Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Will Deliver

p: i wrote a song for you.

m: are you going to sing me this song?

p: yes!

p: but you might not get it.

p: because you might not know the parts.

m: okay.

p: so do you know there's a band called depeche mode?

m: yes.

p: and do you know that there's grocery shopping service called peapod?

m: yes.

p: okay!

p: personal...

p: peapod...

m: haha!

New Years Eve

new years eve

You know what I say, nothing like New Years Eve to put the finishing touch on your Xmas tree.

I do know that New Year's properly has an apostrophe. But it bothers me, so I don't put it in.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

But Youuu Still Catch My Eye

p: well, i've had enough of this song.

m: what song is that?

p: laaast christmas, i gave you my heart

p: the very next day, you gave it awaaay

m: that isn't very nice.

m: you can't regift a heart.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Boxing Day


three ninjas  popcorn

Santa brought Odie ...a batlef! And also three little ninjas. And popcorn for Bow and Goatse.

Boy I have been ON POINT since the solstice trying to get everything to happen for Winterval so far, erev winterval dinner, the tree, almost eight presents, getting back on track with cooking practices, and then Christmas was unusually social for me, delivering food to Nipps and Babe, such a relief to see them gingerly walking and talking, gingerly, but walking and talking, and then to Sparty and Hoosier's for Friendmas.

So it's great to a) not be working on Boxing Day, and b) not have a plan at all, well, later on I'll be leading a nice and easy eighty percent practice just to keep my arms and legs moving over break. Did I mention that it's league break? It's league break. This past blog break and this league break have been the least break-y breaks ever, but they've still been good. I think I'm getting good at squeezing in little breaks, or contrast breaks. Like today I'm pinballing from random task to whatever task seems at hand and it's just what the doctor ordered, like it's a break from having a direction. And, a slo-mo pinball. Who has not even had breakfast yet.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Xmas Day
 christmas clafouti

xmas day breakfast

Roasted tomato and goat cheese clafoutis with bacon, water, and coffee

Eight Presents

helmet toe stopsspices my space cadetstissue tees eosbats and supes fuzzy socks

It's been such a busy Advent, I didn't start on the eight presents until this week and only managed seven before TIME PLEASE. Oh well don't cry for me Argentina, as you can see, I am being like the person who lines up at the 15 items or less checkout because seven yogurts counts as one item, right?

  1. S-One Lifer helmet - The snap on my hockey helmet broke again, so I ended the hockey helmet experiment. My conclusion: hockey helmets are okay. They're not perfect for derby. I love my new helmet, it's the S-One Lifer and they fit you for your basic size and then let you try on the shell with different-sized front, back, and top liners for a custom fit. Because I wear a bandana, I have a L shell with L liners, sort of boring, but it fits good. Review TK, but there's not much more to say than that!
  2. Bloc and Bounce toe stops - No, I did not need two pairs of toe stops. I couldn't decide! As you can see, the Bounces have bounced out of their box and are on my skates as we speak. Reviews TK!
  3. Spices - I originally wasn't going to count this as one of the eight, but why not. When I lived in Madison, I discovered Penzey's and now I get my spices from The Spice House, which is the same family, and which is a quick trip on the North Avenue bus to Wells. The price is surprisingly cheap for the really high quality, the only expensive thing was the vanilla, which was (ulp) $15.99, but everything else was around $4 for a 4 oz bag. What gets you is waiting to get your spices measured out, it doesn't even help to close your eyes because you can still smell everything. On the savory side I got cumin, coriander, and chili powder for my carne asada and carnita, plus thyme for chicken soup, it turns out the that sweetie man likes my chicken soup, so I will make him that all winter. On the sweet side I meant to just get cinnamon and nutmeg, but I also got ginger—for sprinkling on pears before roasting, yes?—and also cinnamon sticks and bay leaves for my mulled wines and ciders, tch, I should have gotten whole cloves, too. And whenever I go to the spice store, I get the sweetie man a little bag of candied ginger because he likes them.
  4. Space cadets - Odie and his pals are just holding this space here.
  5. Tissue tees - Biggie spied these out at Target, I was looking for the exact same Xhiliration tissue tees that I bought ...ten years ago. These are close enough, tissue is the salient feature. Nice underlayer for work outfits. I wanted black, charcoal grey, and navy; they had black, heather gray, and white. Mehhh, should I have gotten white? Except for playing as a Fury, I don't think I ever wear white. I'm toying with the idea of getting white and dying them navy, and dying the heather gray charcoal.
  6. Eos lip balm - Eeee! I have wanted one of these for a while. I may not wear a lot of white, but I make up for it in orange! Everything orange!
  7. Bats and Supes long sleeved thermal t-shirts - Total impulse purchase while waiting in line at Old Navy.
  8. Fuzzy socks - Now that I work three days a week, I needed a couple more pairs of black fuzzy socks to satisfy my formula (n x 2) + 2 equals eight total. But, Old Navy was sold out of black fuzzy socks. They had cheetah print though, haha, okay.

What I really meant to do with this year's eight presents was to work on the list of fashion items that I really need, well, I managed the tissue tees and the fuzzy socks, but not the sweaters or, gah, new sweatpants. I had two pairs of Old Navy sweatpants in hand, men's size M, but they were a little tight in the thighs, jeebus I have big legs, so I went back and tried on L and those fit my thighs but I couldn't pull the drawstring tight enough to make the waist fit at all. Then I found a pair of XL ladies sweatpants at American Eagle that fit all right, but ladies colors, meh, so that was that, errgh my old sweatpants are sooo bad...

Eight Presents 2013: Where Are They Now?

So insanely busy at the end of last year, updating this slipped through the cracks!

  1. Still wear this for biking.
  2. I didn't end up liking the bounces, the blocs I loved. Retired now, though.
  3. I think these all got used up. I will need more vanilla soon.
  4. Aw, this was before Kevin.
  5. Clutch wardrobe players.
  6. This one melted, but I have three others.
  7. Love.
  8. I wear these, but honestly I would prefer them in black and they don't make black anymore? Why not :(

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Xmas Eve
 chinese takeout

xmas eve

Hot and sour soup, potstickers, mongolian beef with rice, extra rice, and fortune cookies.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Black Banana Fritters

banana fritters

Just for funsies, I made banana fritters. I had most of a bunch of bananas that I bought for the bout last week, and of course they bruised in transit and of course I am a banana princess... which doesn't sound quite right, but onward, I can only eat perfectly yellow bananas. So I've had these four bananas blackening on the counter all week, I know I'm not doing smoothies again until June probably and you know I'm not going to bake, viz., banana bread. So I'm sorry to say, I'm not above throwing out food. I don't force myself to eat things. Just out of curiosity though, I googled "how to use up bananas" and let me tell you something, if you're going to write an article called 17 Delicious Ways to Use Up Old Bananas, I feel like you shouldn't come at me with banana bread and smoothies, I already knew about those! And let's talk about this three layer caramel banana cake, man, I am the person who just watched as the life force drained out of four perfectly good bananas, do I look like I have the get up and go to assemble a cake that needs three cake pans to come together? But then again I'm given to understand that this is how other people feel about me and my li'l ol' blog, which is why I'm always saying YMMV and really mean it.

Also that banana "soft serve" is gross.

Oh right, but, I was intrigued by these banana fritters. Something that could use up all your old bananas, that you could whip together without too much fuss or too many additional ingredients. I mean, meh, it uses flour, so I wouldn't eat these every day. I pretty much stuck to the linked recipe, except I think bananas are sweet enough so I left out the added sugar, yup, YMMV. I've been using up this bag of cake flour so I used that, but otherwise all purpose flour. And I'm using up this vegetable oil and after that's gone, I'm going to use coconut oil for frying and that would probably be reeeally good for this.

Also this is a pretty scalable recipe, per banana: a dash of nutmeg and cinnamon, a drop of vanilla, a pinch of salt, and 1/4 cup flour. Probably you could just eyeball it all. And actually 1-2 bananas is a more edible amount, four bananas makes twelve fritters and they're so rich I could only put down two.

4 black bananas
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
1 cup flour

Mash bananas with a fork or potato masher, and stir in spices and flour.

Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a heavy pan over medium high heat. Same as with mung bean pancakes, I put a drop of batter in the oil and when it sizzles, the oil is hot enough.

Drop large spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil and pat to flatten them a bit, fry for a couple minutes on each side, and remove to paper towels to drain.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winter Solstice
 put up tree

winter day

On Winter Solstice we put up the tree, here is Odie on the business end of the tree where his Xmas mittens await Santa's blessings. I did apparently already make a tree skirt last year, hand-beaded even, though in typical fashion it doesn't quite work in the real world like it did in my head, not enough coverage, so I borrowed a lace slip from myself that I might permanently sew on as an underskirt. The owls that I made from toilet paper tubes perch precariously on the branches, I see that I left myself a note to hot glue tiny clothespins on them for feet. Hyeah. Or just keep knocking them off the branches and rescuing them for the next ten days. I'm also supposed to make a snowy owl angel, I'm going to need a bigger tube...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Erev Winterval
 mung bean pancakes with rice and kimchee

erev winterval

Wiiintervaaaaal is here... happiness and cheer...

I managed to squeeze in Erev Winterval dinner between work and the draft party that I'm leaving for in a minute, so it goes. It's always different: sometimes I have friends over, sometimes it's just me and the sweetie man, sometimes I just say forget it. I didn't want to say forget it this year, though. It feels important.

First, we light the first candle. I haven't made my tea light holder yet, so it goes in a jelly jar like I've always done.

I wasn't feeling like potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce this year, I figure fried is the salient point. Also: it's my holiday, I do what I want. So I went with mung bean pancakes with rice and kimchee. Which is so easy if you'll stoop to bought kimchee, which I gladly will.

1 cup dried mung beans
1 egg
1 bunch green onions

The morning of, put the mung beans in a bowl with just enough water to cover. Or if you forget this part, call the sweetie man from work and instruct him to do so.

When you get home, first, put on the rice or you will be annoyed that you forgot.

Now take a look at the beans, they will have plumped up and absorbed most of the water. Empty all of it into a food processor and puree until coarsely ground.

Lightly beat the egg in a mixing bowl and add the puree to the egg, and stir them together.

Thinly slice the green onions and stir them into the puree. You can put all sorts of things here, thinly sliced kimchee and shredded zucchini are two of my other favorites.

Heat enough oil to cover the bottom of a heavy pan over medium high heat. I drop a tiny bit of puree into the oil and when that sizzles, the oil's ready. Drop large spoonfuls of puree into the hot oil and pat to flatten them a bit, fry for a couple minutes on each side, and remove to paper towels to drain.

Serve with rice and kimchee, and soy sauce on the side.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

State of the Break
 fall 2013

Blog break is the bessssst. Because your mind, or my mind, is like an assembly line that rolls stuff by you to deal with, and if you don't keep up dealing with stuff as it rolls out, then stuff starts to pile up and and actually I think that makes more stuff roll out faster. So okay, for blogging there's two kinds of stuff, ideas for stuff that you want to write about, and holes that you have to fill with stuff, and honestly you would think you could just stuff the ideas into the holes, but somehow the ideas and the holes just end up in a giant heap on the floor. Or they form a whirlwind of flying monkeys in your head, that also happens. So one way to deal with all that in one fell swoop is to say, Okay, I've decided what I'm going to have on the blog from Dec 1-20 is NOTHING, which means all the holes labeled Dec 1-20 get thrown right out, and all the ideas can go into this box labeled BE QUIET, and then you can deal with whatever's left.

Which was a lot, it's been a very busy break! I mean, I'm just generally busier than I've ever been, out of the house five nights of the week, and during the holidays there are so many invitations and Winterval things to do, and our season opener squeezed in for good measure, so also street teaming, aaand Black & Blue Ball. All of which is, already, behind us. I might have told you this already but, here's my thing: time marches at the same steady pace, no matter what. So you might have an insane week with your hair on fire coming up, but it's going to last just that, a week, and then it'll be behind you. Not that insanity can't follow you all year round, which is another thing to work on. Anyway. I got through it all and the only ball I dropped was Riley's breakfast with Santa, which I was sad about. I guess that's the other thing, you'll get through but maybe not with all the balls that you started with.

slouching to winterval

And Winterval is coming, like, tomorrow, I still haven't made my tea light holder or gotten any of the eight presents. I have until Xmas to get those, though. I have my client and scrimmage tonight, work tomorrow, and there's a draft party tomorrow night—yerk!—and thennn I have SIX DAYS OFF because my boss decided that it didn't make sense for people to come in Monday and then not on Tuesday and Wednesday, woot, that is logic that I can live with.

Actually I'm going to be on an extended break remix through Winterval, just posts about Winterval, not getting back to business yet.

Monday, December 16, 2013

HIIT The Deck!
 six week plyos bootcamp starting 1/7

For folks in the Chicago area:

Come jump with me, come jump, let's jump awaaaay! I have a new toy, a plyo box! That I finally moved into the studio at Tsubo, I've only owned it a year. Terrible story, it was sitting in our front room for months and then I explained to the sweetie man with giant hand gestures how I wanted him to cut apart the coffee cart and put it back together so the plyo box would tuck under and I could pull it out and jump in the kitchen. Which amazingly, he did, the plyo box tucked perfectly underneath and wasn't seen for seven months. Now it lives at Tsubo, let's jump on it!

I think we will also jump rope, yes? I have a really sweet speed rope that you can borrow, but you may want to BYOJR if you're much taller or shorter than 5'4" and honestly a jump rope is one of the best fitness investments you can make, you can get a cheapie like this one from Target and it'll do you fine for this class or here's a bunch from Rogue Fitness, I think I have the SR-3S; you want a speed rope if you want to do double unders, I think. Which I cannot, yet. Yet!

Aaand, let's do this deck style. The deck is a deck of cards, you assign an exercise for each suit, and by "you," I mean I assign them, mwahaha, well, you already know one is going to be box jumps and one is going to be jump rope, that leaves two ::tents fingers:: shuffle and deal, the suit tells you what and the number tells you how many, jacks are eleven, queens are twelve, kings are thirteen, and aces are high. Woot!

This will be a four to six week one-hour session from 7:00-8:00pm starting Tuesday, January 7 through February 11 at Tsubo. Four to six weeks means, you purchase a four week session for $40. Use all four, and you get your fifth session free. Use all five in a row, and your sixth session is also free, boom.

This is how I do because, especially with plyos but really with anything, a) consistency will yield results, and b) there is such a thing as decision fatigue, so you can decide ONCE that you're going to do plyos for the next six weeks, and then after you get your ass kicked the first session, you don't have to re-decide whether this was a good idea. It is a good idea!

Seriously especially for you skaters, plyos is where it's at. Plyos is, first of all, movement, you have to be able to organize your parts to move them the way you want first, if you want them to move the way you want fast, okay second, speed, which means third, fitness, both cardiovascular and muscular, and if you must care about such things, okay fine, all of this adds up to fat burning. And you know what, it'll make you a better dancer, what's with this disaffected swaying back and forth that kids do, can we dance with some pop and enthusiasm, yes please!

Holla at me at allapoppy (at) gmail (dot) com for signup details—first come, first serve up to eight.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Bout Day Breakfast
 TF vs XX

slow cooked steel cut oats, apples sauteed in butter and nutmeg, toasted pecans, and almond milk, and butter coffee

Slow cooked steel cut oats, apples sauteed in butter and nutmeg, toasted pecans, and almond milk, and butter coffee

More bout day breakfasts!