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:

yoga walk yoga walk yoga walk no yoga
meditate walk meditate walk meditate walk meditate
walk walk walk walk walk walk walk
606 Skate
walk walk walk no walk walk walk walk
stretch stretch stretch stretch stretch stretch stretch

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:


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:


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.


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 one

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.

HA. He doesn't like rice krispie treats. So I ate them all.

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 off. Set the timer for nine minutes. Meanwhile, empty a tray of ice into a large bowl and add just enough cold water to cover the ice.

When that timer goes off, pour off the hot water and transfer the eggs (with the spaghetti server) into the ice bath.

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.

[ETA: Goat milk kefir and yogurt come in quarts, might as well just double the recipe; so you have goatskal for two weeks, which is no bad thing.]

4 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup lemon juice or juice of two lemons
1 quart goat milk kefir
1 quart 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 kefir and the yogurt.

Serve with fruit:

ermahgerd #goatmilk #koldskal #peaches and toasted #almonds #goodeats eta: this is so good, it's insane 😲

A photo posted by Pauline Pang (@allapoppy) on

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 a 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


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.