Archive for March, 2006

March 31st, 2006

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I’ve made a resolution to try making all of the things I so greatly want a Vita-Mix (or a K-tec [the Jamba machine, squee!]) for with the immersion blender I already have. So far I have produced: a delicious creamy soft serve banana concoction (which, consisting as it did of only a frozen banana and a splash of milk, sounds more complicated than it was) and hummus, which actually mixed together with astoundingly less time and fuss than I remembered. I will go out on a limb and say that it was easy, and pretty quick. Not as miraculously instantaneous as a machine twelve times the cost (and that number is arbitrary, since I have no clue how much my Thunderstick was — it was a gift), but quick enough, and today for lunch I’m going to have hummus on toast with spinach and cucumber and tomato, and that’s delightful indeed.

This weekend is for cleaning. I will say it again: This weekend is. for. cleaning. It is not for getting out the broom and putting it on the living room floor and then lying on the couch watching tv and occasionally glancing at the broom. It is not for dusting the computer screen for a better view of the Sims. It is not for washing dishes so that they can be used for something elaborate and unnecessary and then left, once again, in a dirty heap in the sink. And it is not, for god’s sake, for paging through every book before it can be put on the shelf.

It is for:

  • scrubbing the bathtub
  • scrubbing the toilet
  • scrubbing the sinks – bathroom & kitchen
  • wet-jetting the bathroom floor
  • wet-jetting the kitchen floor
  • putting away all books – yes, All. Books. Without first reading.
  • arranging all action figures: on shelf or in box for long-term storage – Yes, All.
  • deep breath now – cleaning up the desk. All of it. Including the boxes under it. Yes, all of them. ALL.
  • dusting, which MUST be completed LAST – dusting is not allowed prior to any other task’s completion

Things that are not allowed before completion of all above tasks

(yes, ALL):

  • email
  • IM
  • Sims
  • let’s just call it anything to do with the computer that is not strictly related to causing cleaning-mood music (which does not include any downloading of new music or looking up of lyrics or any lyrics-inspired website redesigns)
  • bike-riding
  • walking to the store
  • grocery shopping
  • eating out
  • elaborate meals in
  • fleeing to parents’ to do laundry (and thus be taken to lunch and/or dinner, possibly a movie)
  • movies, for that matter
  • tv
  • phone calls
  • reading! yes, no reading allowed! NONE.
  • using cleaning as excuse to skip exercising; exercising remains mandatory

Exceptions/allowances:

  • dancing is allowed
  • singing is allowed
  • joy is mandatory
  • for every hour of cleaning, one (ONE) seven-minute break; breaks are cumulative and are to be taken WITH TIMER RUNNING; all disallowed activities are allowed on breaks, but *must be completed within five seconds of timer going off*

I think that covers it. And lord, I need a lie-down just thinking about it.

March 30th, 2006

» ‘brand new now to you’

Last night Jo invited me to her Triple Threat class at the YWCA, which was fantastic. We did 20 minutes on the BOSU — it’s like half a big exercise ball attached to a plastic circle. We used it rounded-side-up, but apparently there are lots of things you can do with it the other way too. We did all sorts of aerobics moves on it; it reminded me a little of a step on crack. It’s all about balance, so on my part there was a great deal of flailing around and touching back to the ground and then getting right back in it. The next 20 minutes were strength and toning with the medicine ball, the hardest part of which for me was all the jumping, because by then my legs were jumped out and were no longer terribly interested in propelling my body off the ground and were most definitely not interested in lifting both feet off the ground simultaneously. The last third was yoga, sweet yoga, full of contortions and more flailing and then lying on the ground really liking the whole not moving thing.

I’ve been thinking a lot about exercise lately, and food, and my body, and I have a lot of things to say about it but now isn’t the time. Largely because now is the time for working, not nattering on here with the navel-gazing.

But before I get to it, I must briefly celebrate learning to like my own tabbouleh. If I remember I’ll post a picture soon because it’s the most beautiful dish — darkly, lushly green with parsley, flecked with bulgur, with inviting sleek red hints of tomato. Mixing it up before the final dishing, just looking at it, I had the oddest sense of craving — not a mouth-craving, which I’m used to with food, but a body-craving. Some part of my physical being I don’t know I’ve ever heard from before telling me Yes, yes, yes. So I was all set to love this gorgeous, swooningly nutritious dish. And I tasted it, and POW there was parsley and lemon and PARSLEY and tangyherby, and my tongue reeling, trying to make sense of things, staggering around ‘I’m trying, I’m trying, but isn’t this a garnish?’ And we, my mouth and I, were valiant, we truly tried, but eventually my throat took pity and said No more, enough.

So I boxed up what I couldn’t eat, and the leftovers, and put them in the fridge with a sinking heart, thinking about all that wasted tomato. I had my fingers crossed that the lemon and just-cut parsley and mint and all would calm down a little overnight, would lose some of their assaulting pungency. I resolved that I would try at least two bites at every meal for the rest of the week, and if I still didn’t like it then it could go in the garbage.

Monday lunch? Some combination of the overnight in the fridge and my tastebuds regrouping worked magic. And I could not only eat an entire serving, but I was actually kind of liking it with my mouth as well as that weird nebulous unidentified body place that seems to be smart about nutrition. And I have been liking it more and more ever since.

So now I am one for two on the multiple-try-policy, which I consider a very good thing.

March 28th, 2006

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So, this Vita-Mix thing. Anyone have one, or know someone who does? Is it worth it? What is the just-as-good-but-way-cheaper alternative?

I’m in the market for something I hope can double as a blender and a food processor — I do have a li’l three-cup processor, but I find it’s hard to make/mix anything of much quantity or thickness in it (though it’s great for chopping things), and I have an immersion blender which is great for soups but so far I’ve been likewise unable to get the trick of easily mixing anything thick with it (like hummus or nut butter).

Maybe there is no such thing as an appliance that makes these things painlessly, but I like to dream.

March 24th, 2006

» spring, some years hence

Yesterday’s entry ground to a striking halt beneath a mountain of work. And I don’t expect today to be any different, really, but I’m trying to steal a little time before everyone gets rolling (or, you know, shows up).

This morning I stepped outside to the unexpected smell of carnival — faint but unmistakeable, the delirious scent of something sweet and empty-carbolicious being fried, and my soul briefly but violently craved funnel cake and elephant’s ears. Luckily it’s passed now, as I imagine any quantity of either of those things would probably make me ill, used as I am now to a diet largely composed of veggies and whole grains and other relatively unprocessed things. And actually, if you set a funnel cake and about any piece of fruit in front of me right now, I would choose the fruit. Especially if it were a banana because I haven’t had one all week, woe. Must get to the grocery store.

This weekend I pledge to do my taxes and stare at my finances long enough that I can make a reasonable guess about how much I can afford to put into my shiny new retirement account. Or the shiny retirement account I will open for myself on Monday, anyway. It makes me feel secure. Like maybe one day I really will be one of those fit ass-kicking old ladies who backpacks around Europe for months at a stretch.

And like maybe one day I really will have a tinyhouse of my own. I think about it off and on all the time — mostly during those rare sporadic fits of cleaning and unpacking (still, woe). I mentally plot out the space I think I need — the space I could do without. How I might like to have things arranged. Trying to imagine the walls pulled in a little closer. Everything more efficient, smoother, cleaner. Smelling of new raw wood and sunlight. A garden full of bell peppers and tomatoes and carrots. Lemongrass in the windowbox. A tree heavy with cherries. Little porch with a hammock and me lost in a book. Birdsong.

March 23rd, 2006

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Dear snow:

WTF?! Knock it off.

Yours,
Rachel-who’s-sick-of-winter.

I don’t know if it’s giving up pop (and so the extra midday caffeine) or not having any television this week to keep me up (well, any programmed television; I’ve watched an episode of Ballykissangel the last few nights, but had the tv off by 8:30), but I’ve been in bed by 9, lights-out by 9:30, the past two nights. I’ve been too exhausted for anything else, but I wake refreshed, awake, shortly before 6.

I spent all of last night dreaming I was Neo in the Matrix. There were only a few of us humans left, and we were trying to get to the center of the machines’ operation to save humanity. It was insanely treacherous, dangerous, the way impossible and full of traitors and gunfire. My dream self spent the night honestly not knowing whether or not I’d live through it.