Wednesday, August 31, 2016

August Review

So, what, I get two good months and then I get a bad month. Fine. I was doing pretty heroically for a couple weeks with the refrigerator fading in and out, that actually started the last week of July. Then I pretty much lost the plot for a couple weeks, like the coke and chex mix level of losing the plot. Eight hours of prolonged sitting losing the plot. Yuck. Then get back on track, then get kicked off track. Going to see the doctor tomorrow for a little help sleeping. I can help myself if I can sleep!

I have a new client! It actually takes a lot to onboard a new client. Obviously a new client is a good thing, but I think I just had too much on my plate—good, bad, ugly—between that and the refrigerator, and dropped my plate. I'd like to get better at 1) counting things that are being added to my plate, 2) taking other things off my plate to keep my plate total at a manageable level, 3) putting the plate down, 4) giving my brain a little extra quiet time to process it all.

I started a bunch of new pothos plants at work, too:

movin on up! aramis, bazin, and madame de chevruse have moved in together #pothos party

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

I moved the Aramis family to a spot in the hallway that I hope nobody minds, gave away two pots to people with offices (i.e., windows, though pothos don't really need much light), and have three new babies on my desk.

Whaaat, Porthos needed a haircut bad. Propagating plants, though, that's a thing. And it's been straight busy at work, I'm in the middle of a huge project that hopefully finishes mid-October.

It has been a lot.

August picks:

HOME: Make a better place

1. Learn more about the Chicago Progressive Caucus.

Right, remember I added this to my plate too. Done, I guess, in the sense that I know more than I did, which was nothing. I read through their whole website and signed up for their mailing list. I haven't solved Black Lives Matter or anything like that. I don't think I'm going to make myself into a social justice warrior (not in the pejorative sense), I think I'm going to make myself into a better informed voter who still has to clean her own house.

Four blocks earmarked for this were used to 1) put away laundry, 2) :'( 3) pay bills, and 4) Fury boat trip.

What an amazing day on the lake for The Fury Boat Party!!! #tffy #tffl #teamfury #windycityrollers #lakemichigan

A photo posted by Lisa Adreani (@vigilannie76) on

SYSTEMS: Sharpen the saw

2. Order new glasses.

Not done, sigh. Now that I'm looking at this, in addition to the new client thing, I had a lot of social things this month. And sometimes a social thing comes with an extra thing, like making food ahead of a potluck. These four blocks were used to 1) make lemonade for Problem's Olympics opening ceremony party, 2) brunch and lipstick date with Biggie:

aloha!

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

This is before the lipstick, obviously.

And then 3a) draft a workout for my new client and 3b) a new workout for an old client, and 4) pay bills to finish.

PLAY: Study movement and muscles

3. Keep watching Functional Patterns videos.

Done, not as much as I wanted.

Five blocks for this were used to 1) draft an About sheet to send to my new client, 2) draft an email to send that About sheet to my new client, 3) catch up on appointments and grocery list that weren't done because of plate dropping the previous weekend, 4) actually watch videoes and 5) breakfast with TS.

PASTIME: Write alla Poppy

4. Keep editing and publishing recipes.

Done, not as much as I wanted.

Five blocks for this were used to 1) draft Boiled Eggs and Goatskal, 2) draft August Eats, 3) :| 4) draft August Review, 5) draft Chocolate Chia Pudding.

State of the Blog

Sigh, idk how this is going to go. I have just about enough time and energy to keep up with two posts per month, a short eats post and a long review post. If I can get through a month without a breakdown, I get two, three more blocks to write other stuff. Am I ever going to get through this goodeats collection? Do I want to write other stuff besides goodeats? Or just the two posts per month.

I don't knowwwww.

Going out

So there was the Olympics opening ceremony party and brunch with Biggie, and also Box's jiu-jitsu meet followed by more lemonade and Olympics:

And the winner is......GUNS AND BUTTER!!!! So proud of you! YAY GWEN! #ibjjf #evilstrength

A photo posted by Corrin Cafferty (@corrinfiltrate) on

Also Sarge's bridal shower:

And Fury boat trip, and breakfast with TS. So busy.

Staying in

I'm in a battle with "sleeping TV," trying to beat it back from bedtime and getting beat right back, but at least "working TV" is still not a thing. What's still a thing is enforced rest TV, when I have to make myself lie on the couch and rest—and hopefully, nap—before I go to the gym to train clients. I watched Marcella and River for that this month, and now Netflix has a bunch more seasons of The Murdoch Mysteries.

Watching TV

For entertainment this month we watched Limitless (the movie), Ex Machina, and Central Intelligence. Haha! I love the Rock.

September picks:

HOME: Make a better place

1. The house needs me again: pick a thing, anything.

SYSTEMS: Sharpen the saw

2. Order new glasses!

PLAY: Study movement and muscles

3. Keep watching Functional Patterns videos.

PASTIME: Write alla Poppy

4. Keep editing and publishing recipes.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Chocolate Chia Pudding

chocolate chia pudding

This has become my post-training snack, I only made it because I had half a can of coconut milk to use up and now it's a regular thing; so I unhalved (or redoubled) the recipe back to a whole can. I'm also just using up my date paste for this and will probably switch to a more convenient sweetener. I think molasses would probably be pretty good.

1/4 cup cocoa
1/4 cup hot water
2 tablespoons date paste or sweetener of choice to taste
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup chia seeds

Whisk together cocoa and hot water in a large bowl or pitcher. Whisk in sweetener, then coconut milk. Stir in the chia seeds.

Let the pudding rest for about thirty minutes at room temperature. Stir, then refrigerate for at least four hours until very thick.

I serve this topped with strawberries and a lil goatskal, which is standing in for cream:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Forty Nine

forty nine

Shirt concept by Evil Strength. Shirt design by Aesthetic Response.

Monday, August 15, 2016

August Eats

Womp AGAIN, this month the refrigerator has been on and off the fritz, which is somehow worse than being entirely fritzed. Idk, maybe. It's working at the moment, which means I still have eggs and butter in the house, I like eggs and butter. And also it's bought me a little time to eat down the persishables, the first prong of my two-prong approach to this month's eats; and the second prong is what can I eat that doesn't have to be refrigerated.

Anyway remember last month's womp, no more greek yogurt? That was easy enough to fix: eggs for breakfast, which was how it used to be anyway before that stupid doctor put me on the low-cholesterol diet. I took the opportunity to learn a better technique for boiled eggs and am also taking the opportunity to eat peaches in season. This is my work breakfast:

these #seriouseats #hotstart #eggs do peel nicely #peaches #breakfastbowl #goodeats

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

Home breakfast has been governed by the eating down the perishables initiative, which has yielded some unusual but good results:

Pan-roasted radishes, really good, who knew.

I've been really clever about lunches this month, first I turned some extra pan-roasted chicken into chicken salad that got tossed with thinly sliced fennel and apple:

it's better with the #apple left unpeeledπŸ‘#fennel #avocado #cherrytomatoes #chickensalad #goodeats

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

Then, there was a grocery error in my favor:

I must remember this roasted cherry tomato and zucchini for fall, when it won't be terrible to turn on the oven. It was great cold on salad, and I bet it'll be just as good hot as a side for eggs and as the veg in my dinner bowl.

Boy my dad is doing the opposite of rolling in his grave over this dinner bowl:

This is exactly the kind of lunch that my dad would make us, except the avocado; so, not exactly. But sardines, kimchee, and rice, always. So not American, daaad. Why can't I have Lunchables. Anyway rice survives just fine at room temperature if you keep up the pace, which we certainly do in this house; kimchee and avocados are hardy enough to live in an on again off again refrigerator; and sardines, obvi. I was crisping them up in a pan at first, but now I just pop the can, drain the oil, and dump the sardines right into my bowl. I'm in no mood to be nice, it's fine. I was going to start eating sardines anyway for the calcium that I'm missing from greek yogurt.

I had to cook down a three-pound bag of frozen strawberries into compote, and I made up the rest of my goat milk products into koldskal, and that's my post-training snack:

I ain't mad about it.


Sunday, July 31, 2016

July Review

First of all, hey oh, this is the end of an entire year of Power 30! The actual group has wound down though I'm still fb friends and actual friends and better friends with a few people from there; but more impressively, Juanna started us off with these weekly spreadsheets that I took to like a duck to water and at this point I have amassed fifty-two of them o.O And also, I'm doing a lot better. Yay.

Secondly, a chart! It's been a while since we've had a chart:

SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP
yoga walk yoga walk yoga walk no yoga
HOME
cook
WORK
 
PLAY
 
WORK
 
SYSTEMS
 
WORK
 
HOME
 
meditate walk meditate walk meditate walk meditate
SYSTEMS
bills
WORK
 
PLAY
prep
WORK
prep
PLAY
prep
WORK
 
SYSTEMS
appts
walk walk walk walk walk walk walk
PASTIME
606 Skate
PASTIME
 
PLAY
train
PLAY
train
PLAY
train
PASTIME
 
PASTIME
 
walk walk walk no walk walk walk walk
PASTIME
read
PASTIME
read
PASTIME
post
PLAY
post
PLAY
post
PASTIME
read
PASTIME
read
stretch stretch stretch stretch stretch stretch stretch
SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP

Ha ha, this chart. Is not self-explanatory. Or well, it's self-explanatory to myself. Probably not to yourself. I might write something more to this chart, but I might not. I mean, the one person who cares about this chart already understands it. I suppose a thing that could be said about it is, I walk a lot, all very intentionally. Also I do meditate MWF, after work, but I could choose not to. Whereas I can't choose not to walk, how would I get home. But, I almost always choose to meditate; so that's me meditating seven days a week, how about that.

The part of the chart that's relevant to this review are the blocks in white type; those are my GTD blocks, one for each area as below. Obviously Things Get Done in the other blocks, even things that push my life forward and not just the stuff that keeps my head above water (though there's that, too, certainly) but the white blocks do have a special tone of consummation devoutly to be wished. Spoiler: there's just not a lot of time in life for such things. Conceivably if I really wanted to advance on one of them, I could cut out the other three and maybe I'd get somewhere before I die. What it took for me to cut it down to four, though, was a lot. So here I am.

Kind of pursuant to being a year out from Power 30, I actually have come to a good stopping point on some of my original projects and I started July with a really excellent, restorative trip to Iowa with the supper club girls:

#nofilter

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

From which I returned with such a strong sense of starting the second half after halftime—good holiday placement, founding fathers—that it seemed like a good time to trim my sails and point my little boat toward the next thing.

July picks:

HOME: Cleaning and decorating

1. I think I'm at a stopping and smelling the roses point with the front room. And it has been a year since I started this Whole Apartment Big Clean, the other rooms could probably use some love again by now? Or maybe now I can use a little of this time to get crafty? On my new sewing machine setup?!

Quite right, I used my four available blocks set aside of this as follows: 1) rested like Resty McResterface, 2) brainstormed the shape of things to come, resulting in the above chart, 3) the fridge went on the fritz again, so had to be defrosted again, and 4) giant slip and slide with an aforementioned actual friend:

#slidethecity

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

I honestly don't know how much I'm going to do in my house for the rest of summer. For one, my summer is chock full of plans, and for two, there's other things that seem to urgently need doing. And, my house is clean enough for now. So I've been thinking how I think about HOME and also BODY, below. Have I told you this already? How home, body, and systems are all instruments for living. Sort of concentric instruments, or Russian nesting dolls, or Lt. Barkley interfacing with the ship's computer. And sort of the same as I fit systems into body that is also systems, home really fits into something larger that is also home: my house inside my city inside my state inside my country inside my world, which is a lot to take on. So let's not take it on all at once, let's take one step out of the house and see about this city, shall we? So I'm taking the idea of cleaning and decorating and turning that into an idea of Making a better place. That idea, is what I've done this month.

[ETA: GAH. ANTS.]

BODY: Healing my body

2a. Woosh speaking of cash flow, I have an eye appointment coming up and I need new glasses and new contacts.

Done. Also because of last month's work with my cash flow, I was able to pay for it ::power pose:: well the eye exam part, anyway. I still have to pick out the glasses and order the contacts, I can at least put off contacts for another couple months because my eyes haven't gotten any worse. Woot!

2b. Get new passport, this has been on my list forever. But cash flow :/

Not done. Maybe next month, if I have the money.

Following from the above, I'm turning this area into Sharpening the saw. Shades of Stephen Covey! It could be body, it could be systems, whatever stuff I need to keep tuned up for the revolution.

PLAY: Studying movement and muscles

3. Keep watching Functional Patterns videos.

This block is developing so nicely, I had to use 1 of 4 for catchup after Iowa but then for the 2 of 4 I finally got headphones for me to wear while watching videos:

the calm dot com #meditation #calm that's the name of the app #nofilter

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

Obviously they're great for meditating, too. And, podcasts! I'm finally starting to listen to podcasts, I started listening to the PT podcast that Juanna suggested to me last year and it's great. More about podcasts later, maybe. Over-ear headphones are such a gamechanger for me, no earbuds fit me ever; now I can fully listen, instead of always fidgeting to point the sound at my eardrum.

For 3 of 4 I made myself a ruler for drawing my stick figures:

i made myself a ruler

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

Which I used to draw some stick figure notes about dumbbell and medicine ball exercises for the inner and outer core muscles, the real message of this video is the tiny rotation that we're talking about when we talk about thoracic rotation:

i know just the person for this 😊 #functionalpatterns

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

Not least, I optioned out 4 of 4 to write this review.

PASTIME: Writing

4. Keep editing and publishing recipes.

State of the Blog

Yahh, I got the ball rolling on this. I'm sorry and not sorry for starting Nomnomnomicon—sorry because it was a dumb idea, but not sorry because I sort of had to think through that dumb idea to get to the smarter idea, viz., if I feel the need to curate my better recipes, go ahead and do that but do it under the alla Poppy "brand" such as it is, and link it to my Instagram, also allapoppy, via this goodeats tag that I picked up over there, and then call it good. Which is a pretty good measure of how much attention I need: that which might follow from a sufficient trail of breadcrumbs. (Why do people say trail of breadcrumbs: the breadcrumbs don't work, the birds eat them. I suppose it's the trail of breadcrumbs that advances the plot.)

Blah blah blah, I'm working pretty steadily on publishing my goodeats collection, which is also morphing as I go, as could be expected; but the idea is to do the work of getting the broad strokes down now, and then I get to play around with short strokes... for the rest of my life? Idk. I have ideas for other things to write about besides food, you know? That's the other thing that's happening now, sooo many ideas. Finish this first, then start that. I know, I'm so strict. I won't feel right otherwise, though.

Going out

Like I said, Iowa, and the slip and slide. Also we watched UFC 200 at Minerva's house, and there were a bunch of 606 skates.

And also!

i get the part about checking in and how to take pictures, but not that you can look up movie times

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

Staying in

Another season of Criminal Minds came to Netflix, so there was a teeny bit of watching that while sleeping, for the most part no bueno. (I mean, sleep was mostly bueno this month. It was no bueno when Criminal Minds was involved.) Though it's fine for enforcing a little rest before, say, going out to train folks. Though I finished it and now I've started Limitless, which I sort of love. I dooon't want to watch TV before I sleep.

Watching TV

This month we watched Pound of Flesh (JCVD!), Tim's Vermeer, Welcome to the Jungle (JCVD!), Big Trouble in Little China, Gone Girl, Veronica Mars, Zach and Miri Make A Porno, and the Sunday that we didn't skate because there was a monsoon I watched The Fundamentals of Caring, a Netflix Original starring Paul Rudd. It's weird, you know? I feel like there used to be little movies, and I guess nobody goes to see little movies in theaters and now it's all Big Movies out there. But also now there's Netflix, maybe Netflix is going to make little movies now. That would be great, I like little movies and home's a better place to watch little movies anyway. We're finishing the month watching Stranger Things, which I feel like is like watching movies set in Chicago as a person who actually lives in Chicago, except set in the eighties. Boy you know in the eighties we always played being from the fifties, I guess we're up to that point when eighties are the new fifties.

August picks:

I'm writing down one thing in each area that I want to get done next month, but also I will report back what else I did in these blocks.

HOME: Make a better place

1. Learn more about the Chicago Progressive Caucus.

SYSTEMS: Sharpen the saw

2. Order new glasses.

PLAY: Study movement and muscles

3. Keep watching Functional Patterns videos.

PASTIME: Write alla Poppy

4. Keep editing and publishing recipes.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats
 for two

salted brown butter rice krispies treats for two

This is just a mashup of The Kitchn's How To Make a Single Rice Krispies Treat and smitten kitchen's salted brown butter crispy treats, written all together so I don't have to straddle two recipes: maximum efficiency so that I can make these in the shortest time possible, soon I will have this memorized. I have very limited patience for making non-essential food, and yet really like a) salted things, b) brown butter, and c) rice krispies treats. I have also historically had zero patience for making rice krispies treats because I couldn't even with wrestling that whole mass into a pan and getting it stuck to my handsghghghghgh. Making a single treat is so genius in this regard, though: I can show a single treat who's boss. Buttered hands and parchment paper help, too. And why even bother dirtying another pan, amirite.

1 tablespoon butter, plus extra for buttering your hands
6 marshmallows
1 cup rice krispies
a pinch of kosher salt

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly, until you start to see tiny brown grains forming in the melted butter. Keep stirring and cooking just a bit longer, but not too much longer or else you will burn the butter.

Remove from heat and stir in the marshmallows until they are melted and smooth. Add the rice krispies and the salt, and stir until the rice krispies are well-coated with melted marshmallows.

Scrape the whole mess onto a piece of parchment paper and butter your hands. Wrap the paper around your treat, compress it into a denser mass, and square it up. The Kitchn says this is a single treat, but it's a very large single treat and out of romantical niceness I cut it up to share with der schweetums. It cuts a bit better if it gets a chance to set up a bit, but—

Monday, July 25, 2016

Basic Boiled Eggs

hardboiled eggs

After sticking with good old seven-minute eggs forever, this old dog has learned a new trick from The Food Lab: The Hard Truth About Boiled Eggs, well actually, the Food Lab says to steam your eggs. But, I do not have a steamer rack; boiling is good enough for the likes of me. So, half a trick. The trick is "hot starting" the eggs by boiling the water first and then putting in the eggs, every egg I have made this way has peeled perfectly or almost perfectly! And also they seem to come out more unfailingly on the softer side, which I prefer and have plans for later.

six eggs

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Carefully lower the eggs into the boiling water, I use a spaghetti server. When the last egg is in, set a timer for thirty seconds.

When the timer goes off, cover the pan and turn the heat to very low. Set the timer for eleven minutes.

When that timer goes off, pour off the hot water and pour very cold water over the eggs. We happen to have a lot of ice around because of the refrigerator being on its last legs :'( so the eggs have been getting ice water baths, which may be contributing to their easy peeling.

When the eggs are completely cooled, draw faces on them (optional) and set them aside in their own half carton.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Goat Milk Koldskal

goat milk koldskal

You can make this with cow milk, of course. If it's too hot to click, just substitute buttermilk for the kefir and greek yogurt for the yogurt. I'm currently trying goat milk because cow milk is giving me sinus issues. Goat milk tastes mildly like goat cheese, and tastes really good with fruit.

2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 pint goat milk kefir
2 cups goat milk yogurt

Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl or pitcher with the sugar, then whisk in the vanilla and lemon juice, then whisk in the buttermilk and yogurt.

Serve with fruit:

Friday, July 15, 2016

July Eats

Womp, I started to suspect that my sinus issues, which are related to my globus issue, had something to do with dairy consumption. Which I knew there was a connection between dairy and mucus production, I just wasn't connecting that with me and the mucus in my head and the volume of greek yogurt that I generally eat in a week. I pretty much don't eat dairy except greek yogurt, but that I eat a lot of. So I stopped eating it right in the middle of a quart and gave away an unopened quart, and thought I was sort of feeling better, and then I thought I would use up the opened quart in a nice batch of koldskal, peaches and koldskal, mmm. Which brings me back to womp, I do believe dairy is a thing for me now. Again. I mean it used to be, and then it wasn't, and now it is again. Like I feel like I'm choking and my head is exploding simultaneously. Sigh that's so too bad, greek yogurt has been so easy full stop. And such an easy way for me to get protein and probiotics, oh well. I will figure it out. In the meantime, I have gone back to just almonds and strawberries for my breakfast bowl:

A great discovery for lunch, though: The Kitchn's 5 Salad Bases That Last All Week in the Refrigerator, I can confirm that the kale-radicchio combo did indeed last all week and was delicious! I dressed it with a slightly tweaked version of A Beautiful Mess's lemon miso dressing and toward the end of last month was topping it with hardboiled eggs, avocado, and cherry tomatoes. This month though, I'm trying it with pan-roasted chicken breast:

yumayyyyy #kale #radicchio #lemonmisovinaigrette #panroastedchicken #cherrytomatoes #avocado #goodeats

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

I bought that mixing bowl to keep in the kitchen at work, and we have a million of those serving spoons from times we've catered things.

I'm still working those dinner bowls, and working on a new ground meat recipe for my collection viz., persian ground lamb:

Recipe TK!

On gym days, I eat dinner for lunch, bring a bottle of tart cherry water to the gym, and then have a smoothie when I get home from the gym, I have already developed a dairy-free smoothie that does the job:

Der schweetums cooks Friday dinner! I taught him how to make miso soup:

Saturday, July 9, 2016

What Is To Be Done
 figure out who your representatives are

As a rule I'm more the be the change you want to see in the world type, I hew to the little, graspable things—food, funny observations, personal relations. Anger and telegrams, not really my cup of tea. I don't listen to reply, I listen to understand like it's my job (it is, actually, my job). But, to everything there is a season. There's time when you have to do more than be a good example of a separate peace. What, though. So I've been looking for something to do besides #whatdoesthis #reallydoanyway. Though I do think hashtags are effective in their way, it's just not my way what with language being incomplete and replete to me. Anyway for whatever reason I'm friends with a lot of librarians, and librarians are good at finding stuff; first A-Bomb (who coincidentally also figures in the aforementioned link) and then a few others chucked Campaign Zero into my feed, all this is great. I'm scrolling and scrolling though for what can I DO, like can I stuff envelopes? Do people even stuff envelopes anymore? And it seems to come down to VOTE, which I already do, and demand action from your representatives.

Everybody sees stuff through their own lenses, and I see a lot of stuff through a trainer's lens—e.g., there's things that people want, and those things are out of reach. Some of those things, let's say certain body fat percentages, are frankly unrealistic and can we please forget about them. Other things seem out of reach but actually they're right at hand, and it's a matter of sweeping aside the hoops that you thought you had to jump through. Like you don't have to lose ten pounds to be worthy of love, let me tell you: you're worthy right now. And then there are things that if you want them, you have to work toward them. And you can't get there from here, you can only get one step from here. And one step from here seems dumb, so you don't take that step. There doesn't seem dumb, you would step straight there if you could. If you're me, you definitely try to step straight there and fall on your face and lay in the gap quietly sobbing for a whole summer. I need a trainer, is what. What a trainer does is make taking one step not seem dumb, so you take that step. You see where this is going, right? Right, it's going there. Or at the very least, it's going away from here.

Not gonna lie, I don't demand anything from my representatives. It seems dumb. It seems like wall pushups. What's that going to do, that's not enough! After Orlando, though, there was an app for that: you could be directly connected to your US Senators and just say—this was when the gun control filibuster was going on—I support the filibuster. So I did that.

Demand more, I guess. Do you know what's dumber than demanding action from my representatives, that I don't totally know who my representatives are? I mean, I know about Mark Kirk and Dick Durbin because of the gun control filibuster. Though truthfully I know I know that Dick Durbin is my US Senator but I don't know that I know about Mark Kirk, I remember something else about him and I'm not sure what. Besides, the Campaign Zero site says that action has to happen at all levels of government and I know I don't know all my representatives down to the ground. This is the thing, Munt. This is the step to take away from here.

Those small steps, though. You actually have to do them. Sometimes that means you're not doing something else. Actually it always means that for me, being a singletasker. Sometimes those small steps, when you actually get around to doing them, they're ...bigger, closer up. I mean, I've been doing this for going on three hours now. The good part about that is, then they seem less dumb. Anyway I'm not allowing myself to be on Facebook until I know that I know all my representatives, which in the annals of small gestures can go right down there as one of the smallest. Though I think the point is, they don't keep annals of small gestures. Or yes they do, they're called "blogs." Haha.

Without further ado, my representatives are:

In the US Senate

Illinois

Dick Durbin (D)

Mark Kirk (R)

Okay, these I knew. Also I remember what I was remembering about Mark Kirk, I remember when he was elected to the House in 2000 and then when he was elected to serve the rest of Obama's Senate term. Truthfully he's always had a great white hope/dead zone vibe to me and I've always vaguely feared him, but his record looks reasonably okay (plus, stroke buddies!) But, he is being challenged this year by Tammy Duckworth (D) and maybe I will not make a kneejerk decision about that. I mean I will more than likely vote for Tammy Duckworth, but I will think it over.

In the US House of Representatives

The US House of Representatives has a handy representative finder, though what's intereresting about this is that my address without ZIP+4 could be in one of two really different districts:
us house districts 5 and 7

5th District

5th District it is, though, for what it's worth in my mind the white district. Like, I'm in the same district as my brother in law. This strikes me as the closest I will ever be to living in a swing anything...

Mike Quigley (D)

...though Quigley's record seems sufficiently blue at first glance. This is one that I knew but I didn't know I knew. I remember voting for Mike Quigley. I really feel like Luis Gutierrez was my representative for a long time, and then something changed.

Okay now, state government. Which I know I don't really know. The Illinois Board of Elections has a not as pretty but still handy finder for your state senator and representative, as well as other elected officials, this is the mobile or "lite" version because the desktop version requires Silverlight and it tells me my browser is too old for the current version of that. Hello accessibility issues, I may not be in the 1% of Browserland but I'm definitely at least the 10%. It really strikes me that the most useful person in today's society is the person who can make info-gathering apps, like that BallotReady app was great.

In the Illinois General Assembly, you get a senator and a representative from two different districts:

In the Illinois Senate

5th District

illinois senate district 5

Patricia Van Pelt (D)

I really think the districts are the most interesting part about this and, imo, the general assembly districts could be made easier to find. Here is the finder for your Illinois senate district.

In the Illinois House

10th District

illinois house district 10

Not crazily different from my senate district.

Pamela Reeves-Harris (D)

Here is the finder for your Illinois representative district.

Last but not least:

On the Chicago City Council

Second Ward

Brian Hopkins

This one I knew, my landlord is old school door-to-door get out the vote and he brought this guy by. I didn't vote for him though, because he was with Rahm.

Here's the city's lookup for finding your ward and alderman.

So. One step, good job. Now you can take the next step. Right? You were going to demand action from your representatives, but you had to know who they were and now you know. (Not you. Me.)


Friday, July 1, 2016

Strawberry-Mango Golden Smoothie

strawberry mango golden smoothie

I use the Bella Cucina Rocket Blender to make my smoothies.

This is my current smoothie, dairy-free, now that that's a thing for me. I originally made this with all mango, and that was good, but then accidentally stumbled into this "rosegold" version when I had the tail ends of a bag of frozen strawberries and a bag of frozen mangos to use up. Which I prefer, it's lighter. More refreshing.

1 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4-6 frozen mango chunks
4-6 frozen strawberries
coconut water

Put the coconut milk, spices, and frozen fruits into the blender cup, then add a splash of coconut water if you know how much to add. Otherwise screw on the cap, stick the cup on the motor base, blend for 30 seconds, then take a peek at how thick it is and add coconut water to thin it out as needed. Blend for another 30 seconds or until the smoothie is churning freely from top to bottom.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Miso Soup
 for two

miso soup

Before you do anything, put the kettle on. When the kettle starts to make a little noise, take it off the heat. You just want hot (not boiling) water for the miso in a minute.

I only put the peas because I had half a bag of frozen peas that I wanted to use up. They're good in this, though.

2 cups water
1 sheet nori
2 green onions
1/4 block firm tofu
handful of peas, optional
2 Tbsp miso
1 sheet nori

Put water in a medium saucepan over low heat.

Cut the nori into squares with scissors and add to the pan. Trim and thinly slice the green onions and add to the pan. Cube the tofu and add to the pan. Add the peas. Turn up the heat and bring the soup to a strong simmer.

Meanwhile, put the miso into a small bowl, add a little hot water from the kettle, and whisk until smooth. When the soup is simmering, take it off the heat and stir the miso into the soup. (This is so it doesn't clump.)

June Review

Ahhhhh, I had such a good month! I deep rested on Memorial Day and limped through the rest of that week including the first few days of June; and then starting the first Sunday of June, it was ON.

June picks:

HOME: Cleaning and decorating

1. Throw some shit out for the love of god.

PHWOARR, I have been ON FIRE with this! STILL so delighted with my bed six inches away from the wall and the bags in the red dresser and the ladder thingy in the foyer for my backpacks. Moving the bed is what forced my hand to deal with all my bags—three of which I sold, thirty bucks to Gryffindor! Really I think not having all my bags hanging off the footboard is what makes the bedroom seem so much calmer, that and finding a place for the laundry bag i.e., an IKEA bag, off the floor at the foot of the bed. It's so nice in here, I am writing from my calm bedroom. Plus, Mitch put in the A/C just in time. Also side note, the first Sunday of June I suddenly just stopped watching TV to fall asleep. So it's nice and cold and dark in here, I have been sleeping great.

But wait, there's more! Bunches of stuff got sorted to be trashed or donated (or sold!) or saved, I'm down to three bankers boxes of craft materials that I have definite plans for neatly stacked in the kitchen. Der schweetums has six bankers boxes similarly neatly stacked in the kitchen. And the rest of the house is clear living space! Almost. I still have more fitness equipment than space to keep fitness equipment in, and I re-messed up my project cubbies clearing off my drawing table, but look!

sewing table

A while back I had raised this table so that I could have a standing desk at home, and then proceeded to do all my desk work sitting on the couch. I mean, home days are really gym days. I'm going to start calling them that, as a level up from not saying anymore that I work part-time. Anyway I'm plenty active those days, a little couch time is so necessary; life is balance. On the other hand I had a block about having to get out my sewing machine if I wanted to sew, not to mention finding or making a clear space to set it up. Which the table was the opposite of, because I wasn't using it as a desk and was using it to pile things on. So here I have a clear space and my sewing machine already out, see what happen.

Also I massively cleaned out our suitcase of office supplies, I can't even imagine why I thought I needed three boxes of #1 paper clips and three boxes of jumbo paper clips squirreled away and that wasn't even the half of it. Not to be morbid but if I were to measure out the rest of my life in paper clips, I'm pretty sure that what's left is less than one box:

So pleasing, that empty space in my desk drawer has actually always bothered me. And I found the round labels, so I was able to relabel all my spice jars. And I found the stack of kraft cardstock that I've been going bananas looking for on and off for the past ten or so years, it's been in the suitcase all this time :/

Just one more thing: der schweetums liberated a file cabinet from his closet and I reclaimed it for myself, thus liberating my two file boxes from their restless wanders around the front room floor. OMG SO MUCH FLOOR SPACE. SO TIDY.

ETA: AND ANOTHER THING: I really thought I was going to spend this morning baking a cake and instead I found myself defrosting the freezer, it sounds much happier now.

BODY: Healing my body

2a. Get mammogram.

Done, easy peasy. I also took a peek at the primary care practice that's on the Rush campus, but I think I will stick with Dr. Goldfarb for now. I have it on my calendar to get a physical in fall... man I love my body and all, but I really could use a break from taking it to doctors and fluffing its pillows and bringing it flat 7-Up with a bendy straw. I mean, I had a break this month. But like, a longer break.

2b. Draft a plan for doing taxes better.

YATTA!!! So done! So at work I get this small business newsletter as a perk from one of our insurances, we're a bigger business than that but, hello, I'm a small business; so I actually read the newsletter quite a bit, and there was this really helpful article about how to get a handle on your business cash flow, my technique up to this point having been winging it and hoping for the best. So, I basically followed those steps and now understand my cash flow for the first time basically ever, oh man it's so great. Knowing removes so much fear, and gives you so much control! And after doing all that, figuring out a plan for my taxes was like Duh: finalize last year's expenses in January, receive tax documents in January, fill out tax worksheets in February, and send to Elliott to prepare and file tax return in March. BOOM.

In addition to this, there was a lot of shmooing (see PASTIME below) that resulted in me finally canceling the ad-free service on my rocketmail account that I haven't even been using for past three years ::gun emoji:: just in time to save $20 this month. I mean, twenty dollars is twenty dollars.

PLAY: Studying movement and muscles

3. Let's just see what happens in June...

Last month I was feeling very wobbly in this area, this month I feel SOLID. So it goes like this, my #1 favorite trainer is Naudi Aguilar and as you can see right there, he has a YouTube channel with lots and lots of videos that I was always pinning or bookmarking to watch when I had time and never having time to watch them. And, I have Tuesday mornings blocked off to study. So finally, those two ideas came together, viz., Tuesday morning is when I watch Functional Patterns videos. It's so awesome, I feel like I'm screwing around! But it's what I'm supposed to be doing, I wear headphones and everything! And I'm getting pretty good at drawing stick figures:

PASTIME: Writing

4. Let's just see what happens in June...

Lordy, my brain has been a shmoo about this. Not so much the helpful aspect, more the changing shapes bit:

Well also, helpful. I'm happy with my brain. But like no sooner did I think I was giving up on Nom, brain shapeshifted into Let's do THIS with Nom! So okay then I think let's take a little leave from alla Poppy to do that and then brain goes boing into No wait, let's do that BUT WITH ALLA POPPY!

That kicked up a whole side thing about what to do with my Flickr, and transitively, my Yahoo account (see above), and did I want to start a Google Photos account, all of which ended up with me figuring out how to cancel the ad-free service on my rocketmail, and otherwise staying the course just so I can move forward with my writing, instead of getting bottlenecked by photos again, and anyway it's not as if Google doesn't giveth and then taketh away, so I don't want to dump a lot of work into that.

State of the Blog

So who knows what shape brain will be in next month, but right now I'm up to my armpits in editing the recipes that were going to be published in Nom, but publishing them in alla Poppy. When that's all done, I will be shutting Nom down (not that I ever started it up) so it's going to be all alla Poppy all the time for me. I'm allapoppy on Instagram, too. I love Instagram, it's soo much faster to get pictures out. So then I have this idea that I will do little monthly sum-ups like here's my June Eats and eventually when my recipes are in situ, I will link out to them. This makes me so much happier, it seems more flexible and less like always feeling like I'm behind the eight ball trying to cook and photograph and process and write up recipes. This seems like a more natural way to cook and eat, insofar as it's natural to take pictures of everything you eat, well, we'll see if this lasts the month.

Going out

I started a group! Actually that's two groups, the Sunday supper club and now the 6:06 Sunday 606 Skate. What I really needed was just that little umph to achieve escape velocity from my house and to make skating the 606 on a Sunday evening a thing that I do, well, being the unmoving target for people to aim at is exactly that umph (that and the fun wordplay on 606 that I was so proud of I had to share). If I get out of the house and end up skating by myself, I have achieved what I wanted; having people to skate with is gravy. But, I skated with Sparty and Jammy the first week and with Jammy the second week. So, good gravy! I did skip last Sunday, which I also liked; it's a fine line between making things non-negotiable to save on decision fatigue and, you know, The Red Shoes. I had four things to do Sunday and three time slots, and I got to choose!

Then, this kid:

@jhovance0

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

Has graduated from high school! And is going to the Naval Academy. Man, I feel like this solid twelve years of my life were really tough and then I think, he had the same twelve years but like in the first twelve years of his life. His sister, too; they're incredible kids. Sheesh his dad put together a video for his graduation party and the first two pictures were my sister and my mom with Josh as a baby, idk why I wasn't expecting that, and I burst into tears. Ah well, good times! Okay Josh so far so good, don't try to slide down the laundry chute at the Naval Academy like the kid in my dorm who broke all the bones in his body! (I am not remembering this right, there was no laundry chute in my dorm; it must have been some other dorm. Still, solid advice.)

And, this girl:

so much work done this month, this week is just for fun πŸ™Œ

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

p: i hope you are ready for your selfie
p: i am practicing
p: ...
s: you have to turn the camera around
p: ah

Staying in

Sleeping and working TV are NO MORE, at least this month! It's so weird: at bedtime after I do my gratitudes, I shut my computer, take off my glasses, shut the light... and go to sleep.

Watching TV

That makes actual watching TV more fun, I think. We watched the first season of Blunt Talk, which a) stars Patrick Stewart, and b) is really singularly funny and smart; The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, which blew the top of my head off and made me want to do a stage adaptation (I got better); Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which I liked more than der schweetums did, I'm more familiar with Jane Austen's ouevre and could appreciate more how nicely they dovetailed in the zombies; and Orange is the New Black, which—meh.

Reading! What? Yes!

Well, Watership Down. Again!

So, July picks:

1. I think I'm at a stopping and smelling the roses point with the front room. And it has been a year since I started this Whole Apartment Big Clean, the other rooms could probably use some love again by now? Or maybe now I can use a little of this time to get crafty? On my new sewing machine setup?!
2a. Woosh speaking of cash flow, I have an eye appointment coming up and I need new glasses and new contacts.
2b. Get new passport, this has been on my list forever. But cash flow :/
3. Keep watching Functional Patterns videos.
4. Keep editing and publishing recipes.

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