Tuesday, February 23, 2010

as it turns out, cherry laffy taffy tastes like my childhood

Lenten check-in:

-Doing alright with the cursing. I'm VERY on top of the Our Father-ing, but cursing is just so natural to me. Sigh. Thinking about cursing also makes me much more sensitive to it when other people do. Not so much jealousy as...noticing how jarring it is. Which is a reason I shouldn't do it, I guess.

-Ran 2.6 miles tonight, by myself. The Foliage didn't even bring it up all day! It took me until 10:30 to get out of the house, but omg I did it. Tomorrow is a cross-training day, so I'm going to use the elliptical trainer at my parents' house.

By the way, this is the program I'm using. Today was Tuesday of Week 3. You can follow/friend me on Daily Mile. My user name is "peachyringz" but I'm not really sure how searching for people works.

-Not doing very well with not complaining. I'm just a whiny, whiny girl, I guess.

Does anyone know where I can get lululemon gear for way less than retail but without being stolen? No? Yeah, I didn't think so. I desperately need better sports bras. Desperately. Not-ugly is a plus, but minimal stretching is a must. And not more than, like, $30 each. That still sounds like so much. Ugh. Being healthy costs so much money...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

rock me, zombie jesus

I love Lent! I love love LOVE it!! Which is almost definitely the opposite feeling I'm supposed to have about the season, but...it's true. For the past few years, it's rapidly climbed the charts and is now my favorite segment of the liturgical calendar. I've been thinking about why. Here are some of my musings:

-I have struggled with depression for my entire life. Depression feels so isolated and misunderstood and pensive, and I feel like this totally relates to how Jesus' time in the desert must have been. The difference is (mainly) that depressed kids are WICKED annoying and think they're martyrs, but Jesus knew was a/the martyr and was totally not annoying about it. Score. Oh, and that depressed kids aren't divine. Right.

Seriously, I'm so annoyed by this girl already. She's clearly depressed. Or has just hurt her head.

Not like this guy! He's ready to roll!

-A whole 40 days just to think?? I love it! One of the reasons that I enjoy going to church is to have at least one hour of reflection somewhere in the week. And Lent is totally a season of reflection! Advent is supposed to be, but MAN Christmas is overwhelming. The media has just absolutely preyed upon it, and there are too many lights blinking to think enough and get into the mood of the season. But Lent...it's like it doesn't even exist in TV Land. Genuine quiet. And during a quiet time of year. I feel like I really become a slightly better person over the course of each Lent. I probably undo all the work the rest of each year, but I'll take what I can get. I mean achieve.

This year I've give up cursing (8 years running!) and I want to be able to run a 10k by Easter. Right now I can just barely almost run a 5k. So it's going to be a struggle. The ice outside does NOT help, but my parents are giving us the treadmill they never use!!! So that should help a LOT. Yesterday I used their elliptical, and my legs are not pleased about it today...

I don't want to seem as thought I'm proselyting at all. If you hate the Catholic church, that's your deal. I wish you didn't, but a blog entry by me isn't going to change any deeply-seated beliefs you hold. I'm mostly just enthused about 40 days when all I'm supposed to be doing is reflecting on my life in a realistic way. During Lent, I'm not worried about what I'll be doing in 5, 10, or 20 years. Or how successful I may or may not be. I'm only focusing on the day to day. Because the day to day is really what shapes things down the line. If there's room for improvement in your life, then improve. There genuinely are no excuses for being dissatisfied with oneself. Either come to terms with the issue, or fix it. We should all be doing that, all the time. Lent just really helps me get the self-improvement ball rolling a little bit better than when I do it other times of the year.

That's how going to church during Lent feels to me. It's beautiful and calm and clear, and I'm surrounded by things much deeper and more powerful than me. It's quiet because it's not a "playful" season. The water in this lake is much too cold for swimming. See? Perfect comparison. Thank you, Internet.

Slightly related aside: I know a LOT of people who say they are spiritual but not religious. But what does that mean? Sometimes they think about the ethos of their life and how they believe the universe exists? Do you think a single one of those people sits for an hour every week and just thinks about those sorts of things? Sitting and actively thinking is, I think, one of the most important things a person can do on a regular basis.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

snOMG and a feeding frenzy

I love snow. Love love love love it. I hate trying to get to work in it, but that's not the snow's fault. The other thing about snow that's frustrating is...food. And Food TV. And all the leftovers I have from the superbowl.

I made an AMAZING chili from a recipe that my uncle developed. It's pretty intense. It has jalapeno, poblano, and habanero peppers in it. Indigestion City. But I love spicy foods, so I've been living off of this stuff. I halved the recipe and it still filled one of our gigantic steel pots.

The Foliage and I watched a LOT of cooking shows over the weekend during storm part one, and ended up creating an amazing dinner, totally on the fly. Bread crumb and pecan-crusted salmon, brown rice, spicy mango and soy dipping sauce, and salad with a vinaigrette the Foliage created. Oh.my.gawd. SO good!

THEN yesterday, thinking about the huge bag of potatoes we'd gotten for the superbowl but hadn't used, I invented a frittata. Fried potatoes, onions, kielbasa (because it was left over from the chili), and apples...held together with egg...and topped with cheddar cheese. Do I really have to say "oh my gawd" again? I think you get the point. Normally frittatas are baked right in the frying pan, but...I kind of overestimated how much of each component I'd need, and then I could barely even fit each thing in the frying pan, so it all went into the biggest casserole dish I have. Basically, I ended up with frittata for six. For the two of us. Luckily, the Foliage is crazy about it, so he's been plowing right through.

Normally I'm not a huge fan of frittatas because they are SO dry...but mine had hardly any egg in it, and was mostly the pan-fried vegetables. Win.

I love this picture!! Can you imagine taking wings to work and eating them at your desk? Ha! Now I kind of want to. Just to see.

This morning I woke up with a craving for something spicy, but the chili's almost gone! I almost cried. I love(d) this chili...more than you'll ever know or understand. So instead I had wings and then chips and salsa. Here's the thing about how I eat: I go to the refrigerator and choose the thing that is least likely to be eaten by anyone else. Even if I don't want it. Because I feel guilty for knowingly let food spoil and be wasted. The argument has been made that if I eat and it gives me a stomach ache or if I'm still craving something else, that's also a waste, but my psyche really doesn't want to hear it. So I ate the wings. And now I'm still craving something else. Le sigh.

And now I've got a strong jonesing to bake. These, and these, and especially these (maybe with some nuts stirred in and a ganache topping) are tempting me like crazy.

I don't know what's up with all this heavy cooking. Well, I do. When we get fresh produce, we go through it QUICKLY. Other stuff takes a while to be used up. So now we're stuck inside, short on produce and long on animal products, and I feel gross every time I eat. So I guess that's another snow frustration.

But how can anyone hate this???


Soooo...if you're in walking distance of UPG, or if you're ballsy enough to drive here, come visit and eat this. Because I can't run on these streets. And I need to fit into my work pants again tomorrow. And there's a lot of guilt in my refrigerator. Gr8thx.