Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Riedell Vandals alla Poppy: PowerDyne Orange Magic Cushions

vandals with orange magic cushions

I had a terrible time on the yellow magic cushions, I would say don't bother trying to equate the hardnesses of old and magic cushions. They're apples and oranges, best to wipe your mind about the old cushions and listen to what the nice man tells you: yellows if you're around 170 lbs, oranges if you're around 140 lbs, and reds if you're around 120 lbs.

The yellows were just too hard for me, I could barely lean into the turns on them; they made every practice into an exhausting endurance workout. The oranges seem okay in that regard, definitely squishier than my old cushions. Stay tuned...

ETA: LOVE the orange cushions!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

T-Shirt Surgery: A Y-Back Top

y-back tank back

I got this t-shirt from my furious upholdski T.S. Helliot, it says This is how I roll on the front! Psych! Double psych, I don't even own a rolling pin.

You cut this the same as for a regular racerback, only you make the middle strip super skinny. But otherwise, it's just the same and you use your curve ruler to smooth out the corners. You may find that the arms of the Y in back don't match up with the front yoke; but you just use the curve ruler to smooth that out, too.

Freshly cut, the edges look a little raw. Don't worry, they'll smooth out with one wash.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Silk Popsicles

silk popsicle

My other go to easy popsicle is chocolate or vanilla silk poured into Tovolo Ice Pop Molds.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Pinto Bean and Avocado Wrap with White Slaw

pinto bean and avocado wrap with white slaw

So truthfully I gave up on the idea of using slaw in these wraps, even though it's delicious and even though I think that carrot and kohlrabi slaws would also be delicious. I told you I have a low cooking threshold, which sadly even slaw exceeds. And for really good slaw in my opinion, the cabbage has to be salted and drained for at least an hour ahead.

I do like slaw, and I will make it like for picnics. I made some for Fury weekend, but then we just cracked open the avocado bean mash and ate it with chips as dip. Which is why I had slaw for lunch this week, luckily so I could finish up this series.

6 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup olive oil
head of white cabbage
bunch of parsley
a small tomato
two green onions
a chipotle pepper
a can of pinto beans
an avocado
1 Tbsp lime juice
fajita-size whole wheat tortillas

If you have time and a salad spinner, finely slice the cabbage and sprinkle generously with two or three tablespoons of salt. Let it drain in the basket of the salad spinner for a couple hours, then rinse and dry thoroughly in the salad spinner.

Whisk the olive oil into the lemon juice in a large bowl. Toss the cabbage in the dressing. Mince the parsley and toss it in, and set the slaw aside.

Finely dice the tomato, and mince the green onions and chipotle. Rinse and drain the beans and mash in a flat bowl (I use my skillet) with a potato masher. Peel and pit the avocado and mash it right into the beans. Stir in the tomato, onion, chipotle, and lime juice.

To make a wrap, I toast a tortilla right on an open burner with tongs. Spread a stripe of bean mash across the middle of the tortilla, top that with some slaw, then roll it up.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


* skip dinner
* sub for fitness assessments
# protein bar
* lead kettlebells
* bike to space for flyers and posters
/ half of a ranting email
* discard
# really should eat something
* maybe i can get one thing done tonight

# Hollywood Grill
* review and plan

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Forty Four

* sleep in
# water
/ morning pages
* wash up
# eggs and oatmeal
* make bed
* do dishes
* scout out city chase location
* shop for skirts
* buy boots instead
# veganly beans
~ league: city chase details
: Oz
# pb&j and choc silk
* skatefit
# lime water

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

T-Shirt Surgery: A Corset Back Top

corset back tank front

Ha ha ha! I have learned, though, that there are more punny Spock t-shirts out there than I can hope to acquire, and I'm sure the What Not To Wear ladies have covered the subject of not letting your derby name take over your entire wardrobe.

In any case if you're going to be that nerdy from the front, you probably want to bring a little sexy back:

corset back tank back

I've only ever made this from t-shirts that were already the right size, so ironically they don't quite fit. Because the strings pull the shoulders in, then there's a little bit of gapping here and there. Also I think this shirt is a little too thick for this style, I think a lighter fabric would drape better.

corset back top pattern

So if your shirt fits, all you have to do is lop off the sleeves and the neckhole. Then you cut a deep U in the back and punch 1/8" holes 1" from the fabric edge and, idk, about 2" apart. Looking at my picture, I guess I didn't start those holes as high up as they are in the pattern.

Then cut a 1" strip from the bottom of the t-shirt, which is when I cut into where it said "YOU OUT" at the bottom. If you were wondering where that was. Though I do like an incomplete joke, and the length is better shorter. You probably have to sew together two strips to make one very long string. By the way, have I told you that you just pull on the strip to turn it into a string? Also you can pull on your cut edges to roll them and hide any rough edges.

Then thread the string through the holes from top to bottom, and tie the ends together at the bottom.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Book of Charts

self control hearts

Some of you may recognize this new tattoo that I got with shoalmates Shannanigan and Zombea Arthur as the life hearts from Legend of Zelda, but in the clamski idioverse these are self control hearts that we remind each other to fill up when we seem low or bleat about when we feel insufficiently loved. "Insufficiently loved," actually, comes from a whole other idioverse, from Ika, who may be pleased, if she remembers, that her idiom is alive and well across the pond.

So anyway, lately I have been embarked on a demented project that started with the chart for my clothes and has turned into a whole book of charts. With charts for everything. Bwahaha before you lock me up, read this New York Times article Do You Suffer From Decision Fatigue? that Shanna sent on last week. Because it explains it all.

Decision fatigue helps explain why ordinarily sensible people get angry at colleagues and families, splurge on clothes, buy junk food at the supermarket and can’t resist the dealer’s offer to rustproof their new car. No matter how rational and high-minded you try to be, you can’t make decision after decision without paying a biological price. It’s different from ordinary physical fatigue — you’re not consciously aware of being tired — but you’re low on mental energy.

Almost the main point of my systems is to eliminate day-to-day decisionmaking in my life. It entails making global decisions that take a lot of energy, of course. It entails, honestly, wearing the same four miniskirts to work for three seasons so far. It's not for everybody. It's handy, though! Say it's spring, I look at the chart and what, fried eggs for breakfast. Actually I think spring is scrambled eggs. It's not supposed to be restrictive; if I decide I want something besides scrambled eggs, I can have that. Just if I'm not decided, I have this scrambled eggs default. Similarly with working out, really it's a good thing I didn't make Second Wind because that gave me two years of data on this, I have it set up so that postseason is strength training, preseason is fitness training, and so on. So I don't have to worry whether I should be doing whatever now. Is it postseason? Then I need to be at Kru. Is it preseason? Then I need to be at speed. Is it home season? Then I don't have to kill myself with workouts. I was figuring that I could save myself from having to make the same little decisions day in and day out, I'd have more of myself to study or practice—and now this article backs me up.

Why You Need To Sleep On It:

The most successful people, Baumeister and his colleagues have found, don’t use their willpower as a last-ditch defense to stop themselves from disaster. Rather, they conserve willpower by developing effective habits and routines in school and at work so that they reduce the amount of stress in their lives.

Not telling you what to spend your energy on. Not actually telling you anything at all, do what you want. Just if there's something in your life that does take a lot of energy like say derby and were wondering where you could scrape some up.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cannellini Bean and Avocado Wrap with Baby Spinach

cannellini bean and avocado wrap with baby spinach

Baby spinach is also good. And if you don't happen to have tomatoes on hand, a couple tablespoons of chopped sundried tomatoes also works!

a can of cannellini beans
two green onions
a chipotle pepper
an avocado
2 heaping Tbsp chopped sundried tomatoes
1 Tbsp lime juice
fajita-size whole wheat tortillas
baby spinach

Rinse and drain the beans. Mince the green onions and chipotle. Mash the beans in a flat bowl (I use my skillet) with a potato masher. Peel and pit the avocado and mash it right into the beans. Stir in the tomato, onion, chipotle, and lime juice.

To make a wrap, I toast a tortilla right on an open burner with tongs. Spread a stripe of bean mash across the middle of the tortilla, top that with baby spinach, then roll it up.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Running Stairs

Boy you know, I have been running up the stairs from the train station, just two days a week, since February when my work moved to the Marquette Building literally upstairs from the Monroe blue line station, almost as a joke nod to the near certainty that I would never ride my bike to work again and also to my growing addiction to cinnamon raisin bagels with cream cheese and small coffees to go, appropriately marketed at Corner Bakery as the Morning Rush, and last night when Coach Larry had us running stairs for plyos before speed, I realized that it actually has not been a waste of time.

I actually brought my camera to take a picture of the stairs like a weirdo. But I turned it on and it took one shaky photo, announced that it was exhausted and shut down. I've been there, camera. It gets better!

Three sets of thirteen stairs from the platform to the station, and a set of fifteen stairs and a set of twenty stairs from the station to the street.

Get that bagel! Get that bagel!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


# water
/ morning pages
* swing
* color hair
# eggs and oatmeal
* make bed
* do dishes
\ veganly beans
# veganly beans with chicken

Yes, veganly beans. With chicken.

# and a Coke
/ weekly to do list
: sliding filament model
: naming skeletal muscles
: connective tissue
\ pasta with tomato almond pesto
# pasta with tomato almond pesto
` speed
` fresh meat scrimmage
# cereal with sliced almonds

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

T-Shirt Surgery: A Halter String Top

halter string top front

Really finding a t-shirt with a cool graphic is half of your t-shirt surgery, this is an original screenprinted t-shirt that I snatched up from Sonya Mouthshut.

halter string top pattern

You pretty much mark out the armholes and sides the same as for the simple A-line dress, except that instead of cutting out the neckhole and shoulders, you just cut straight across.

I cut a contrasting 1" string for another t-shirt. It has to be long enough to go over both shoulders and across the back and front, which you fold over and sew to make a narrow pocket. Thread the string through front and then the back pocket, and try on the shirt to adjust how long you want your strings. Sew the ends of the string together and pull the sewed part inside one of the pockets.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fruit Juice Popsicles


Already the days are getting cooler and I have been remiss again in mentioning popsicles, which we make as simply as possible with just fruit juice in Tovolo Ice Pop Molds.

I will never get this fancy; but if you wanted to make Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas, I would come over and help you eat them.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pasta Salad with Cannellini Beans, Broccoli and Sliced Almonds

pasta salad with cannellini beans, broccoli and almonds

I had meant this to be with slivered almonds; but the sweetie man does all the grocery shopping, you know how the Eskimos have forty different words for snow but it's all the same snow to us? Sometimes communicating what I want from the grocery store is like that, but who am I to complain? I haven't been grocery shopping in like two or three years. Anyway, that's how I discovered that sliced almonds are actually better in salads—lighter and crunchier.

6 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
12 oz whole wheat short pasta
one can cannellini beans
1 cup sliced almonds

Put some water on for the pasta.

Measure vinegar into a large bowl. Add generous amount of salt and pepper. Drizzle the olive oil over the vinegar and whisk it in.

Cook the pasta according to package directions, about ten minutes or until al dente. Trim and cut the broccoli into tiny florets, and toss in the vinaigrette. Rinse and drain the cannellini beans, and toss them with the broccoli. Add the sliced almonds. When the pasta is done, drain and toss with everything else.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Speed Training

Box posted this to my wall last week, I can't stop thinking about it...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Riedell Vandals alla Poppy: Juke 97s, Gumballs vs. Snyders

a juke and two toe stops walk into a bar...

Woot Juke 97s, I love them! I don't know if I'm any faster, but I'm not sliding out at all. I have the 97s on the outside of both skates (as you face the track), the theory being that the inside wheels grip and the outside wheels go fast. I really don't know, I've never been big on mixing up wheels. I was just too chicken to try all 97s at once. Now I might get four more, don't stop until you fall flat on your face is my motto! What's really different is that I have something actually in the ballpark of a hockey stop now, the hard wheel helps me slide into the stop instead of sticking to the track.

I'm not so sure about these Gumballs, though. I mean they're okay, but I think I did better on my Snyders. The Gumballs are just a bit smaller and flatter, and I sort of think harder? I keep wiping out on my turn stops now, there just doesn't seem to be enough toe stop under me to catch me anymore...

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

T-Shirt Surgery: A String Top

string top back

This is one of my favorite tops that I made two summers ago, and welp, it did fit me differently when I was skinnier, you can see how the strings are supposed to lie on the shoulders and cross in back. I still like this sort of Pocohantas look though, so I still wear it. I should mention, this is from a bunch of t-shirt surgeries that I made from t-shirts bequeathed to me from shoalmate Shannanigan, if you were wondering why I have so many nihilist industrial and body modification shirts. With my sunny disposition and my two little tattoos.

But anyway, this is about the easiest t-shirt surgery you will ever make. Really the hardest part is figuring out which strings go where when you put it on.

So all you do is measure yourself around the armpits, divide that in half, and measure that out from the center of your t-shirt. I always make A-line tops because I haven't figured out how to make a waist curve yet, just draw diagonals from armpit to hem. Then you cut it all out and sew up the sides.

string top pattern

For the strings, you cut 1" strips (not pictured) and sew them together, if necessary, to make them long enough. There are four strings! Then you eyeball where the strings would go, and punch two holes about an inch apart on both sides of both sides. These holes will stretch, so use a tiny punch like a 1/8" punch.

Then you string the strings through the holes, matching the front and back holes for the outside strings and crossing the inside strings in back. Also the holes don't hold a knot; the strings are decoratively knotted, but I tied them together in front of their holes to hold them in.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jailya's Lock Ya Up and Throw Away the Key Lime Pie Smoothie

jailya's lock ya up and throw away the key lime pie smoothie

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

Wasn't it genius of Jaily to come up with a smoothie with the word key, so I could come up with this awesome pun?

So I mostly do not add sweeteners to my smoothies because bananas are sweet enough, but then sometimes you get tired of everything tasting like banana. Key lime juice and coconut milk make this so refreshing and creamy, and not at all like banana. I would have never thought of coconut milk!

It tastes. Like pie.

Jaily actually uses key limes that she peels, cuts up and freezes. I could not find key limes at the Jewel, but I did find key lime juice.

frozen banana
2 Tbsp key lime juice
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup coconut milk
almond milk
graham crackers

Put the frozen banana in the blender cup, then the key lime juice, yogurt and coconut milk. Pour in a little bit of almond milk to fill the cup. Screw on the cap, stick the cup on the motor base, and blend for 30 seconds. Then take it off the base and give it a little shake to get anything that's stuck on the top of the cup. Blend for another 20 seconds or until the smoothie is churning freely from top to bottom.

Crumble graham crackers on top, or dunk 'em...

Friday, August 5, 2011

August Diet Quality Card

Days that I'm at home are more or less the same as they were in July, so far so good.

Days at work are a lot better now that I'm bringing greek yogurt and blueberries for second breakfast and chopped salads for lunch:

august diet card - work

This might be the best I've ever done eating vegetables. Though I am counting avocado as a vegetable, which I had words with friends about. I would only otherwise count avocado as fat; but avocados are good fat, not essential fat—i.e., omega-3. Avocado has fiber, though! And vitamin B.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Summer Fitness Plan

Base: Moderate endurance

Preseason is officially on! Probably the really interesting thing that's happening in preseason is what's happening with the league, home team practices have been moved to weekends until the Hydra in mid-November to give travel teams the prime practice slots at the height of their season.

alla Poppy

League practices in August are agility and skatefit. I want agility not to be the Puff the Magic Dragon of league practices! Agility isn't the easy practice that you while away in until you're cleared for blocking, devastating agility is at the heart of devastating blocking! Skatefit is an on-skates strength and fitness workout, piloted last season by Jackie Daniels. We also have two speed practices led by scary Coach Larry, so it's really going to be a good month.

I still have my beloved referee practices, and the occasional Rioters fresh meat scrimmage. I finished my ref shadow rotations somewhat able to jam ref and still not able to pack ref worth a damn. I have to let somebody else have a turn, though. That leaves me without a Thursday workout, I'm thinking maybe about doing a bootcamp but also maybe I can try to catch up on the studying I haven't done in a month since becoming captain and getting together the preseason league practice schedule.

There's also swim + yoga, but I do not swim. I mean, I can swim. Myra and I talk a lot about how things we take things for granted are rooted in the past, I tell people all the time about how I wasn't allowed to play sports as a kid, despite desperately wanting skating lessons, and that the only physical activity that my dad put any value on at all was swimming, and in fact I had swimming lessons every summer. And I also tell people all the time that I do not like to get wet and do not like to be in the water or even on water. And it only now just occurred to me that those two things are connected.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Chopped Salads

chopped salad

There is actually a chopped up heart of romaine under all that...

I'm embarrassed to tell you how long it took me to get together chopped salads for lunches at work. I had to get a cutting board and a knife for work, I had to get a pretty bowl and a fork—I had a fork at work, but it disappeared—I had to organize myself to make hard boiled eggs, I had to figure out what to do with the kidney beans... LIFE IS HARD.

I have a really, really short fuse for cooking these days. If I'm going to spend any time at all cooking, it has to feed me now and feed me a couple more meals later. I couldn't make myself boil two eggs just for later in the week, I can only boil three eggs and have a chopped salad for Sunday lunch and then two more chopped salads for work lunches.

It works out, because hearts of romaine come packaged in threes.

3 eggs
a can of kidney beans
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
a package of hearts of romaine
1-1/2 avocados
3 plum tomatoes

Put the eggs in a pan with enough cold water to cover, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Cover the pan and remove from heat. Let eggs sit for ten minutes, then drain and cover with cold water.

Drain and rinse the kidney beans. Whisk together the vinegar, sugar, and olive oil right in a takealong container. Toss the beans in the vinaigrette.

Trim and chop a heart of romaine, and top with a diced half avocado, tomato, egg, and a third of the kidney beans for your Sunday salad.

For work, you bring the other two hearts of romaine, an avocado, two tomatoes, two eggs, and the rest of the kidney beans in the takealong container.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Pastime Wear

summer pastime wear

I was really happy wearing black camis and cargo shorts last summer, and this summer I just couldn't get over the profile with the big back pockets. It's not just the giant pockets over my big butt, I think my legs have just gotten too thick for long shorts. So I got two pairs of Selena Gomez short shorts, ha ha, from the juniors department, and now short shorts plus surgered t-shirts is my go to summer look. I like it!

Plus I can finally replace my zombie birkenstocks with the sandals I saved from my sister, and by "replace" I mean I still can't bear to throw them away...

2 denim short shorts
6 t-shirt surgeries
brown or black sandals

At last count, I have seventeen surgered t-shirts. Pics and instructions TK!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Greek Yogurt and Blueberries

greek yogurt and blueberries

One of my old favorites, but now with greek instead of regular yogurt. I'm very particular about the blueberries, which are Trader Joe's frozen organic wild blueberries. They're small, sweet blueberries, I empty the bag into a takealong container and scoop the berries straight from the freezer onto my yogurt.

I had intended this as my work breakfast to replace coffee and bagel, but I ended up having coffee and bagel for breakfast and then this as second breakfast. Then chopped salad for lunch, I actually made it through the day without feeling shaky and panicky. Which has been going on for about a month, but now I think I'm all right. Coffee and bagel and chopped salad just isn't enough food, plus I can use the extra protein. It's great to have muscles but you sure do have to keep on top of feeding them, it's like having kids...