Monday, June 29, 2009

Rainbow Fright

First off, apologies for all these faces of me staring at you, all creepylike. I was aiming to give you the gamut of my hair color over the past few years, and instead ended up giving myself the willies. Let's just get this matter over with quickly so that we're not staring at my creepy photos any longer than necessary.

You, my blog friends get to help me choose my hair color. What with my current color fade, I'm currently somewhere near picture #2 - medium (but mousy) brown with some good copper blonde highlight chunky pieces. Here's the question - do I let my hair continue on its journey of fade-age to my natural color? (It's nearly there right now.) Or do I go back to a darker brown, like in the last picture? I'm keeping the chunky highlight pieces, no matter what. I'm just too attached to them. Plus they give my hair some dimension. Not that the frizzy curls didn't already do that, but I digress.

Your turn - weigh in on colors, please.
p.s. Loved the red, but it was way too much work (and money) to keep it a nice rich color.

Always With the Gushing, That Girl

Yes. You know who that is there, sitting at the piano*. Crooning for our listening pleasure. I saw him for the second time, and he was just as chock full of goodness. When I saw him a couple years ago, his concert was a little more accoustic, a little more lowkey. The show we saw on Saturday was louder, more upbeat, and had a lot more electric guitar. Either way, he was fantastic live. How could I not have loads of fun listening to a musician who radiates joy and happiness?

* And if you don't know, you obviously have some catching up to do. Go read my archives. Chop chop!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Round Like the Letter C

At different times during my gradeschool years, I was teased relentlessly about my big butt. (Jason White, you better hope that we don't ever meet up in a dark alley. You're toast.) It wasn't until 9th grade or so that I got my first compliment about it. And it totally took me by surprise. And then it took another handful of years before I finally believed that those kinds of comments were sincere and not meant to mock. Fast forward another handful of years (ok, maybe a couple of handfuls of years by now), and I've realized that - like with my naturally curly hair - there are 2 camps of people: those who dig it, and those who do not. And you know what? I no longer have any interest in listening to those in the latter category. I've learned to embrace this butt I pack around with me. Heck, it's probably the reason why I'm good at running hills. And now that I'm Running A Lot, I'm becoming fonder of my bootie back there. So you think it's not cute? Pffft! Shoo, be gone. I don't have time for you. I've got a hill to tackle.

Forming My Support Group

I need some backup here. I don't want to feel alone in this.

Why do I need so much sleep? Honestly. I could be Superest Woman Ever if only I could get by on 6 hours of sleep. The way Bo does. He is his same usual self every morning after only 6 hours of sleep. How on earth does he do this? I mean, my car, my dog, and my kitchen floors would be immaculate if I could get by on so little sleep every night. Oh the things I could accomplish...

But I digress. The point of this is to round up my homies - Any of you out there with me in needing 7 hours' minimum? (And, really, I'm only consistently nice when I've had 8 hours.) Is this a male-female thing? Is there something in our ovaries that requires us to shut down for longer every day? Cuz it's freakin annoying.

Please please please tell me that I'm not alone. And, how many dudes are like Bo and able to thrive sleeping only a quarter of their day away?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Mmmm..Rice Pudding

I really miss yummy dairy-based items. I scarfed a plate of huevos rancheros yesterday, and practically pumped my fork in the air in defiance. They tasted sooo good.

As such, I'm always on the lookout for recipes that mimic those foods I can no longer enjoy. I've recently found myself daydreaming about the creamy arborio rice pudding at the health food store by my workplace. And, lucky me! - I stumbled on a vegan recipe posted by one of my Twitter pals, @MadcapCupcake. Hurrah hurrah hurrah! I made a few changes to the recipe when I made it today (what foodie doesn't immediately muck with a new recipe, right?). Below is my version, bon appetit!

Coconut Cardamom Arborio Rice Pudding
Serves 2

1/4 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut (add 1 Tbsp sugar if unsweetened)
2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch of cardamom (approx 1/8 tsp.)

Stir all ingredients in a medium sized heavy-weight saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and turn down immediately. Allow to simmer gently, stirring often (or it will stick to the bottom) for 40 to 45 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. A silicone spatula makes an excellent stirring tool, allowing you to easily scrape the pudding down the sides and off the bottom of the pan. The rice should be soft and significantly plumped up. Check it often towards the end of cooking to ensure it does not get overdone or burn.

Serve immediately in the cutest bowl you can find, if you like it hot – otherwise let it chill in the fridge and enjoy later. It can also be reheated. Enjoy.

I haven't yet tried this recipe cold because I ate two bowlfuls straight from the pan. I only paused to take a handful of photos, because, despite my gluttony, I do love to share with you.

Note: Fancy picture created with my friend Dur's fancy camera. I may never return the camera. Please don't tell him.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Skin of My Teeth

I just had the nicest run-in with a cop!

He was on a motorcyle (Magpie calls them cop-sicles) and pulled up next to me at a red light near my house. Shame on me, I was messing with my phone when he did. Ack, I'm soo getting a ticket! He mouthed, "put your phone down" and motioned for me to roll down my window, and I just knew my ticket-avoiding luck had run out. But, when I complied, he was nothing but kindness. He said, "You should just turn that off so you're not tempted to answer it if it rings or use it while you're driving. It's a really expensive ticket, but most people don't know that. It's only $25, but when you add in all the court fees, it's $100. You should save that $100 and go buy yourself something nice instead."

Um, really?! I thanked him and gave him a smile of gratitude, but really, I wanted to hug him.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Perchance To Dream

Lately, I've been having odd and mildly horrible dreams. Friday night's awful dreams are to be blamed on watching back-to-back episodes of Dateline about murders. I'm not entirely sure why Saturday night's were bad, but I was living in hiding a la Anne Frank. My dreams usually so vivid that they can really make the next day fairly worrisome and disturbing for me. But thankfully, my dreams last night were less crackhead in nature. The one funny part is that I had a Cake Wrecks mini-dream. I'm pretty sure that the day I finally see a Wreck in person will be the greatest day in my whole, whole, whole life. I suppose having a dream about a Wreck is one step closer to that day, right?

Here's to a day filled with glee. And possibly cake ;)

Image courtesy of the esteemed Cake Wrecks.

Friday, June 12, 2009

I Have Thunder Thighs

(click on the image to view it larger and read the text)

Four years ago, Nike launched an ad campaign to show love for a woman's strong body. Not the kind of fitness ads we're used to seeing. These show muscle, not bones. Pride, not shame.

I'm going through a spell of not loving this body I've been given. It works perfectly well, but I've been sending myself less-than-ideal messages lately about the way it looks. But I'm running again. Running always makes me feel strong and fierce and proud. I may not be able to zip up a size 2, but I can pass you on an uphill. And a downhill, for that matter. And that fills me with pride, and at some point, pride will slowly turn to love.

I'll pull out a few more of these ads over the next handful of posts, so that you can read them all. They're just too feel-good not to share.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Singin In The Kitchen

We grew up listening to a Bobby Bare record (a 45, to be precise) because my dad loves old-timey country music. One of the two songs on the little orange record was "The Jogger."* To this day, I still know all the words and still think the song is pretty darn funny. And it's even more amusing now that I'm a "maniac jogger," tee hee.

Well, not long ago, a greatest hits album came out for Bobby Bare, and my mom put it in my Christmas stocking. I thought it was little strange, because I only knew that one song, and I'm not the hugest fan of old storytelling country music. But the spectacularly awesome part is that in the cd insert, it had a Bobby Bare's bio. Did you know that he and Shel Silverstein cowrote a whole slew of songs together? Yes, Shel Silverstein of "Sidewalk Ends" fame. The fact that Shel was a songwriter only adds to his awesomeness. A quick wiki of him and I learn that he wrote Johnny Cash's "A Boy Named Sue." Wow!

But back to the matter at hand - After listening to the 2 cd set from Mom, I immediately fell in love with the song posted below. And, yes, I definitely sing it while I'm in the kitchen. Bo even chimes in from time to time; he really is the funnest boy ever. But, my most favorite part of the song - hands down - is the whisper section. Every single time I hear it, I want to scamper up to random strangers and whisper in their ears, "singing in the kitchen!" I honestly have to pull back so that I won't. But just thinking about it makes me giggle like a 4 year old :)

* You can find "The Jogger" on youtube. Go find it. That way I'm not singing alone :)


I've found a new artist to love! I adore, adore new music, so I was really excited to get this recommendation via Twitter this morning. It's true - she does sound a bit like Imogen Heap and Sarah McLachlan. Her voice is so pretty, and the melodies are different enough to hold my attention. I bought her albums from '09 and '07 from iTunes. Hurrah for new music in my ears all day!!!

p.s. I want her dress, so cute!


Friday, June 5, 2009

Moving Day

I'm moving to my 6th new cubicle in the 4 years I've worked here. This time it's to our new building. Love that our company is expanding and growing, but it's going to feel a bit isolated over there with just my group of 8 coworkers. The one perk of being the only girl (and thankfully, well-liked) is that I'll have the ability to take over and gussy up the place. I'll scatter my plants around to make it look homey. And I think I'll sneak in my plug-in air freshener again, and see if anyone complains.

The one big huge sad downfall is that I won't be seeing our pal, Ree Ree Hubert, nearly so often. Oh, Ree Ree, I'm gonna miss you!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Still Gnawing On My Arm

Remember this stuff? I couldn't get any more out of the bottle, so I hacked into it. And there are at least 3 more uses hiding inside there! The pathetic thing is that I have a shiny new bottle of it in my purse, just 2 feet away from me right now. But this is stuff is like gold to me. Ok, it's like crack, really. And I couldn't very well throw 3 more uses into the trash, oh the horrors! This may be the very first time I've actually drained a bottle of lotion. Anyone else have items they just cannot bear to see the end of?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Square Peg

Outfit-coordinated shoes...check.
4 shades of MAC eye shadow...check.
2 spritzes of perfume...check.
Wide-striped cardigan over thin-striped tank...check.
Cocktail of 3 hair products...check.
Longing for a kindred spirit at work...check.

We had a staff meeting today, and I was the lone girl in a room of 32 men. (Yes, I counted. I'm funny that way.) I don't mind so much being the only girl, but I'm the only girl in a room of people who are of a different mindset and culture than me. This group wears the uniform of tucked in polos and short sleeve button-ups, jeans, and cross trainers every day. They laugh at stories that I don't think are funny, and they don't laugh at things that make me giggle. Most of them are married with children in school. Most have stay-home wives taking care of the details and groceries and tasks of life. Most have zero interest in anything preceded by the word "trendy" or "cute." Most didn't notice when I changed from blonde to red. And then from red to dark brown.

Sigh. It makes me really miss Chimly. We were thick as thieves at work, creating our own little too-cool-for-you sisterhood. Nowadays, I spend an inordinate amount of time at work not talking. Not engaging with people. I've become a hermit.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Licorice Bananas

I somehow convinced Bo to wake up early on Sunday, hop on the trolley, and then ride our bikes to an ugly part of San Diego to cheer on the marathoners.

You see, the marathon race description goes on and on about the bands and the cheerleaders and the crowds all along the course. Like it's one big rockin' party while you run. That's only partially true. All that is definitely there for the first 15 miles or so. After that, you're on your own. The runners start getting more staggered, the crowds are nonexistent, and the bands are an entire mile apart. There are places near the end of that course that are nearly silent. That's killer when you're on mile 21 and in lots of pain and wondering how the heck you'll make it another 5.2 miles without sawing your own feet off at the ankle. Any kind of distraction is heaven sent, because it'll zap you back awake and focused on something other than feeling miserable. Having been through all that misery a few times, I wanted to do something to help out this year's runners. To pay it forward, if you will.

So, I dragged Bo with me to mile 24.5, where it was completely ugly and completely silent. And we stood there and rang cowbells and yelled encouraging things to the runners for nearly 3 hours. Yes, do-gooders, indeed. But it was so completely gratifying. I had runners thanking me, giving me a thumbs up, yelling back, waiving, giving me high fives, the works. And then some runners were in that place where it takes precious energy to even glance sideways at a spectator, and my only thank you came in the form of a slightly relaxed look on their faces. Those were the runners I went out there for. They appreciate your noise the most, but don't have the energy to let you know just how much. I've been in that place; I can vouch for how wonderful it is to have someone tell you that you're amazing when you feel nothing but pain and fatigue.

My favorite part of Sunday morning was having a girl run by me while I was ringing those cowbells, and exclaim, "Your arms are going to be sore tomorrow!" Yes, but not nearly so sore as your legs will be, silly girl! :) I did end up with some enormous blisters on my bell-ringing fingers. They hurt so bad that I've resorted to covering them with that second skin liquid (which stings like no other). That stuff stinks for hours. Like licorice and bananas.

Monday, June 1, 2009