Sunday, August 30, 2009

Focus, Possibility, and Vacation reads

First - full disclosure - someone commented on the last post that "there's nothing cool about opening for Creed" and I deleted it because I didn't want to deal w/ snarkiness. TBH, I don't know Creed except to say I don't listen to them (I'm really bad at tying bands to music unless they're a fave), but whatever you think of them, my brother got to open for a band that drew thousands on a rainy night at a big venue for our parts. That's cool.


I spent my vacation recentering, spending time w/ J, both of us focusing more on diet and fitness - and I finally saw some minor progress towards my goal - down 4lbs... Ways to go, but good to see movement. I like the way my diet thinking has solidified and I'm hoping this extra step, coupled w/ continued workouts, proves the catalyst needed to keep driving to my goal. I want to dig out that bag of clothes I've stashed away for "when A loses the weight" and try them on again - and have some fit!

One of many awesome birthday gifts was a book called The Art of Possibility. I had forgotten it was on my wishlist, but am grateful it was chosen. The book is structured around "practices" that help to open up the realm of possibility. I'm going to try a practice a week - we'll see what happens. At home so far, practice one has had an impact though more subtle than blatant, I think.

Book #14 -Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. LOVED IT! Structured like exploring a set of Russian nested dolls - the stories are so different in plot and voice and yet meld together into one big saga of where we've been, where we're going and the power one might have to change it. I have many pages flagged for quotes - some for "deep meaning", some for the beauty of the language.

Book #15 - Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum. And now for something completely different! Fun romp thru zombieland, though you have to set aside the nagging feeling that zombies who don't remember doorknobs and are dropping pieces of themselves left and right probably can't keep a good haiku journal.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Laughter, tears, and cheetah groundhogs

Tidbits today.

Sonny had a show recently that got written up in Boston's Phoenix paper. Very very cool.

Danny has been playing more gigs than ever with his various bands. The biggest of late was opening for Creed at Darien Lake. Mega cool.

The other day I was waiting outside by myself for a delivery. Walking around in circles, leaning on a street sign. Feeling generally awkward to just be standing there.
As I'm leaning on the sign, scanning for the delivery guy, a cop car pulls up.
Two thoughts automatically pop up in my head - 1) Is it illegal to lean on street signs? 2) Maybe it's Mark or Jason - the guys I know in the RPD.
He stops a short distance away. I gulp a bit.
His hand comes out of the window and makes a "come here" motion. Uh oh.
I walk up. Not Mark, not Jason. I lean towards the window, hands in pockets. "Hey, how's it going?" (Picture a golly-gee-willikers fist pump here)
Guy looks at me. Points out that he was just letting the person standing behind me cross the street.
But the best part was telling this to Jenny & Tina - who double over with laughter and even had me in tears recounting it...

Earlier this summer, J and I were driving by a big lawn on the way to errands one evening. We enjoy spotting the groundhogs that often litter the green expanse, so I was keeping my eyes open. And saw this incredible image. A groundhog RUNNING! He was booking somewhere (and I like to think it was a joyous and not a lifesaving type of thing). He flew over dips, legs extended in each direction. The cheetah-hog. Awesome....

Two catchup books.
Book #12 - Autobiography of a Schizophrenic Girl: The true story of "Renee" w/ forward by Frank Conroy. Fascinating. Renee's story is presented in so matter of fact a manner. Things just get very different from normal. The extent of the loss of reality defies categorization and she's often forced to bucket things in ways that aren't right just to try to convey what's going on. Voices, for example, are more compulsions from "elsewhere". The therapist's interpretation is baffling to me. First, she often uses "psycho-babble" - words that do not need to exist (like utilize in business!!), where syllables are added just to make it sound more official. Then, she's pinned all of Renee's issues to the fact that she was weaned prematurely. Geh? How about the fact that her mother discovered her father cheating, which broke up the marriage and made her mother threaten suicide - right at the time when Renee first started experiencing symptoms???? Never mentioned it. Seemed weird. Good book though.

Book #13 - The Secret of Two-Edge: Book 6 in the ElfQuest reader's collection by Richard & Wendy Pini. To balance #12 - I don't have much to say. Kinda' fun, kinda' ok. Meh.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Two quick food bytes

I had a couple of recipe requests on Twitter - so I'm posting them here quickly. I owe 2 books - hopefully this weekend...

J's simple pho
(note, J does not cook by recipe and is uncertain of volumes. Use best judgement)
Broth: veggie broth ~1/2 strength. Oyster sauce. onion, garlic, hot pepper. Powdered ginger. Dry lemongrass.

Cook shrimp in the boiling broth. Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes early (if using dry - if using ones packed in oil, add at end w/ peas)

Make rice noodles in another pot (the ones we tried fell apart too easily; need to find sturdier noodles)

Combine stuff in bowls, add pea pods broken into bit-sized bits. Serve with basil, lemon balm leaves, and hot sauce.

Bulgar w/ peas, sun-dried tomatoes, & mint

Melt 1tbsp butter in a saucepan. Add 1c bulgar, a couple of cloves of crushed garlic. Toast briefly.
Add 2c water, frozen peas, and some dry ginger.
Let simmer until most liquid is gone. Meanwhile re-hydrate sun-dried tomatoes (if you have dry (same as above) - place in 1c water and heat in microwave til boiling - let sit 5min.
Add chopped sun-dried tomatoes, chopped fresh mint leaves, and a bit more dry ginger.