c. brown rice- I used a slightly different rice with an extra grain or two, but it turned out. Make the rice first. My rice always seems to take longer than desired.
2/3 c. halved grapes- I used green, but it doesn't matter
1/4 c. chopped pecans- which were supposed to be toasted, but mine weren't and it was delicious
2 Tbs sherry vinegar or rice wine vinegar- I think I used rice wine vinegar. This may be the thing you're least likely to have on hand
1 t Extra virgin olive oil- every time I see "extra virgin" I make a lame joke about regular virgins being good enough
1/4 t Salt
1/2 t Black Pepper.

You make the rice.
It says to add the grapes and pecans, but I waited so the grapes didn't get soggy... and because my rice took forever
I put all the other ingredients in a bowl and at the last minute I added the grapes and pecans and then poured 'the others' over, stirred and served.

Green Beans With Caramelized Onions- great recipe in the "Heart Healthy" cookbook. We added the left overs to a salad the next day that made the salad AMAZING. Note to self: pearl onions are beyond difficult to peal. Leave time for crying breaks

Honey Garlic Grilled Eggplant- Mine looked pretty good, but nothing like the picture shown. Note: I don't know (but doubt) that these sites are the original location of these recipes. However, I am simply linking back to the place I found them. You do a google search with your primary ingredient, click on a few, and pick one that you have the rest of the ingredients for. This is the first recipe that I have messed up enough that I will remake it on my own again before making it for a non-related group. I adlibbed quite a few things, but my central mistake was how I dried the eggplant. I DEFINITELY over salted them when trying to dry them and have a bit more reading to do before I understand exactly what to do. I also cut the egg plant pieces too wide which made it more difficult for them to dry, which probably had a bit to do with the over-salting. I still ate mine and tasted it enough to know that it would have been delicious had I dried it correctly.

I have also made a few other things recipe-less, liked grilled yellow squash and grilled zuchinni, but for both I've just mixed together some olive oil and seasonings (lemon pepper, paprika, rosemary, a few other random spices my dad has around) until it smells like something I want to eat. Then I brush it on and grill until there are lines. It's rather unscientific, but I'm happy.

Now to start the list of cooking supplies I will need when I move...
-a sifter
-bread pans
-rubber spatula
-regular spatula
-a place to put that grill

Just dreaming about the grill bit, but truthfully, cooking's a lot easier with a stocked kitchen.
That must be an analogy for something...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wants, not needs

When I lived in Holland, MI this past semester my fabulous roommate had a poster of the world and it hung right next to my bed. When I move to New York I think I'll leave most of my posters and such things at home, but once I arrive I intend on ordering a world map. My geography has improved, but is still seriously lacking. I need to look at a map every day.

I would also like to invest in a bicycle [and a handy lock to go with it]. I have been looking at fold-up bikes so I could bike part of the way and taking public transportation without having to leave my bike behind, but there is still plenty of research to do.

And these shoes:

Barefoot running may be a phase, but it's one that interests me. I have been a barefoot kid for an extensive amount of time and throughout high school had attempted to run barefoot as much as possible. In an attempt to achieve the feeling I invested in extremely light weight shoes that were incredibly flexible (as my coach suggested). Yet, my balance is not particularly good and I have the problem of heel striking. A good personal trainer friend of mine did some research on these shoes and while eavesdropping on her practicing her presentation I began to have more faith in the Five Fingers.

I definitely intend to wait on the map until I get to the city so as not to ship it, but we'll see about the other two.

In other news I had work at 7:45 this morning and 8:15 tomorrow and yet, 1:30 I'm still awake. I just get excited about life around this time of night.

Goodnight <3

**Added the next day:
I would also like to add a hammock to the list of "things I've wanted for awhile," but it won't be a recent future priority... just always on the list.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


I know nothing lasts forever, but it's nice to have amazing feelings that do last long. While it's sometimes scary... wondering when the shoe will drop... you have to work pretty hard to not, at least kind of, enjoy the warm fuzzies.
Today I'm not putting any effort in resisting them.

But I am getting a little sleeeeepy... if I can just get Cloe to share the pillow...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tshirts like sweatshirts.

Today I went on a run at Mill Hollow and was reminded of a few things that I may not have forgotten, but were put into practice today:

Runners don't take off their shirts just because it was hot. We also take them off so we have something to wipe away the sweat from our eyes with between intervals. Now-a-days I keep my shirt on and thus go through at least two shirts each run/stretching/drive home. [It's a good thing I've only been running once a week lately, haha. I don't sweat as much while biking so it's less laundry].

Humidity makes it more difficult to breathe. Deal.

Good stretching saves legs.

Don't give into your cravings right away. Four(ish) cookies worth of raw cookie dough as soon as you come home may or may not be a terrible idea. This is especially true when your stomach is out of season. Plus the running seems a little bit silly when you eat twice as many calories right away, but don't replenish much of the real nutrients. Drink milk.

Running makes showers 10,000xs better than usual.

I am looking forward to having someone to run with and keep me motivated, but I am dreading feeling even more out of shape than I already do *dramatic sigh*

In less related news, I love (and am currently listening to) Hall & Oates song "Sara Smile". It's my favourite Sara song.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Vicarious planning and indoor planting

I have spent far too much time on backstagejobs, random NY theater and museum sites, idealist, and Craig's List this evening. I know I won't apply for 99% of the jobs and I have no reason to be looking at apartments this early, but it's difficult not to browse :) I can't seem to get totally organized in my current room because there's a part of me that feels so incredibly in-transition. I know when work starts the world will begin to move with a much greater fervor, but in the mean time I spend half the day on my to-do list and half the day dreaming.

In other news, I have decided I would like to have a windowsill garden when I move. I acknowledge that any sort of regular activity like a book club may not be a realistic goal, but I think that a windowsill garden is doable. Container planting is a feasible option, but do I do flowers or vegetables? Either way there's always the risk for fruit flies and anyone who has lived with me knows how I DETEST fruit flies... but I suppose if things are taken care of I should be okay, right? And, if worse comes to worst and the fruit flies show up, I get rid of the plant... be it fruit, vegetable, or flower. It'll probably be herbs of some sort... who doesn't love a little fresh rosemary?