Monday, December 15, 2014

I've Made A Huge Mistake

stitches

Ha ha! So, THAT happened.

Let me tell you something that Myra told me when I was in therapy, say there's a hole in the street that you keep walking into. My favorite part about this metaphor is that I actually did walk into a hole in a street once, of course I did, that is absolutely the sort of thing that I do. When I'm walking breathlessly next to a boy I have a secret crush on. Onnnne hundred percent me. ANYWAY I only ever literally walked into a hole once, but figuratively, yeah, over and over. At first you're not aware of the hole at all, and finally you have an epiphany: this is a hole. Then it happens again and you think, I think this is the same hole. And now that you know that the hole is a thing, the next thing that you do is ...walk into the hole. Even after you're aware of the hole, even after you're aware that you're doing something that finds you in the hole, it still takes a lot of finding yourself in the hole again and again before you're aware that you're doing that thing RIGHT NOW—ah, dammit. And then there's a lot of stuff after that, which I'm not even up to.

Where I am is like a frog in a pot over low heat, getting myself into hot water in slow motion. Which is an improvement, credit where credit's due, over diving into hot water like I used to. What I've been doing for the past six weeks, or six months, who knows, is gradually doing more and more, more work, more clients, more workouts, learn to skate clinics, ref practices, but where I think I specifically went wrong was that I added strength training in my offseason and then when home season started back up, I added skate practices back in but didn't subtract anything. The upshot of which was, I think I might not have had a single day off for like twelve weeks. And that was me, unaware, doing the thing that finds the track with my face. Again.

Ah well. My face is already healed up! And I rejiggered my chart, so I have Saturdays off:

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
morning morning morning morning morning morning morning
HOME
Cooking
WORK
 
HOME
Cooking
WORK
 
WORK
 
WORK
 
HOME
Cleaning
SYSTEMS
appts
WORK
 
SYSTEMS
bills
WORK
 
WORK
 
WORK
 
PASTIME
 
afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon
PLAY^^
 
PLAY
practice
PLAY^^
 
PLAY^^
 
PLAY
scrimmage
PASTIME
 
PASTIME
 
evening evening evening evening evening evening evening
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP

In all honesty my face is healed up, but a lot of the rest of me is a mess. Not having to do with the injury, but with the stuff that led up to the injury. That was just before Thanksgiving, after which I had two weeks of happily wallowing in sloth. And two weeks after that, I can't get myself out like the sad diorama at La Brea. Which is a known issue at this time of year, so the thing to do is not panic. So that's what I'm doing right now, not panicking.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

State of the Blog

m: oh no!

p: oh no what?

m: one of the domos fell off one of the horses.

p: what horses?

horsemen

p: LOL!
m: they've been there for like a month.

So. I'm doing this State of the Blog a couple weeks ahead of time, usually these state of the Bs are the last week of the month. Because I'm done with my big project this year, the food charts and cooking practices, and now I want to dust sheet everything and close the house for the season. Just not think about it for a couple weeks, and then think about what I want write to next year. How I want to write.

Quick look at the dipstick: stats have leveled off at around 350 hits per day, about 10,000 per month. Earnings actually seem to have ticked up a bit, by which I mean they're around $5/month. I should get my first $100 payout early next year. I look at stats and earnings like I look at my weight: not with a lot of interest or initiative, but I still look. It is what it is, it's fine, it doesn't change much.

I'm much more interested in having a project, I haven't thought what that's going to be yet.

Guess what though, I bought a new domain name: Nomnomnomicon. Hahaha! So I also have to think what one blog will be to the other. I mean, I feel pretty well settled with not at all trying to write either of them to the world. I write to myself or to my clients or classes, and leave it out here in case somebody else finds it useful. Both of them will still be like that, only maybe alla Poppy will be more like the magazine and Nomnomnomicon will be more like the book.

But first, the sheets. The white. The calm.

Oh, I just had idea for something I could write.

See, that's how it is.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Late Fall Tuesday Cooking Practice

Oh woop, today is meat, greens, and quinoa day, but Sunday I was out of greens so I made kale and I was excited about fitting potatoes in the oven so I made potatoes. So I'm all done for the week.

Thank god, because the house needs to be cleaned super bad.

I'm just going to drop this little factoid here, I usually can't cook and do something else. I mean, I probably could have managed popping some potatoes in the oven and then getting on with housecleaning. Focusing on one thing in a big chunk of time works a lot better for me, though. Just saying it helps to not overschedule yourself and thus not set yourself up for failure, that wears on a soul time and time again.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Stand Up 2x/Hour


Part four of four daily practices for whole day fitness.

Did I ever tell you, I'm sure I have, about having to do country reports in sixth grade and I only got a Good on my Poland report; there were two higher designations, I forget what, but basically I got a C, I KNOW, I deeply believed that my life was ruined. Because in describing the topography, I only detailed the mountains and rivers and valleys and neglected the very large plain in the middle that I guess is mostly Poland? Idk I still have a pretty unclear concept of Poland, I pretty much blocked it out after that. Which really is the only plausible explanation for why I never ate a paczki until this year.

Anyway the last piece of my whole day fitness puzzle is like that, the very large plain in the middle. Which for me is my work day, my office work. Which I spend mostly sitting, I get into the office at 9:30 AM—a super-sweet deal thanks to the aforementioned forward thinking office manager—and putter around a bit getting my breakfast, and then pretty much sit from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

I've written a bunch of stuff about what sitting does, that info is still pretty good though I've improved my answer about what to do about that. Omghaha remember when I tried those hourly exercise breaks, I demented myself. The very simple thing to do is, just stand up twice an hour. That's it! Literally get up, reset glutes-abs-supes—did I tell you about supes, supes is my new word for rotator cuff muscles, come to one of my classes and you can hear alllll about supes—and sit back down. Anything more than that is gravy, stretch a bit, sure, go for a little walk, lovely, climb a flight of stairs, if you must. I like to keep it as simple and undisruptive as possible to my work. Maybe I'd be healthier if I wrangled cows for a living, but that's not what this service economy has to offer me and these spreadsheets aren't going to wrangle themselves! And anyway, let's not romanticize manual labor. Everything is pluses and minuses, I just need to undo this little minus of mine by unsitting now and again. Do you see what I'm saying? If sitting too much is the problem, the solution doesn't have to be LIFT THREE HUNDRED POUNDS. Though that's a very admirable goal in itself. The simple solution is... don't sit too much. How do you don't sit? Stand up!

The problem with my hourly exercise breaks was a) too complicated, and b) gah, an alarm going off twice an hour. I tried it and it didn't work, no shame in that. I'll tell you what eventually did work to set this habit and when you hear what it is you can join me in a hearty YMMV.

jelly bracelets

Jelly bracelets. I ordered a bunch of them off Amazon, I suppose you could also get them at Hot Topic lol. So I get into work at 9:30 and putter around so I'm up and about, that leaves 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, and 4 times two is fourteen jelly bracelets that go on my left wrist. Whenever I get up, a jelly bracelet goes from my left wrist to my right wrist. So I know if it's 12:15, I should already have four jellies on my right wrist (two for 10, two for 11) and now's as good a time as any to stand up and move another one over.

What if you get behind on jellies? It's jelly bracelets, how seriously are you going to take them? Do jumping jacks, whatever. Or quietly note "faaack" and go back to counting your bracelets, meditation is everywhere, amirite? Make a jelly discard pile and frown at it. You don't have to kill yourself over this, the whole point of this is to unkill yourself. This is a very low impact thing that has a huge impact on your health, and you know what, also your fitness, and also your athleticism. So basically, my favorite kind of thing.

And so it goes until all fourteen are on the right and it's time to get up and go home like Fred Flintstone.

I mean, I get that the significant flaw in this plan is that it has you wearing jelly bracelets. It doesn't have to be jelly bracelets. And it's not forever, I just wore them until I had this down and now I don't wear them anymore. Mostly. I might be wearing them now. Don't you know when you stress out a sixth grader about getting a C on a report, what you get is a forty-seven year old woman who wears jelly bracelets now and again.

Obviously the cost of shipping would exceed the cost of jelly bracelets but if you throw them on another of your Amazon orders, remember you can buy through Amazon Smiles in support of the Windy City Rollers. Use the URL http://smile.amazon.com/ and search for Windy City Rollers. Most purchases are eligible for us to get a cut!


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Late Fall Sunday Cooking Practice

Now that I've wrapped up a year of food charts, it occurs to me how much of what I eat and what I cook have to do with what I publish. I mean, right? I have this editorial calendar, which means this shooting schedule, which means this cooking plan, which means this food that I eat. More about this later, but I was reflexively planning—just in my head, not on paper or anything—what I was going to cook when, next year, and had an epiphany that I don't have to write about food next year, of course not, I don't have to do anything. It's just that writing about food has been going on for a long time for me, circumspicere, how far does this blog go back? Geez, 2009. That's like five years. Of photographing my food before I eat it. Of that, really it's been the last two years that I've been seriously developing these food charts. Which is still a long time, long enough that it was a slow realization that eating and taking pictures could be unhitched. And that eating might flower into something totally else with that freedom, kind of like, well, I did. When I got unhitched.

Anyway.

I had sort of a car wreck of a week last week where I managed to make all the food on the chart, but then did not want to eat any of the food. I just couldn't face microwaved eggs at work, and idk what but the slow chicken I made last week was just gross. Meat, greens, and quinoa were fine.

So today started with taking stock: I still have four shakshuka jars in the fridge and I still don't think I can face microwaved eggs so it's going to be peanut butter apples for breakfast. And bleagh last week's chicken really put me off slow chicken, so it's going to be baked chicken shakshuka, hey-o, for lunch. I have roasted edamame, almonds, and cashews for afternoon snack. And the sweetie man's made spaghetti with meat sauce for the past two weeks and there's plenty of meat sauce left over, so that will stand in for meat and all I need is greens and starch.

Oh first of all, I made sweet clafouti with fresh apple for breakfast and put the peels in the toaster oven for crispy apple sticks. And then I got sidetracked setting up my old R3s for a recruit who wants to borrow them for tonight's clinic.

1. Cook kale.

In fact I need greens now-ish, I finished the greens in the fridge on Thursday. So first thing is I put some water on to blanch the kale.

2. Bake chicken, and also tomatoes, garlic, and jalapenos for guacamole.

So I bone a package of chicken thighs and put them in a baking pan, and I also want to bring some guacamole to Sparty's to watch the Bears game tonight so I figure out how to jam all of that in the same pan:

chicken and salsa fixins

I hope all that cooks evenly, I suppose I could have spread them out a bit more on a baking sheet. But then I wouldn't have been able to:

3. Bake potatoes.

If you're wondering how big my oven is, it exactly fits a 13x9 baking pan and four baking potatoes. I figured that sounded good for dinner, baked potatoes with meat sauce and kale. I got the idea from Food52.

And now the apple sticks are done, because life is good like that. Brb!

Coda

Okay so, the potatoes are in little foil jackets in the fridge like Food52 said to do. The chicken I cut up and filled two pint mason jars, it may or may not be enough. I may have snacked on a couple three all of the crispy chicken skins, what, they don't keep and they're yum.

Quick ran a knife through the tomatoes, jalapenos, and garlic, and cut open all the avocados I had in the fridge, it's kind of time for an avocado turnover around here. Mashed it all together and voila:

guacamole

Not to be disloyal, but I have a feeling this isn't the only green we're going to be eating tonight. PROVE ME WRONG, CUTLER.

Finalmente, I decided to toss the blanched kale in the remaining chicken fat and tomato-jalapeno juices and finish it in the oven. I just took a peek at that and some of the top bits had crisped up like kale chips, that's not going to keep either so yum.

Sheesh, life is time-consuming. Just enough time to get the kale out of the oven and wash up for LTS and referee practice tonight. At least I've snacked enough, I think I'm okay on food!

GOD DAMN IT, CUTLER.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Late Fall Food Chart




Black coffee in bed.
Eggs shakshuka for work breakfasts.
fried eggs shakshuka at home.
Slow chicken with steamed vegetables for most lunches.
Tea and fruit for afternoon snack.
Ground meat, greens, and quinoa for pre-workout dinner.
I have to stop trying to make fish happen.
Beetlejuice for pre-workout drink.
Cococherry2O for workout drink.
Peanut butter apple for post-workout snack.
It's mulled wine season, motherfuckers.

Not a lot different this month, just my new favorite thing is crispy fried eggs.

Ultimate food chart! Always tweaking...
Late fall food planner for the extremely detail-oriented.

Omg I just counted and I've done twelve of these, that means I'm donnnnne. Yeyyy, a month earlier than I thought. That means I can cancel cancel cancel stuff from my to do list, clear my head for home season and the holidays and what I want to do for next year...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Furious Fitness Chart

As I do:

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
morning morning morning morning morning morning morning
HOME
cooking
WORK
 
HOME
cooking
WORK
 
WORK
 
WORK
 
PLAY^
strength
PLAY^^
 
WORK
 
HOME
bills
WORK
 
WORK
 
WORK
 
HOBBY
appts
PASTIME
 
PLAY
practice
PLAY^^
 
PLAY^^
 
PLAY
scrimmage
PASTIME
 
PASTIME
 
4 5 4 4 5 2 3
evening evening evening evening evening evening evening
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP

I'm not as driven as I was to hit my marks, not that this is a bad fitness chart at all. Three high intensity workouts, check; three low intensity workouts, check + 1; three rests, check + 1, I know, that adds up to 9.

So let's look at it from a whole day fitness view: two high intensity days, three low intensity days, one very low intensity day, one rest day = 7 days. Where the "ideal" is three high, two low, and two rest, and idk how I feel about ideal anymore. Ideal is as ideal does, and this is what does for the way my life is right now. I might get a little time freed up on Tuesday now and again, and then I can slot in another strength workout:

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
morning morning morning morning morning morning morning
HOME
cooking
WORK
 
HOME
cooking
WORK
 
WORK
 
WORK
 
PLAY^
strength
PLAY^^
 
WORK
 
HOME
bills
WORK
 
WORK
 
WORK
 
HOBBY
appts
PASTIME
 
PLAY
practice
PLAY^
strength
PLAY^^
 
PLAY
scrimmage
PASTIME
 
PASTIME
 
4 5 5 4 5 2 3
evening evening evening evening evening evening evening
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP

That would work, too.

But my basic plan is, walk in the morning, don't sit for more than 30 minutes without a break, meditate in the afternoon, and stretch in the evening, balls out for the high intensity workouts that I do get, and then, er, balls back in and be present for my clients.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy Election Day!

YAY VOTING

Now introducing Kevin S. Johnson, Shanna sent him to live with us like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in reverse.

Monday, November 3, 2014

How to be Furious Chart

So you know, one of my favorite books is Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day and one of the central tropes of my life comes from when the butler is feeling out of sorts and has an epiphany, he needs a new staff plan. I am that butler! You probably do know because I've probably already told you this eighty times. Anyway I've been feeling a little out of sorts and then I had an epiphany, I need a new chart. There are food charts and fitness charts but then there are these whole life charts to rule them all. Though really, fitness rules everything else around here. Or really, derby rules everything. Which doesn't so much reflect the importance of derby, just that derby is done with other people and that time is not all my own. So whatever part of my derby year I'm in, I organize the rest of my life around that. In a chart! I love charts.

I thought I'd start giving them more fun names, too. So here we are going back into home season, time to get furious:

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
morning morning morning morning morning morning morning
HOME
Cooking
WORK
 
HOME
Cooking
WORK
 
WORK
 
WORK
 
PLAY^
strength
PLAY^^
 
WORK
 
SYSTEMS
bills
WORK
 
WORK
 
WORK
 
SYSTEMS
appts
afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon afternoon
PASTIME
 
PLAY
practice
PLAY^^
 
PLAY^^
 
PLAY
scrimmage
PASTIME
 
PASTIME
 
evening evening evening evening evening evening evening
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP

On the one hand, this chart is elegant in its simplicity. On the other hand, lol headdesk I am never going to get my house clean; my mom is rolling her eyes in her grave right now. OH WELL, it is what it is. I think it's going to be like this through March.

I had my fun with Sunday like a normal person, but I'm putting that cooking practice back in. I pretty much blew a fuse with that hella long cooking practice and didn't cook at all for the next two weeks. A new super nice thing on Sunday, though, is that referees shortened and moved up their practice, so I have my block of classes in the afternoon more or less and then have the evening free for pastime pursuits.

Not much else to comment on, I'm seeing if I can stick with these four days of work and hanging for dear life onto these two cooking blocks and these two systems blocks.

Pretty majorly rethinking how I'm going to do this blog. Maybe by cutting out my social life? I kid. Sort of?

Will zoom in on the fitness breakdown in another chart. As I do.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Offseason Review

I really love how this session whittled itself down right from the start, no seriously, not being ironic at all. I feel like I can totally respect what Marcus Martinez has to say and still be confident about what's going to work for me. Which is pretty great!

So I ended up, or at this point I should say, I started out with:

Sunday: 15 minute onskates interval session
Monday: 60 minute housecleaning session
Tuesday: 45 minute strength session
Wednesday: 60 minute foot and body rub
Thursday: AD HOC TIME
Friday: rest and relaxation
Saturday: 45 minute strength session
a 30 minute walk every other morning
15 minutes of meditation every afternoon
15 minutes of stretching every evening

And here's how that actually rolled:

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
SEP 21^
 
22
}mnf
23
{
24^
//foot
25
\\
26
}birds
27^
}n&b
28^^
//hiit
29
\\
30^
//dead
OCT 1
/
2
}pizza
3
}wine
4^
//squat
//dead
5^^
 
6
/
7^^
 
8
/
9
/
10
{who
11^
//tacos
12
 
13
}mgp
14^^
//squat
15^
//foot
16
\\
17
{shield
18^
//dead
19^^
//hiit
20
}pumpkin
21^^
 
22^^
 
23
{
24
{gotham
25^
//dead
26^^
//hiit
27
\\
28^^
 
29
//bison
30
//joann
31
{shield
NOV 1
}hair

First of all, that whole first week was supposed to be a complete rest break. Had I thought it through beforehand, I wouldn't have scheduled that post-bout 9/21 learn to skate clinic. I forgot that I'm always beyond drained after a bout, it was a horrorshow dragging myself off the couch to teach. Though, I think it went all right. Besides that, this was just a fun, social week: Monday Night Football at the Coffinnails, Tuesday Nora cancelled so I just holed up, Wednesday foot and body rub, Thursday I did some housecleaning apparently, Friday me and the sweetie man went to see The Birds wot I wrote, and Saturday was Nipps & Babe's wedding picnic.

Sunday: 15 minute onskates interval session
I did my onskates interval workout once, it was pretty great. The next week was post doing Saturday back squats and deadlift, oh my god I was so sore. Here's where I feel like I finally get making wise choices for myself, I jettisoned the interval workout and just twirled around a bit teaching LTS and referees. The week after that I had a break from LTS and referees, you best believe I took it! The last two weeks my interval workouts were courtesy Flo and Sparty—and incidentally 60, not 15 minutes.

So that's, what, 3/5 weeks covered? Not half bad.

Monday: 60 minute housecleaning session
Who could have predicted, housecleaning got the short end of the stick. The chart shows that I cleaned 4/6 weeks, but this was light housecleaning at best.

Tuesday: 45 minute strength session
I got started with deadlifts, and then I picked up my new Tuesday client. I squeezed in some back squats on a rainy night that I took the bus and was way early; theoretically I could always go early, do my workout, then train my two clients... but it doesn't really work like that. There's other things on my list to do on Tuesday; you can't just keep jamming one more thing into a day, which is a finite container. There'a point where you have to choose, I chose the other things for now.

So, 2/5. Not good, but it is what it is.

Wednesday: 60 minute foot and body rub
Kris and I only got 2/6 foot and body rubs in, I can't complain. I got some extra ad hoc nights writing for clients and blog, interviewing my new Wednesday client, and running some bike errands that ending up with eating bison chili at the Boxstone's.

Thursday: AD HOC TIME
Ad hoc time was a huge success and went just as not planned, and not even all on Thursday: the aforementioned Monday Night Football, a pizza quest, a little systems work, A-bomb's storytelling night, pumpkin carving at Biggie and Outlaw's house, more bike errands to get things for silly domo costumes.

Friday: rest and relaxation
Rest and relaxation, you don't have to tell me twice: the aforementioned Birds, wine party at Trouble's, and the rest couch time watching nerdy television.

Saturday: 45 minute strength session
Last but not least, 3/5 on Saturday strength workouts. After the horrorshow back squats + deadlifts workout, well first, Problem organized a taco bike ride. Long ride, lots of tacos. Then I scaled back to just deadlifts and did two more weeks of those, and then Travis cancelled his workout the last week so I got my hair did:

blue

Oh and, I did pretty all right with the daily practices: walks happened about 4-5x/week, meditation happened about 5-6x/week, stretching happened about 3-4x/week. That's about right. Still working up to the 15 minutes of stretching, I'll get there when I get there.

Overall, I really liked how this break turned out. Even that it started out whittled down, and then it whittled itself down even more. I feel like for the first time ever I felt engaged with what was really going on with me, and not stressed over some ideal training plan. In hindsight, I was trying to accomplish at least three different objectives: rest, crosstrain, and socialize. When you try to do three things at once, ha well, first of all, housecleaning doesn't happen, and you don't get really down with any one of them. But the game isn't always to really get down with one thing, sometimes the game is getting a little bit down with as much of three things that you don't normally get as you can fit into six weeks.

And also, six weeks is just a start and I'm just figuring things out. I plan to keep strength training at least once a week through home season, so will update that again.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

State of the Biz
 fall 2014

ninjas

Where was I:

Right now I have three solid clients, all on Tuesday night. Which I love! Whom I love! Kris and I run at six from my house to the Puerto Rican flag on Division past Western and back, which is 5K, then I bike to Vie and torture Travis with tabata at 7:30 and then Nora picks up all the heavy things at 8:30.

Step one was supposed to be shoring up my four clients. How it's turned out is, I shored up three of them and picked up Thursday at the office. Not just for Thursday's sake, I have a huge project that I'm trying to get done in, say, the next twelve weeks? I really enjoy it, it's math, and I get to wear jeans and nobody talks to me because they don't know I'm there on Thursday, doing my math.
So it was like that for a while, and then Travis moved to Saturday and then Kris moved to Wednesday, and then I won Jason in the raffle at the Black and Blue Gala, I put him on Tuesday before Nora starting at the beginning of this month, and then Travis referred Steven, I put him on Wednesday after Kris starting at the beginning of next month. So there are five clients, for real.

Meanwhile at work, I was only able to keep up the pretense that I wasn't there on Thursday for two, maybe three weeks. Work is like water, it always finds its own level. I've barely been able to do the project that was the reason for me picking up Thursday, but the busy stuff just let up like this week. I figure it'll take me at least until Thanksgiving to finish my project if nobody bothers me, and then I can figure out what I want to do. How much work I want to do. Because right now I have no days off, I'm doing all right but that doesn't seem sustainable? And practices start back up next week.

It's delightful having money again, though.

I'm suuuuper looking forward to Thanksgiving, I feel like I haven't had more than twelve hours just to relax since New Orleans. What will I even do with a whole day, and actually my work always gets Thanksgiving and Black Friday as paid holidays, thanks to the very forward thinking office manager they had back in the day (me), so that's two whole days, and actually actually I think my clients and classes will be cancelled that weekend, mein gott. Four whole days.

Ad Hoc
 6 of 6

This thing about letting myself lay on the couch for half an hour or an hour and then I'll get my second wind, this has been the object lesson of this break.

// bike to Joann Fabrics
\ make vanilla pudding
# meat, greens, and quinoa

I've been in a mood about food. "I'm starving and I hate everything" was going to be my facebook status, but I didn't want to be cheered up and what if nobody tried to cheer me up? The only winning move was not to play. And I might not hate vanilla pudding. Though then standing and stirring and a teeny bit of tasting improved my mood enough that I could face a bowl of meat, greens, and quinoa, and why not, it's very good. So I'm saving the vanilla pudding for tomorrow.

Ack, why didn't I take tomorrow off from work?! Then I could have sat at home watching champs and making Halloween costumes for my menagerie, which was what Joann Fabrics was for.

Now that I've eaten, I feel a lot better. Haha.

/ State of the Biz
/ tasks

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

7 Minute Evening Stretch


Part three of three, or maybe four, daily practices for whole day fitness.

Last or maybe second to last but not least, 20-40 minutes of stretching/foam roller/indian clubs. To which I say, someday may I be that good. Right now, I need to get this started as a microhabit, just seven basic stretches, some L&Rs, ten breaths each, it seems to time out to just around seven minutes.

Actually what seems to have worked is bundling this microhabit with two others: first, when I feel like I'm ready for bed, I tidy up the front room a little bit. Which really I started to get myself to unpack my gear and let it air out overnight for the love of god. Sometimes all I do is unpack my gear and straighten out the throw on the couch. Then stretching is supposed to be next, but lately it feels more right to brush my teeth—so here's me tinkering, doing a little bit of habit engineering. Then habits cling to each other, you know? Let's just gloss over how not good I used to be about brushing my teeth every night, now it wouldn't feel right not to brush my teeth and then it feels like the next natural thing to do is wash my face. Which I used to be less than not good at, I just never did. And then a washed face sort of inspires a little beauty treatment, don't you think? That leaves me really in the mood to keep being nice to myself, so then I roll out my mat to stretch.

How I do:
  • Yoga block raise for future handstands
  • Forward bend for hamstrings
  • Pigeon for IT bands, L&R
  • Forward lunge for hip flexors, L&R
  • Forty-five lunge for adductors, L&R
  • Seated forward bend for upper back
  • Seated back bend for chest

Then bed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Catch-up Cooking Practice

Last week's food was:

  • peanut butter apples for breakfast
  • Chipotle bowls for lunch
  • no afternoon snacks because the bowls were actually pretty filling
  • random dinners
    • chicken torta from Taco Burrito Express
    • veggie chili at Biggie's
    • crispy fried eggs with the last of the greens and quinoa and then I really had no food in the house
    • Denver omelet with a double side of fruit for my meeting with my new client (there are five clients!) at Hollywood Grill
    • egg and rice
    • Little Caesar's hot and ready pepperoni pizza
    • and Saturday night I requested cake (for dinner!) but the sweetie man forgot and I had peanut butter apple instead
I'm already mostly caught up with my food now, "caught up," as if you don't keep eating it up and are therefore never caught up. I made the shakshuka after my Saturday workout, longest wait for post-workout food EVAR but also most delicious post-workout food ever. Then before I ran out of the house for my long Sunday, I threw together the Chinese ground pork, literally threw all the ingredients including frozen-solid ground pork into the slow cooker, that worked great. Then last night I did the greens and quinoa, et fin. Or well, I still have last week's chicken in the freezer. I was kind of thinking that this week I'd do:
  • peanut butter apples for breakfast
  • eggs shakshuka for lunch
  • tea and nuts if I'm hungry for afternoon snack
  • meat, greens, and quinoa for dinner
I think I will do that, apples are good now. I don't really need post-workout snacks because I'm not really working out.

That means I'm already all caught up, and I can just lay around. Yay.

Monday, October 27, 2014

60 Minute Housecleaning
 6 of 6

OMG, last week of break. I suppose I will sum it all up at the end.

First of all, after my allowed half hour to feel the wind in my fur, I moved my slow thighs into the kitchen.

\\ wash dishes
\ greens
\ quinoa
# meat, greens, and quinoa

I really haven't gotten to housecleaning this whole break, it's all I can do to keep the house picked up:

\\ fold and put away laundry
\\ fix couch

Ehh, idk if I fixed the couch. It's a great couch, it just has a huge split down the middle. I cut away the old patch, which never did hold, stuffed in some more batting and fabric to cover the gap, and covered it with the throw. I can't imagine that this is going to hold, but at least it's better than the raggedy old patch. Sigh, what I really want to do is get this reupholstered, but that's going to be as expensive as a new couch. I can't afford either of them, anyway.

That's enough for now, tomorrow is another day. 'Twould be nice if I could talk myself into my regular evening routine that I didn't do all last week: tidy the front room, stretch, brush. I mean I did brush, finally have that down. Now if only I could make myself stretch. Just like when you're working on hockey stops is when you nail plow stops for good.

ETA: Ah. Needed that.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

60 Minute Offskates Interval Training
 plus 60 min onskates

2:00 PM bootcamp by Sparty, ten stations, 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off, three sets.

Here's how I rolled:

  • plank drag
  • wall sits
  • L&R windmill with 15# kb
  • air squats
  • dead bug
  • bear crawl
  • WTFs
  • L&R one leg squat to bench

Then onskates I think R&L plow, turn, and hockey stops, one-on-one 45s, and two-on-one 45s in the straight and in the turn.

Then 4:00 PM learn to skate clinic.

Then 6:00 PM referee practice.

Haha.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

No Housecleaning
 5 of 6

Home, hungry, tired, wind, fur, egg, rice, couch, television, popcorn. Then bed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

15 Minute Afternoon Meditation


This is part two of three, maybe four, daily practices in what I call whole day fitness.

This is what Marcus Martinez says about meditation:

10-30 minutes of meditation/mindful breathing/close your eyes and not think of shit

The last one is the toughest to get people to do, but will deliver the most in my opinion. I won’t go into the benefits of meditation on this post, but if you’re one of those “I can’t turn off my mind for more than 5 minutes” then let me tell you that you’re one of the people that need it most.

I agreeeee.

This is how I do:

  • I have the intention set in my mind (in my timetracker, actually) that I will meditate every day in the afternoon. Almost always when I say "every day" I mean something more like every other day, which is perhaps an abuse of language; but for meditation I actually mean every day. That said, I fall short sometimes. Falling short is part of meditation. Soo much is part of meditation; it's really hard to say everything that I have to say about meditation, but I'm giving it a shot. Giving it a shot is part of meditation.
  • I'm at the point where I can feel when now's a good time to meditate, usually between tasks. So then, it's go time:
    • if I'm at work I make myself a cup of tea, grab my phone and my keys, step out the office and up a flight and a half of stairs. It's not perfectly undisturbed, but so far nobody from my office—i.e., nobody who actually knows me—has stumbled on me there. I set an alarm on my phone for fifteen minutes from now, and yes, I played a bit with ringtones and volumes so that the alarm doesn't startle me to death when it goes off. Being startled to death is not a part of meditation, I don't think.
    • if I'm at home I sit on the couch, and if the sweetie man's at home I inform him that I'm about to meditate. I set a timer on my computer—I use e.ggtimer— for fifteen minutes, and again check the volume before I start.

So, what's the deal with the tea. Idk, it just turned into a trigger at work, and specifically fragrant tea because there was earl grey tea and then constant comment tea that I was trying to use up. Making the tea and smelling the tea sort of signals that I'm stopping this and starting that. I don't bother with the tea at home, because why? Because it takes too long to boil the water, I can get hot water out of a tap at work, boom, tea.

What's the difference between an alarm and a timer? You have to calculate and enter the time into an alarm, you can just enter the minutes into a timer. A timer is better, I think most smartphones have timers; if I had a smartphone, I'd just use that.

  • So then I start the timer and close or unfocus my eyes, breathe naturally, and count my breaths, not out loud. I count on the exhale and "and" on the inhale, up to four. When I get to four, I start back at one. And that's it, until the timer goes off.

Except. That's never it. And it's not that the above is perfect meditation, and anything that deviates from the above is failed meditation. You get that "perfect" and "failed" are not the only two choices that life has to offer, right? In fact if I had to choose, I'd choose failed. Anyway. The whole thing is meditation: your mind staying focused on your breath, your mind wandering away from your breath and you not even realizing it, realizing your mind has wandered way away from your breath, bringing your mind back to your breath; mediation is all of this. Written even larger, meditation is also ticking off all seven days of 15 minute meditations last week and only two days this week. Or even larger, consistently meditating for twelve weeks and then just stopping for a month and then starting it up again—all meditation.

Right now I'm teaching one-foot balance to my learn to skate class and also to a couple of my clients, I tell them that there are two kinds of balance: one, where you're a calm buddha, perfectly centered and strong in your core; and two, where your arms and free leg are windmilling all over the place; and they're both valuable types of balance; and the real discipline of balance is being able to transition from windmill to buddha, by bringing yourself back, by drawing yourself in.

The real discipline of meditation is also just like that: you notice that you're halfway through a rant at somebody who hurtfully hurt your feelings, or you're busily planning a practice plan, or you're up to 57 in counted breaths. For any of these, I use a technique called "the parade," which in itself can be your whole meditation practice:

On any given day, the parade in my brain includes a wide variety of interesting attractions: mundane logistical thoughts that plod past me like the marchers in a high school band; silly thoughts that tumble through my head like clowns, noble thoughts striding along magnificently like the Budweiser Clydesdales, and humble thoughts that follow the Clydesdales to shovel up their inevitable load of crap. I don't judge or control the elements of my thought procession... I simply call them by name and watch them move on by. —Martha Beck, The Joy Diet

The above is how I started meditation, I switched from that to breath counting with the parade as my recovery mechanism because breath counting gives me that quiet place to return to. I guess I didn't feel like the parade encouraged me at all to go to the quiet place. I know I say this all the time, but now more than ever YMMV.

So when I notice that I'm halfway through a rant I pull back and quietly note, "rant," or even better, "hurt," and then I go back to counting my breaths, when I notice that I'm busily planning I pull back and quietly note, "busy," and then I go back to counting my breaths, when I notice that I'm up to 57 I pull back and quietly note, "haha, whoop" and then I start back at one and count up to four.

If I ticked off all seven days last week and only two days this week, I quietly note "gah, so busy at work," because sometimes it is so busy at work that I feel like I can't hide in the stairwell for fifteen minutes, and then I ask myself, how about now? And if now seems good, I make myself a cup of tea and grab my phone and keys.

If I consistently meditated for twelve weeks and then just stopped for a month, I quietly note, "away," and then ask myself, ready to come back? And if I'm ready, I reset the intention in my mind.

I think maybe the larger point is that at no time am I beating myself up over this. Or if I do notice that I'm beating myself up, I quietly note yadda yadda.

Last but not at all least, the crazy thing is how it turns into so much more than just fifteen minutes counting your breaths. I guess it's because basically you're practicing calmly bringing yourself back to the task at hand, over and over just in the fifteen minutes, then day in and day out, then week by week and so forth. That is a lot of practice, a ton of repetitions. You know what it is, it's WAX ON WAX OFF. You wax on, wax off for fifteen minutes every day, and then somebody tries to sweep your leg and WAX ON comes out of nowhere! Except not nowhere, it came out of those fifteen minutes. I have used it to calm myself down when I'm freaking out, and to turn myself back to my work when I'm obsessing over some stupid drama. In How to Meditate, Lawerence LeShan says that people who meditate might be thought of as otherworldly, but actually are quite grounded and good at things in the real world. Which I initially took with a grain of salt, but now I see it.

You know I don't make any money off this blog except maybe in mid-2015 AdSense is going to pay me $100; but if you're interested in the two books above, you can buy them through Amazon Smiles in support of the Windy City Rollers. Use the URL http://smile.amazon.com/ and search for Windy City Rollers. Most purchases are eligible for us to get a cut!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Food Plan B

I know you've been real worried about what I've been eating since I usurped last Tuesday's cooking practice to get Monday's cleaning done that was usurped by going out to A-bomb's storytelling night. It hasn't been so bad: butter coffee and peanut butter apples for breakfasts, I actually had plenty of slow chicken in the fridge for the rest of the week's lunches, and I actually had plenty of meat, greens, and quinoa in the fridge for the rest of the week's dinners. Kind of a non-story, really. I had the extra chicken because I'd been having butter coffee and peanut butter apples for lunches the past week, I forget why, and I had the extra meat, greens, and quinoa because those recipes make more like a week and a half's worth of dinners, so like every third week I can just skip making them.

I did, however, eat up all the food in the fridge by Sunday afternoon. I stocked up again on apples and peanut butter, and for Monday lunch I activated Plan B: Chipotle. I have two Chipotle options: 1) if I get the salad, that's totally clean by my standards. But, idk why, I like a green salad with protein, but the Chipotle one only tastes okay to me, no offense! So actually 2) if I get the bowl, that counts as an allowed starch and I can make do with just meat and veg for dinner because break. And, I like the bowl a lot. Girl meets Chipotle, film at 11. Idk why I never thought of it before, but it totally works as a Plan B. So if I oddly miss my cooking practice for the week, the whole plan doesn't go out of the window; before if I missed a cooking practice, the default was bagel and cream cheese for breakfast and, you know, coke and chex mix for lunch. I had nothing planned for Monday dinner but Biggie served veggie chili at pumpkin carving, problem solved.

Here's the thing, though: I missed today's cooking practice, too. Wind. Fur. Winter is coming.

ETA 10/23/14: Do you know what? If you order a bowl with no rice and beans, that's basically the exact same thing as a salad without the vinaigrette... but it tastes better. Why is that? Because the lettuce is on top instead of on the bottom? Anyway, now it's back to clean! I do half steak, half chicken, fajita vegetables, tomato salsa, cheese, guacamole, and lettuce. And I ordered and paid for it online, so I just walked over there and picked it right up.


Monday, October 20, 2014

Sunday, October 19, 2014

60 Minute Offskates Interval Training

9:00 AM Fury bootcamp by Flo, twelve stations, 50 seconds on, 10 seconds off, three sets.

Here's how I rolled:

  • L windmill with 15# (?) kettlebell
  • R windmill with 15# (?) kettlebell
  • air squats
  • L straight arm side plank
  • R straight arm side plank
  • L one leg squat to bench
  • R one leg squat to bench
  • forward agility ladder
  • dead bug
  • lateral agility ladder
  • plank
  • wall sit

Not sure what weight that kettlebell was, it was small. In any case, haha holy obliques. I think if I did this workout once a week for six weeks, I'd look like a coke bottle—

Friday, October 17, 2014

Egressions #181-182


181. Porridge championships! Via NPR. Actually, via Riley via Facebook via NPR.
182. One gratin to rule them all. Via Food52.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Housecleaning
 4 of 6

Home, hungry, tired, wind, fur, meat, greens, and quinoa.

Then I get up. There's a pile in the kitchen of all the towels and rags in the house, I guess I could take them to the laundromat. And I could go to Kmart to buy some new towels. Which maybe kind of counts as a thing on my Egression #180 list, she said sheets but towels is close enough? We don't need sheets, and we need towels. We have bath sheets and towels, and we need towels because one of them has finally torn. We also need towels because I don't know where all my rags went, I can get new towels and cut up the old towels into new rags. The old rags, in fact, were cut up from my old towels from college. COLLEGE. I've kept these last two, three bits of cloth for twenty-nine years. I skate against girls younger than these rags.

I'm not sure that buying towels that you pretty unequivocally need counts as making your life more interesting. And besides:

m: did you get yummy towels?
p: ...
p: your mate!
p: is a very boring mate.
m: you got white towels.

Well what can I say, he does know me.

// wash towels
// buy towels

I also don't know that schlepping some towels to the laundromat and some other towels from the store is really what I meant when I said I was going to houseclean. I could wash the corner of the kitchen floor that I cleared out Tuesday morning. I could roll all these plastic grocery bags that I cleared out of that corner. When the old towels come back from the laundromat, I could cut them up into rags. I could read the manual for my new camera. I could write my blog post about meditation. But I think I'm going to bring the laundry home from the laundromat, and then I'm done for the night.

// fold towels
// put away clean and new towels
/ tasks

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

60 Minute Foot and Body Rub

YOU GUYS. Fit Foot is the best. For $28 plus tip, you get a one hour foot and body massage. That is a steal for a massage, which I generally can't afford. And much to my regret! I do regard bodywork as necessary if you, say, play an aggressive contact sport or, at the other end of the spectrum, if you're making the jump from sedentary to active, and for many situations in between.

Fit Foot isn't a typical, by which I mean private, massage experience; so I feel like the most helpful thing would be to give a little primer of what to expect.

It's helpful, but not necessarily necessary to make reservations.

Some of the Yelp reviews say to specify how you like your massage, light or firm or so forth. But you know what, I like to not control all my experiences. And I sort of have the feeling that they massage you however they want, so why turn it into a battle of wills. YMMV!

You keep your clothes on, so shorts or wide-legged pants are ideal for bottoms. I like a tank top best, but a comfortable T-shirt is also good. I don't wear a bra, but I realize this isn't universally doable.

There's three rooms filled with couches, which is where you get massaged. Kind of like a public bath, except like I said you keep your clothes on. You get led to your couch, and you have your own round sort of ottoman with a lid where you put your shoes and anything else that you want to put away.

First you lay on your back with your knees bent so that your lower legs are dangling off the couch. Now this may or may not be comfortable for you; if not, this is a real good time to engage your glutes and abs to hold your pelvis in a neutral position. Your guy comes with a bucket of hot water and puts your feet in, and covers you with a blanket.

While your feet soak, you get a head, neck, and shoulder massage.

After that, your guy covers your eyes and starts on your feet. Not just your feet, also your lower legs; it lasts a good long time.

After a long minute, your guy softly says "hello lady" and that's when you turn over. Your couch has a hole for your face, your guy puts down a liner and punches it open; you lie on your stomach and rest your face on the liner. Then you get your back massaged, pretty much from head to toe.

Really the only parts that don't get massaged are the front of your torso and the fronts of your thighs. Everywhere else, though.

When he gets to the thumping part, you're about done. He tells you when you're done, though. Sit up slowly and carefully, then you get your ottoman back and you can put your shoes and socks back on. You might want to look at your guy, so you know whom to give your tip to—just saying.

You go back to the front desk to pay, they take credit cards but prefer cash and hopefully you brought cash for your tip. Don't be cheap! Tip on the regular price, not the special price. Your guy is sitting in a chair waiting for his tip, you can just hand him the money.

Fit Foot is located at 1459 W Fullerton Ave.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

No Cooking

Okay, I usurped my cooking practice to clean out the corner of the kitchen where the coffee cart is! SO RELIEVED. Now I have no food prepared for the week. Erk. Haha.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Ad Hoc THIS!
 4 of 6

THEORETICALLY I am going to houseclean on Thursday. Though truthfully things aren't looking good for housecleaning at this point.

Anyway tonight I crossed a thing off my Egression #180 list, going to an open mic night. You know, I didn't read that closely; was I supposed to do the open mic night? And anyway it wasn't an open mic night, it was a storytelling night that A-bomb was in. Close enough!

Maybe one day, post derby. I used to do this sort of thing, pre derby.

If I were a proper blogger, I would have taken a picture with me and smiling A-bomb; but no. My new camera did arrive, though! I have to read the manual, and the first picture I want to take is of old camera and bid it a fond farewell.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

MOISTURIZE ME!

p: ack!

p: so the unsub just immoliated himself--

m: emolliated?

m: immolated.

p: haha!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Malanciata

malanciata

This is more what I've been drinking instead of wine spritzers, just so I don't have to buy a bottle of prosecco every Friday night. I already have malort in the house, and malort is delicious with orange, so.

malort
aranciata

Fill a mason jar with ice, then pour over a can of aranciata. Or two cans, and no ice. Add malort to taste; as you know, I drink comically small amounts of alcohol and I like a scant shot here. Keep in mind the flavor of malort, though.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ad Hoc
 3 of 6

I'm sort of having a break within a break: Sunday I ditched my interval workout because I was so sore from my Saturday strength workout. Monday I didn't houseclean because I was a zombie from not having slept Sunday night. Tuesday I was not sore! But I had that hella long cooking practice and then I had an appointment with the guy who won the training session that I donated to the Black and Blue Gala, those two together squeezed out my strength workout. And that guy signed up to be my client, yay! There are four clients! I was thinking that I could bump my strength workout to Thursday, that would actually be perfect because Saturday I've been invited on a taco ride right after Travis so I'm not staying for that strength workout. But, by Wednesday afternoon I had a tiny cold.

It really is a tiny cold, I'm not miserable at all. My nose is just running a tiny bit, and I'm sneezing and coughing a tiny bit. This is a typical cold for me. I mean, I get miserably sick sometimes. Like February this year, ugh, I was miserably sick twice in a month. I don't think I've been sick since then? I don't always remember my tiny colds. I treat them just like regular colds, though. That tiny bit of sick tells me that my body is stressed to the point that its defenses are down. Even if it's just a little bit, I don't think the thing to do is push. Surely the thing to do is take the pressure off, and shore up the weak spot. That's what I do, then you get to enjoy being sick. I mean, right? You're alert and comfortable enough to read or watch TV or even write if you do that.

Okay but, guess what else I did. Haha! So this morning Tami posted a casting call for ethnic athletes, can I tell you something I realized? Derby keeps me out of a lot of trouble. You know how I was saying all these thoughts are unleashed in my head that I didn't even know were leashed? There's things I just don't consider because I have derby, and when I don't have derby I have sleeping. For a minute I don't have derby or sleeping, so hey, I'm an ethnic athlete, and what could be more ad hoc than getting home from work and shooting a little video of myself skating around the schoolyard with my poor droopy eyelid camera that I have never shot a video with before tonight. I mean, I didn't shoot the video; MJ did. So that's been tonight so far:

// shoot video
/ Ad Hoc 3 of 6

Really though this break is telling me that what I would do if I didn't have derby, which is a thing I wonder now and again, is barf up words like woah.

/ tasks
/ bills
# licorice tea and cashews
/ notes
\\ tidy front room
// stretch
# brush
{ Criminal Minds
# tart cherry juice
# sleep

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

30 Minute Morning Walk


This is a series of daily practices that are very much in the vein of what I introduced as whole day fitness ...erm, a year ago. Welp! Better late than never?

Let's see what Marcus Martinez says about this morning walk:

30-45 minute walk (first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or before your last meal of the day)

And what did I say?

I already walk 30 minutes every other morning: it's 30 minutes door to door from home to work, and I work four days a week, check. I walk to the train, take two flights of stairs down, stand on the platform, train surf on the train, and take two flights of stairs up. It doesn't have to be more than that. On the other hand, it doesn't have to be less than that. It's good standing, walking, and climbing stairs, and if I do sit on the platform or the train, it's good sitting i.e., squatting. All with proper form! The reason you should do all these things with proper form is JUST BECAUSE. Because you should do things the way your body is designed to do them, the better for doing those things and the better for your body and the better to build on. And obviously I do all that, in reverse, from work to home, and I'm not even counting that, which is why I don't sweat it if sometimes I sit down.

Well you know, basically that. For me. It may be different for you. I mean, it'll probably be different. I just talk about myself because that's what I know, and also because I don't tell you what to do.

I have cottoned to this idea of first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, I guess mostly because that's how I already do; so, check. I am not an early riser and I have to be a certain level of awake to eat. And so, I've eaten breakfast at work for as long as ...I've worked, I think. So walking to the train to work very nicely happens on an empty stomach.

I'm toying with the idea of being strict about not letting myself sit on my morning commute, but I don't know yet. I'm fine standing on the platform, which is my favorite place to do one-foot balance work anyway. On the train though, sometimes you sit just to get out of the way of traffic flow. I'm pretty seriously against prioritizing training over train etiquette. But! People are nuts, if you ask me, about having a piece of something to hold onto on the train. I love to let them and stand right in the middle of the mosh pit and ride handsfree, casually reading my RedEye like it ain't no thang. I mean, I'm really good at it now. For now, I'm happy with mixing it up—if it's getting all Twister up in there, I take the space that nobody wants and train surf; if a seat opens up, I flow into it. I have another post brewing in my head about how few things I actually expect myself to do every day, life needs syncopation.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Fall Tuesday Cooking Practice

So here goes, I guess I'm liveblogging today's cooking practice where I'm trying out One Practice To Rule Them All. So far, so good, first of all I slept, thank you for asking. The sweetie man woke me up at eight before he left to take care of Rudy, I got up shortly thereafter and fixed myself (!) a cup of coffee with almond milk and went back to bed to do my words. Sent Travis his reminder email about his Saturday appointment, and then up and at 'em. Tidied the bedroom, and tidied the kitchen only enough to clear off the cart. The cart is my prep surface, my favorite story about this cart is that I assembled it while baked on vicodin.

1a. Shakshuka

I don't really like cooking with dishes piled in the sink; but shakshuka has to simmer at the end, so I'm saving the dishes to do then. I put my saute pan on the stove over low heat, glug in some olive oil, then pretty methodically, maybe meditatively, dice onions, peppers, and zucchini, adding the vegetables to the pan as they're diced, gradually turning up the heat and occasionally giving them a stir. After the zucchini's in the pan, I start on the garlic. I just barely have patience for peeling and mincing garlic, I only don't run amok with a kris in my teeth because I know the zucchini could use the time to brown up. Garlic goes in, a spoonful of cumin, a spoonful of paprika, stir, then open a can of tomatoes, chop them up, and add them to the pan with their juice. And now the shakshuka simmers and I do the dishes.

When the dishes are done, the shakshuka is done and I ladle seven ladlefuls of shakshuka into seven mason jars and one ladleful onto a plate. By the way, I increased the amounts from the original recipe to make this much. I need enough shakshuka for the whole week.

There's going to be a pic of my shakshuka jars here in juust a sec...

shakshuka jars

1b. Crispy fried eggs

My new favorite thing is the crispy egg from smitten kitchen, or if you're me, the three crispy eggs. I clean out my shakshuka pan pretty well with my heatproof rubber spatula and make the eggs right in that pan.

crispy fried eggs shakshuka

Breaaakfast tiiime is here...

I upped my breakfast eggs from two to three as a positive step toward actually eating more protein and not just saying "I should eat more protein" and then eating the same amount of protein. And not unlimited amounts of protein, just this one extra egg for now. And the same goes for water, just an extra half glass here and there.

But anyway, enough of my yammering. Up up, Munt. More cooking to do.

But first, I think I will drop my camera and mess it up good, tch, I dropped it so lightly this time... now it has a droopy eyelid, the battery compartment won't shut, and I think it has internal injuries so it won't talk to Flickr? I am sad. I've had this camera since before this blog, it's the end of an era—

2. Slow chicken

Today's slow chicken is basically this shallot and squash slow chicken except I don't have shallots, I have a leek, and lately I'm making slow chicken with unconscionable amounts of butter. I slice up a stick of butter and put the pats in the bottom of the cooker, then the chicken on top of the butter. I have a new slow cooker that cooks properly low, so might as well give the butter and chicken a head start while I cut up the leek and the squash. In you go, Mr. Leek and Mr. Squash. And that's it, now it just cooks by itself.

2a. Ground meat

I'm doing ground meats for fall specifically because I'm doing all my cooking in one practice, so I can do chicken in the slow cooker and meat on the stove.

First, fill up a soup pot with water and start heating it up on the back burner for 2b. Greens.

Okay today is Korean ground beef, and I'm going to make it right in this pan that I made the crispy eggs in, that I made the shakshuka in. Drain the excess oil from the crispy egg pan, scrape out the burned bits, et voila I'm good to go. I suppose I could have just used the crispy egg oil, but I do like sesame oil for Korean beef. So drizzle in a bit of sesame oil over medium heat and put in the ground beef and break it up. While the beef is browning, dagnabbit, more garlic, should I have chopped a whole pile of garlic when I did it for shakshuka? Meh, six of one, half dozen of the other. I have to wait for the meat to brown, anyway. Peel and chop the garlic, sure, a little bit extra for the greens, trim and chop the green onions, and by now the meat is browned, so I can stir in most of the garlic, red pepper flakes, two spoonfuls of molasses, and four spoonfuls of soy sauce, and now it all goes on the back burner over low heat for twenty minutes.

2b. Greens

The pot of water comes to the front burner. When it comes to a full boil, I open a bag of kale and dump it in. It says on the bag that it's prewashed, how I feel about that is don't look a gift horse in the mouth. It's being boiled! It blanches just until I can smell it, then I drain it and by now the meat is done, gets its green onions stirred in, and goes into its container. And now I'm going to do the kale right in the pan that I did the meat in, that I did the crispy eggs in, that I did the shakshuka in. Just hit it with a drop more sesame oil, dump in the drained kale, and scrape the rest of the chopped garlic and stray bits of green onion off the cutting board into the pan. Stir it up and put it on the back burner.

2b. Quinoa

The pot that I blanched the kale in, now that gets a cup of quinoa and two cups of water and gets put over high heat on the front burner.

I really want to sit down, but I have to wait for the quinoa to come to a boil. So, I might as well do the dishes. When the dishes are done, the quinoa is boiling and gets covered and put on the back burner for fifteen minutes.

I retire to the couch to write this up so far.

Then the timer goes off, I turn the heat off the quinoa and let it rest while I put the kale in its container. Then the quinoa goes into its container.

All done, it pretty much looks like this except beef instead of pork:
meat greens quinoa

But wait, I think I will heat up the rest of this tofu soup that I made for the sweetie man right in this pot that I did the quinoa in, that I did the kale in. And I will eat the soup for lunch. And I will take a nap. This is doable, but I am tired.

Coda

I have two people to train tonight, the chicken is done when I home and I fish it out of the slow cooker with tongs. I let it cool while I fix myself a snack and chat with the sweetie man. Eventually I pick the meat off the bones, divide it and the buttery squash and leeks between four jars. Finis!

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