Thursday, January 31, 2013

Random Bizness

Thursday means that I go to my usual BodyPump class at the YMCA, though today we had a substitute instructor who really liked to talk. I mean, talk, and talk, and talk. And not about anything exercise related. Actually, one priceless anecdote she shared was in regards to her daughter's carsickness, which she recounted in minute detail while we were trying to do plié squats. I won't make you sick too, but I will just say that apparently her daughter had eaten hot cocoa and Doritos before her most recent bout of carsickness.

Somehow...haha...I was still able to eat lunch, and a good one at that. I'm actually still at Native Foods where I went for the Greek Gyro bowl. I'm so predictable. Not only did I order the same thing I always order, but I forgot to photograph it. In my defense, however, that's because I was starving.

My lunch is gone and now I'm just killing a bit of time before I go to Target, after which I have my Thursday afternoon shift at the Humane Society. After that, David and I are having dinner with our friends Ajume and Eric. This brings me to the major downside of living in the mountains outside of Boulder rather than living in Boulder proper: I can't just run home when I have a break in my schedule, and instead I often find myself waiting around a coffee shop or Whole Foods because my previous activity has ended and I still have an hour or two before my next activity/commitment. I find this difficult for two reasons:

1) It's difficult to watch Teen Mom 2 in public. Sure, I could pull out my headphones and get down with some TV watching at any cafe in town. But the lack of typing would, I think, make it obvious that I wasn't doing work of any kind and I'm just too guilt-ridden to watch TV in public. Can anyone understand this, or am I just really uptight? (Edited to add: "and/or am I just really uptight?")

2) I don't like being in public and around other people for really long stretches of time. On some days I'll leave the house at eight-thirty in the morning, only to return at eight-thirty in the evening after we've had dinner with friends. It's not that I'm agoraphobic and am afraid of leaving home, but I sometimes find social interactions exhausting; home is the only place where I completely relax and unwind, so not being able to pop in and take a quick nap, for example, is a real drawback to mountain life.

The other big drawback? When we have kids we are going to have to drive about thirty to thirty-five minutes to get to the hospital to deliver them. Ouch.

And finally, to round out this Random Bizness post of bizarre crap, what are you doing for Super Bowl Sunday? It sounds like my parents want me to come over to watch the game, but I'm seriously tempted to stay home and eat Boulder-ized versions of game day food along with chocolate and Kombucha.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Wassup, playas? Heh. I try to be pretty conscientious when it comes to things like racial stereotypes, but I'm pretty sure that I'm way too white to say things like that without it being tongue-in-cheek. I mean, my skin is practically translucent, after all. I'll spare you the photos, but you really can see all the veins in my arms.

Anyway, how is your Wednesday coming along? I for one am really excited that it's Wednesday, because that means it's almost the weekend. And not just any weekend, but Super Bowl weekend: the perfect excuse to eat whatever you want and do nothing productive all day on Sunday. (Even if you are only moderately interested in football and even less interested in either the Baltimore Ravens or the SF 49ers.)

Today, however, is not Super Bowl Sunday, though you wouldn't know it from looking at these pictures of Haruki lounging around this morning. I swear that dog thinks she has it really hard.

I did work this morning until around eight-thirty, at which time I went down to town to go to the gym and the grocery store. I also ran to Target, where I bought a toilet brush, floss, razor blade heads, and coasters. Geez I hate going to Target when I don't "need" anything fun. Fun = any makeup, skincare, or body products. Guess I'm going to have to "lose" my mascara again.

I came home for lunch around noon, and concocted this salad:

That's mixed greens mixed with spinach mixed with little sweet peppers and a broccoli/carrot slaw. I haven't been in the mood for salads for, like, a year, but for some reason I had one last night and wanted one again today.

I also ate some pretend nachos, which just means brown rice chips topped with Titanium Dioxide cheese and Rotel (diced tomatoes mixed with jalapeños).

And now? I'm recovering from a serious revision/work session and thinking about watching the latest episode of Teen Mom 2. I am so ready for Chelsea to get over Adam--anyone else with me? (Or did I just lose my last two readers?)

*Do you like eating salads? Really, I mean, do you really like eating them?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Winter Weather Game Changer

The forecast called for a trace to two inches of snow overnight. Per usual, those weather peeps were wrong, and we got more than zero and also more than two inches of snow. 

This is what it looked like at four p.m. yesterday:

And this is what is quickly devolved into:

Luckily, David and I got out for a hike with Haruki before the storm really came in, and I thought I share a few photos of what the landscape around us looks like.

Whenever I tell people that we live in the area that was badly burned they always look traumatized--like living up here must be really depressing with everything being all burnt out.

As you can see, Haruki doesn't mind all the burnt logs and trees around; actually, they are her favorite play toy (aside from: deer, squirrels, and mice).

David is also nonplussed by the fire damage, and every time we go on a walk he goes on and on about how beautiful it is. In fact, here he is thinking about the beauty:

Or maybe it's just Popsockets that he is thinking about.

This is unrelated to the fire, but isn't it cool that we live on a mountain that used to be mined, with old railroad tracks and everything? It's just like in The Great Outdoors when those girls get lost in the mine. (Please someone admit they know what I'm talking about.)

Another totally benefit to the fire?

I don't think these pictures do this tree justice, but because the bark was burnt completely off all that is left is the pure white and incredibly smooth interior of the tree. Seriously, I can't say enough how beautiful this is in person: it's smooth, soft, and incredibly bright and white. Obviously it's sad that the trees were burnt and scarred, but it's not like I started the fire so it's okay if I appreciate some of its handiwork. (Right?)

After our walk and tree sightings, we headed home to cozy up and do some work. Yes, I said do some work. I don't normally equate cozy with work, but it wasn't so bad with the fire going:

*Is it snowing where you are? We've been having a week or two of fifty and sixty degree temps followed by a medium to big snow storm; if I wasn't so sane weather like this might make me go a little schizo.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Monday Wow

OK, so far Monday has not "Wowed." But "Wow, the weekend sure went by quickly."

I did snap a picture of the sunrise this morning, however. It didn't really "Wow" me, but maybe it will make your head spin around.

Though it went by quickly, the weekend was pretty good. In random order, here are some schtuffs that we did:

1) Had dinner at my parents' house with my brothers and nieces. They ate meaty burgers; we ate these:

Veg-et-ablé Burglers.

2) Went shopping for a new mattress. My mattress is total crap and because I'll be turning thirty-two next month I've decided that I should invest in a real bed with a nice mattress.

3) Watched the Screen Actors' Guild Awards.

4) Went to lunch with David, his sister Christine, and her new boyfriend Greg. Since I just met Greg I didn't ask to take his picture. But...I did, finally, take a picture of our food!!! We went to Shine in Boulder, which is a relatively new restaurant that has taken over a space previously filled with lots of different restaurants.

I ordered the Boulder Breakfast, which had brown rice, seared greens, and two eggs over hard:

I realize that this doesn't look very fancy, but it was very tasty.

Luckily David ordered something fancy, namely, the Avocado Hollandaise Eggs Benedict:

Don't be fooled, though--mine was way better. After eating his meal David was still hungry, so he ordered one blueberry pancake. I forgot to take a picture of it, but it was basically a fried blueberry pancake with really thick maple syrup on it. I had been oogling the pancakes from the time we sat down, so I was pretty happy to help David out with his second order.

And now, my friends, I have to get to the gym for bootcamp before coming home to do work. Womp womp. If only it were a holiday and I had an excuse for taking a nap instead of working...

*Do you share food with your partner when you eat out?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Federer Friday

Maybe you all don't follow tennis, but Roger Federer is playing Andy Murray on ESPN right now. Well, actually, they played last night and now ESPN is showing it. I've managed to stay away from any news that might spoil the ending, so please don't write in with comments about the winner until three p.m. Mountain Standard Time. P.S. I love love love Roger Federer. I hoped we would see him while we were in Switzerland on our honeymoon, but alas we didn't. I consoled myself with cheese.

Anyway, my point here is how much I enjoy watching the tennis Grand Slams. It's the perfect excuse to spend an afternoon watching TV, since after all, it is the semifinals, and that's a special occasion, i.e. it's not like I'm just watching crappy daytime television. These are the things I tell myself anyway.

In addition to watching tennis, I've also just finished an early lunch that consisted of leftovers from last night, when David and I went to dinner at Native Foods with our friends Jill and Dom. I had the Greek Gyro bowl but since we also ordered two appetizers I had plenty of leftovers. Today I spiced them up with some hot sauce and Titanium Dioxide, aka Daiya cheese:

Also, here's this:

This has nothing to do with anything, but it's a picture I took yesterday afternoon when I stopped by campus to pick up some library books. In addition to being known as a "party school," CU Boulder is also a beautiful campus. Most of the buildings are designed in the same style, and if you didn't know better you might mistake our campus for that of Stanford, actually.

I think most people would agree that Stanford's campus is nicer than CU Boulder, but you get the idea--lots of buildings with rust-colored stucco rooftops clumped together. FYI, I had to look up stucco to make sure I knew what I was talking about.

*What athlete would you love to meet in person?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Transfer Assistant

Today I had my second shift in my new position at the Humane Society. My old position was dog walker. That means that I walk the dogs that are waiting to be adopted. I'm still also a dog walker, but now I'm a Rescue Wagon assistant too, which means that I assist with intake when we get a big truck full of dogs that have been transported from other states and shelters. Essentially, the process looks like this:

First, we take the dogs out of their kennels and take them for a short walk so they can relieve themselves after their long journey. (A lot of times these dogs are coming from New Mexico, Wyoming, Oklahoma, etc., so they've been cooped up for way too long.) After a quick bathroom break, we take each dog in for a quick evaluation, to check for things like microchips, spay/neuter status, injuries, vaccinations, and all that good stuff. Then, the little guys get put into their more permanent kennels, where they wait for a more in-depth medical and behavioral evaluation before officially being put up for adoption.

I liked being a dog walker, but I have to say that I enjoy doing the dog intake even more. I feel more useful, and it feels good to be there for these dogs when they are likely at their peak levels of anxiety. After all, wouldn't you be worried and upset if all the sudden you'd been taken away from your home and possible family, only to spend 10 hours in a kennel with a bunch of other dogs? It's really sad to think that Haruki once went through this same journey last Spring, all while I was probably watching episodes of The Biggest Loser.

Anyhow, these are a few shots that I got today.

Obviously they suck. (The pictures.) These dogs don't know me and aren't really calm enough to pose for pictures.

What I do have, however, are pictures of shoes. To balance out my do-gooding volunteerism I made a quick stop at Nordstrom Rack to see if I could find a pair of casual shoes. I couldn't. Instead, I walked around aimlessly, feeling frumpy and not girly enough to be shopping. Sigh.

First I examined and tried on these:

While they were comfortable and not horrendous, I just couldn't bring myself to buy them. They're just way too trendy and preppy for me.

Less preppy but still way too trendy? These guys:

Yes, my feet are size 8.5.

Can I just say, YUCK! Why does everyone love these idiotic shoes? (Aside from the company's pledge to donate one pair of shoes for every one purchased--that's okay with me.) I tried them on, and while they are comfortable, they're just not very flattering. Way too pointy, as far as I'm concerned. (Ditto on the topsiders too.)

*Do you wear Toms? Do you feel bad about it?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wednesday Weather Letdown

It was supposed to be nearly seventy degrees in Boulder, Colorado today. Only with no sun and moderate cloud cover that didn't really happen. Boo.

Despite the less than perfect, but actually really nice for January weather, I was able to savor this little gem of a moment: driving home from the gym I saw a group of kids crossing the street together. They were all tethered, with little cut-outs for hands, while they crossed.

I'm pretty sure a pedestrian took down my license plate number as I took this photograph, so I hope you all think it's super cute too.

After I got home I proceeded to eat, and quickly. This morning I did half a bootcamp class + that pilates reformer class. Today, when we did the move "Teaser" our instructor actually said, "Wow" with an obvious note of surprise that we were able to do it. Ha.

For lunch, I had leftovers from last night, which were brussel sprouts and aduki beans. I added some Daiya cheese, which, in case you don't know, is a vegan cheese substitute.

It may have titanium dioxide in it, but at least it's not real cheese and I won't get fat, right? Rigggght. Heh. Actually, we don't usually eat Daiya cheese, but for some reason I saw it at the store last week and wanted it.

I also ate a boatload of brown rice chips with leftover tea and bubbly water.

These are just show chips. The real chips I ate were many more in number at not nearly so perfectly triangular.

After lunch I sated my sweet tooth with a bit of Chocolove--dark chocolate with almonds and sea salt.

That's real-life lipgloss schmear there, people.

Sometimes I think I eat something sweet after a meal just so I don't have to start working again. I'm really in the home stretch with this effing dissertation, though. I just hope it doesn't take too many chocolate bars to get to the finish...

Another thing that distracts me? When David isn't teaching and is home all day. Today, he mocked me for doing these girly band exercises every so often when I'm working.

Sometimes I wish he was as funny as he thinks he is.

*Is your partner funny? 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Bubbler

That's right, people. I got one:

Thanks to some Christmas $$$ given to me by my very generous father in law, I am now the owner of a machine that will take regular water to the next level. I would've gotten it sooner, actually, but David was really insistent that we get one with glass, rather than plastic, carafes. So I had to search around for this model (The Crystal, it's called), just so David can feel reassured that I prolly won't be contaminated by too much BPA and such. (If he only knew how many TV dinners I microwaved and ate from while I was anorexic he'd probably give up trying now--oh well!)

Anyway, I haven't outwardly stated it here, but I am addicted to bubbly water. I love, love, love it. That was actually one of the best parts about traveling to France and Switzerland, actually, since bubbly water is everywhere just like bottles of regular water.

When I'm not jet setting, I'm usually fighting my addiction by trying to avoid buying the bubbly water that comes from Whole Foods. I'm sure you've had it; maybe it changed your life too when you tried it for the first time. At any rate, our fridge usually has at least one bottle of the stuff in it at all times:

In addition to the cost (the bottle on the left costs $1.99), I've been living with the guilt that the bottles and water are flown all the way from Italy. Yah. That means I'm responsible for a good chunk of Arctic melting, since flying all those bottles of fun bubbly water from Italy to Boulder can't be cheap as far as environmental impact goes.

But now, thanks to my father in law, I can make my own fun bubbles! Here's the machine on our counter:

Here's the carafe full of bubbly goodness:

It doesn't look bubbly, but it is!

And here is me, happy to have all the bubbly water I could ever desire:

OK, maybe not. This _may_ be a picture of me having a seizure in the Whole Foods bathroom. I look way too tired to be taking and posting pictures of myself this morning. Please excuse me:-)

*Do you like fizzy water? Or do you drink something else, besides water, that is less boring and makes you more likely to keep hydrated through the day?

Monday, January 21, 2013


Happy MLK Day!!! And, happy inauguration day!

I have done nothing to celebrate either of these occasions, unless you count trying to talk myself into not working watching TV because today is, after all, a holiday. Luckily for my dissertation committee, though, I prevailed and did some work. That's a good thing since I sure didn't do any work this weekend. Instead I took pictures of a pretty sunset:

Went to dinner with our friend Christian here:

After dinner we went to see Django Unchained. I liked it. I understand why some people hate Quentin Tarantino, but I thought it was well acted and compelling to watch. I also love Christoph Waltz, which probably takes the cake for strangest crush ever. I mean, he's nearly sixty and Austrian. These are not deal breakers as far as crushes go, but how many famous hot Austrian men can you name?

I also indulged in a new snack food that I've been monching on lately: popcorn.

I bought the kind that has no butter flavoring and salt just so I could add my own salt (just a tad) and my own "butter" (a Misto spray of olive oil). It is nutritionally void but tasty:-)

I also tortured my dog:

This was in addition to her bath, which she loveddddd!

And ate a pseudo-traditional Sunday dinner, though ours was made with seitan rather than heifers.

Prolly not as tasty as a heiferloaf though:-(

*What did you eat for Sunday dinner? Growing up did you have dinners that were a bit more traditional or filling on Sundays?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Better Late Than Never?

Right? Heh. Yesterday got away from me so today you get a surprise Saturday post.

This morning I woke up early to make it to two classes at my gym and now I'm exhausted. After my classes I made a quick pit stop at Whole Foods for a few bites of this:

With a splash of Kombucha:

And a few bites of this:

I didn't have more than a few bites because afterwards I was meeting my Mom, David, and my Uncle Mike for lunch at Black Pepper Pho. Of course I don't have any pictures of that, but suffice to say that I should eat more Pho. The broth, especially when you add boatloads of Sriracha, is pretty tasty.

After lunch David and I went and ran an errand at REI and came home to give Haruki a bath. Take a look at these photos and guess if you think Haruki likes getting bathed:

Not so much:-)

And despite the brevity of this post, I have to sign off so I can take a quick nap before we leave for dinner and a movie with our friend Christian. He just took a one-year position in Philosophy at a university in Australia, so we're taking him out to celebrate before his departure.

See you peeps on Monday! Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sick Behaviors

As I mentioned earlier this week, David is sick with the flu. Not surprisingly, this gives me an opportunity to think and talk about myself, namely how I respond when I have the flu and how I respond when others have the flu. I should state at the outset that David was very sick--a fever of 102 at one point. Also, despite having a high fever he did not want to take any kind of medicine for fear of disrupting his body's natural ability to fight off the virus.

What he did want to do, however, was moan. A lot. Like every other second I could hear him making this sound: "Ohhhhhh." Or this sound: "Uhhhhhh." Only that doesn't do it justice. It's more like the sound that a woman giving birth makes when she is about seven centimeters dilated. There are also moan variations, such as deep sighs that go on forever, and excessively heavy breathing that is a lot like Pilates breathing--you know, where you're supposed to sound like you're fogging up a window or mirror?

If you've read this blog for any amount of time then you know where I'm going with this.

I am not a fan of the moaning. Or the groaning. Or the amped up sighing. I have been taking care of David, making him lunches and dinners, tucking him into bed, taking the dog on all of her walks, putting cold washcloths on his head, etc., etc. I am not a heartless person and I know that my poor husband was feeling pretty badly. (Though I should add that he exhibits the same moaning and groaning even when he has just a regular cold.)

But, come on!!! I've been sick! I've had a 102 fever! I've had the stomach flu and made less noise than he does!! (And that's saying something!!) When I'm sick I just get quiet. I don't ask for anyone to take care of me, and I certainly don't walk around the house letting everyone know, every minute, how bad I feel. You know why? Because there's no point! Moaning doesn't make you feel better when you're sick--it just makes everyone around you feel worse. In my case it's just frustrating because I know that I can't do anything to remedy David's condition--including by persuading him to take some effing Advil.

*So, people, please, tell me some stories about when you're sick or when your loved one is sick. Are you a groaner? Do you live with one?

I should also add two disclosures here:

1) This post may be sponsored in part by PMS. No compensation has been provided and the opinions expressed here are (sort of) my own.

2) I know that when we have kids the situation will be completely different. I'm okay with kids moaning and groaning, largely because they're just not old enough to understand why they feel so bad and that makes it that much more sad:-(

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I Have a Friend!

At least that's my takeaway after I received a package from a certain Joanna from Midwestern Bite yesterday. You see, after giving you all a blog tour of our new house Joanna noticed how bare our walls are and took it upon herself to remedy the situation.

I was pretty excited just to get this cute bubble wrapper thingy, actually. (After I got over my nervousness about giving my home address to a stranger, that is...sorry, Joanna. If Homeland has taught me anything it's that anyone could be a hit man or spy.) Getting the package reminded me of when I was in middle school and subscribed to the Babysitter's Book Club. I got a package in the mail every month, with three Babysitter's Club books, stickers, pencils, and other useless crap.

Obviously the big difference between then and now is that what Joanna sent me isn't crap. She even categorized it according to my different tastes.

For my traditional side:

I prefer the buildings on the left to the sailboats on the right.

For my "whimsical" side:

Hold on to your pants, people, because Joanna actually painted these herself! They're little baby TVs! And she painted them herself! Admittedly I don't know crap about painting or art, but I'm pretty well impressed with these. They will definitely be going up somewhere in our house, though as yet I haven't decided where.

And finally, for my "sentimental" side, Joanna made prints of some of my honeymoon photos--some in color and some in sepia. The sepia series is my favorite,

and not just because it reminds me what a wonderful photographer I am (haha), but because she chose several pics that are, as she says, "architectural." And, seeing them in sepia makes them so much more artsy. It actually kind of makes the trip we took seem more honeymoon-ish and special seeing the pics like this. They almost make me forget about the little glitches and quarrels we experienced--like getting lost on the way to Versailles, or when David enraged a Swiss person because his French was so bad and she thought he was being rude.

So, in closing, a big thanks to Joanna. I was really surprised when she offered to send me some wall art and even more surprised when I received it and realized how thoughtful and wonderful her choices were. She's hiding a lot of goodness under all that snark, people.

Now it's my turn to surprise her with some goodness. She said that she enjoyed doing something nice for me and that I don't need to return the favor, but come on--who doesn't love getting something surprising and fun in the mail?

With that I'm off to brainstorm up some surprising and fun stuff. Feel free to leave ideas in the comments section; I'm sure Joanna will agree not to read them...right, Joanna?

*Can you paint?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Iron Chef Slayer

It's getting all Iron Chef up in here, people. Wouldn't that be awesome if my last name was Slayer and I was actually an Iron Chef? Even Bobby Flay would wet himself, I'm sure.

Anyhow, on to business: I cooked up some tofu last night. Yep, that's the extent of my mad skills, but let me tell you what a time I've had trying to get homemade tofu crispy and yummy like how they do at restaurants. No matter what I did, it would just never crisp up and I was always left with floppy white stacks of protein that didn't taste like much.

Enter: the Tofu XPress!!! On a whim I ordered one a week or so ago and it came yesterday--much to my delight. I promptly bought tofu and tried it out. Turns out you have to get all that milky tofu water out of your tofu before it will get firmer and crisper upon cooking. I pressed the tofu twice, actually, once before I marinaded it and once after.



And no, that is not a hair on the tofu on the far right--it's a ginger "hair" because I used fresh ginger in the marinade. Anyway, who cares! Look! It's crispy tofu!! Way more crispy than my most recent effort, which you can excitedly jump to here.

I also made some noochy kale, as per my blog name.

All together now:

This is David's plate, actually, and sadly he wasn't able to eat it all because he is still down and out with the flu. So far I'm not down or out with anything, and hopefully we can keep it that way, since, come on--I didn't get that flu shot and feel crappy for the whole day just so I could feel crappy now too. Maybe vaccines are a rouse organized by DayQuil? (Geez I hope I don't get hate mail about how I vaccines are really safe and I shouldn't joke about their efficacy. For the record, I'll take any vaccine any time.)

That reminds me, though, that I've been meaning to ask your opinion about medicine for flus and colds. David is anti-meds, which means that instead of taking Ibuprofen when he has a fever he will actually suffer until the fever breaks on its own. He says his body is smarter than Ibuprofen and laughs when I say that I'm going to divorce him if he doesn't either 1) stop moaning or 2) take some Ibuprofen. On these occasions I laugh too, but in a different way.

*What do you guys go when you have a fever?