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July 2008 Archives

July 2, 2008

oh sweet mystery

One nice thing about being consistent, is that you often receive rewards. I recently received an e-mail telling me that my farm share deliveries were starting this week. "what is a farm share?" you may ask...

well, in my case, I gave a sum of money about 5 months ago to a local organic farm. In return for this money, they give me a share of their produce every week that the crops come in. Its a small gamble, because if there is some kind of farming disaster, then I don't get no produce. Lucky me, that didn't happen, and instead, I was able to pick up my first share today.

I picked the smallest share available, just in case the loml and I couldn't deal with the reality of fresh vegetables. And this is what I got:
head of lettuce (very green, not iceburg)
3 yellow squash (very cute looking)
a huge batch of basil (I have no idea what to do with this much of it)
a batch of mint? I think its mint - maybe I'll make mohitos.

and, 2 mystery vegetables.

See! this is what I get for being adventurous! and now, I am about to share my bounty with you. Here is a picture of what I got. Instead of googling for it, I'll let you guys decide. If you know what these things are, leave me a comment.

UPDATE: We have a winner for the contest. See the comments below.

July 4, 2008

Lookin' good - Part 1

You know, I haven't contributed much unique content to the internet and I feel mildly ashamed of that fact. I once said that people shouldn't post anything if they didn't have anything decent to say. And sadly, I then went against myself and started this blog (note* if you would like to see the one 'decent' thing I have contributed to the internet, click here)

So in that same vein, here goes this part 1 posting on "How to Look Good". Why should you listen to me? Cause I look good, and what more do you need than that?

Part 1 - Fixing your Wardrobe
- Find a Style
- Take a good look at yourself
- Don't Shop at Target

I followed a lot of wardrobe makeover advice. I had a subscription to "Missus Smarty Pants", I followed the Tim Gunn's Guide to Style Essential Wardrobe list, I constantly purged my closet of items.. and still, i felt like i had nothing to wear. So what happened? I went to the library and borrowed a whole bunch of books on how to dress myself. My first winner was "Nothing to Wear" by Garza and Lupo. This book did the one thing that had never happened before. It made me decide on an actual fashion "look". Other sources will tell you to find a celebrity to be your fashion inspiration. That was bullshit to me. The celebs get dressed by different people, all the time. Take this approach and just pick something, like Whimsical-Chic and go with it. The nice thing about this book was that they listed designers to check out. I did that and made a folder of outfits I liked for visual reference.

Now this is key: As suggested by the book (and practically every other style guide out there), I actually took a digital camera and took photos of myself wearing my own clothes, in all different combinations. I tried each of my blouses with each of my pants, with my different shoes. This took a couple of hours, even though I had already tossed out all the clothes that didn't fit or were damaged. And what I found was amazing.. as in amazingly bad.. The shoes that I thought were so cute, were awful. I had skirts that looked bad with shirt/blouse that I tried them with. My one business suit made me look like a chunky corpse. What a friggin nightmare! I even showed the pics to a couple of friends (thank you Howard and Christian) who made some amazing observations, as in "that shirt is too big for you". Holy crap! They were right, I actually owned blouses that were one size too big! So all I can say is, if you only do one thing for yourself based on this entry, do this! I threw out some more clothes!

Then, I went shopping. What really helped me this time, was that I had made a specific list of items I needed. I knew what I liked, and in this case, another book helped. "Dress Your Best" by Clinton Kelly and Stacy London (yes, the people from "What Not to Wear"). Now, this book was nice because it kind of gives you a 'come to jesus moment' about your body type. But what I got out of it was even better. It turns out that I have the same body type as Stacy London. Awww yeah! What this means is that now, when I watch the show, I don't pay much attention to the victim of the day. I just see what Stacy is wearing. We don't have the same coloring (thank you "Color Me Beautiful" by Carole Jackson - My mom owned this and I used to read it when I was a kid), but I can see the cut and structure of the clothing she wears.

ok - so a small note on the shopping. As my friend nutter-butter once said "Don't buy clothes at Target". Now, I like Target, but its true. Their clothes are crappy. I went to the outlet mall instead. Now, I may have spent $50 on a discounted Marc Jacobs blouse, when I could have spent $20 at Target, but let me tell you something. That Marc Jacobs blouse is nice! Its going to look nice from the first time I wear it, up until it dies. My Target clothes look nice the first 2 or 3 times I wear them, and then spend the rest of their life in a miserable decline of 'slightly disheveled'. I wouldn't even buy a basic t-shirt there, when I can catch a sale at GAP and get a much better version of a basic t-shirt for $10 (and yes, I hate yuppies too, but i do like a good t-shirt).

So to summarize a basic shopping list, here is what I did:
- identified my activities. turns out i was great for my workout lifestyle, but my business wardrobe was in the pits, and so was my 'evening out' wear. I decided to combine the two slightly, by buying blouses that were not only business casual but could also convert to evening wear.
- made a list based on the wardrobe analysis. I already owned basic t-shirts, i just needed nice blouses that could go under jackets, black and neutral business shoes, and some business pants. A note on the shoes* basic black shoes are boring. Since my business wardrobe was pretty low key (no psychadelic clothing) I could get some more interesting shoes as long as they coordinated.
- then I stuck to the list and visited every friggin store in the outlet mall that sold women's clothing.

and, most importantly, I got a nice haircut. because if there was one thing i could tell, it doesn't matter how well you dress when your hair says "I'm homeless".

July 6, 2008

Lookin' good - Part 2

ok, I have a confession to make. I wrote that last entry while I was hopped up on endorphins. I had just come back from a 30 minute 'run' (more of a jog really) and that seemed to propel my descent into ego. Thus was born my longest blog entry ever, which really could've been summarized thusly:

- If you really want to know what you look like, try taking pictures of yourself in your clothes. This little exercise will sufficiently objectify you enough so that you can make rational decisions regarding your clothes.
- Finding the right self-help book is dependent on the style of the author complementing your style. That's why borrowing a bunch of books from the library on any subject is great idea.

Now then, I did title this entry as a Part 2. The good news is that its going to be a lot shorter than Part 1, and its going to be about working out. That's because its a lot easier to look good when you are in shape. I don't care what size you are, if you are trying to work with a gut in your size, its going to be hard. According to the last woman's magazine stat I read, women's average bra size is up to a 36C and average weight is somewhere around 150-ish (up 20 lbs from the last time they gathered data).

Now IF (big IF), this is true then its a bit problematic as many women's clothes are designed for a B cup and so on. And its always a shame to have to wear something that doesn't fit 80% of you in order to accommodate the other 20%. So what is my (unwholesome) message here?

"The upraised nail gets hammered down!" - Yes, that is the message! You can either be the "squeaky wheel" that hopes clothing manufacturers change or be the "upraised nail". So here is how I dropped 5 lbs and started firming up:

1) Fruit smoothies for breakfast. I also add soy protein, cause as a vegetarian, I need help.
2) Make a gym commitment and take the awful classes. In my case, I got tricked into an 'unbreakable' 3 year contract with those ASSHATS at 'Lady of America' so the money goes away no matter what I do.
3) Light dinner/Do not eat after 6pm - Eat your lunch, but moderate dinner. You didn't need that food anyway.

Now, here are some fun things that I purchased that helped me along the way:
Vital ID - I don't carry ID when I go running, so I wear one of these. Mine is purple with little pink flowers on it and when I wear it, I feel like I am a 'serious' runner. I'm doing something potentially 'dangerous', i need an ID! Damn - I am exciting!

Polar FS1 - A heartrate monitor! I bought the base entry model, which was still a bit pricey at $60. I didn't go gung-ho into heart rate training, but two good thing did happen. First, the treadmills and ellipticals at my gym work with the Polar brand. Nice.

Now this second point is important to me, so it gets its own paragraph. When I first tried running, I hated it. I felt like I was coughing up blood and it would hurt. But 'people' would hand me that line of crap about how I just need to push through the pain. I'd like to take a moment to raise a finger to all those people in my past. I am only sorry that it took a $60 piece of plastic to make me realize that when I feel bad I need to listen to myself and slow down.

well - thank god this entry is over. I would now like to take a moment to acknowledge the loml who scored 3 hole in one's at the mini-golf this weekend!

July 9, 2008

what i learned today

hehehe, well.. its been an interesting day.. here is what i learned

1) I hate escarole
How did I learn this: Last weeks farm share. I tried it in salad form and cooked with some onions. No, no, no. That stuff is best relegated to a minority portion of 'mixed greens'.

2) I love chinese eggplant
How did I learn this: This weeks farm share. Its smaller with less seeds. I diced it right into my tomato risotto. Add some basil and parmesean and I'm a happy camper.

3) Mac iSync does not support the Motorola Q.
How did I learn this: The hard way.

4) Cats don't mind being shaved with an electric razor if you give'm cat treats.
How did I learn this: Bwa-hahahahahaha. let's just say that my Turkish Angoras are now short hairs! (confidential to the loml: Don't worry honey, they just look a little smaller than usual).

July 13, 2008

where's my beer?

So... lately at my house, we've been discussing what it takes to get 6 pack abs.

I think one of the gifts of Americana, besides ketchup and ranch dressing, is an education in diet and exercise. I don't think of myself as particularly interested in that kind of thing, but somehow, I can still define the Atkins diet, the 'no S' diet, the proper way to conduct a juice fast, refer you to some excellent calorie counting software, and a bunch of other things I can't believe I know. And one of those things is that spot reduction is a myth. So if you want to have 6 pack abs, you need to:
1) Have abs!
2) Cut the fat that stops your abs from being seen!

ohhh... so simple. Bwa-hahahahaha!

So the loml, after researching the matter, devised an excellent work out plan and has been executing it amazingly. Great job honey!

Now I, on the other hand, have refused to get engaged in the crazy work out. I've always been a trim person and I already work out and run. And I saw the olympic trials! Women runners have six-packs! so ha! ha! I just need to cut some fat, right?

uhmm.. no actually, turns out I was wrong.

I may have mentioned that during my 4 month sabbatical from work, I've kicked up my work out level and towards the end, I also started dropping some weight. Well, I did it. I cut out a bona fide 5 pounds (THE 5 lbs!) and its been off. So one fateful day (yesterday), i looked in the mirror. and what did I see?

I tell what I didn't see. a six pack. oh. my bad. I looked closer.. nope. not even a two-pack. guess I really do need to seriously work out. Somehow, I naively assumed that by virtue of being ALIVE, that my stomach muscles would be defined.

Now, my sister practically bust her gut laughing when i told her this. "I could have told you this would happen. If you had a six pack, we would've seen it already". oh, well geez... maybe I should have just asked my sister what to do instead. but, not to worry, my sister assured me. "This way, you got this really funny story to tell me instead".

hah - maybe I have a six pack in story telling instead.

cesar milan is a god!

I don't know if any of you recall this scene from 'Crocodile Dundee', where there Mick, the woman, and his friend are out on the road, and there is some kind of 500 pound buffalo blocking the way. So Crocodile Dundee walks over and does some kind of mystical eye contact thing with the animal... and it just totally sits down for him.

I just saw Cesar do this with a dog. It was amazing. If any of you catch the episode, the dog is named Cotton, and its a 35 lb vicious white furry thing. If Cesar was a 'people whisperer', he would rule the planet.

July 14, 2008

hellboy is a hell no

I loved Hellboy. Any movie that uses Hitler's obsession with the occult as a basis for a questionable plot line is a movie that I HEART! (and it had demons to boot!) and it was funny.

So when I heard that "Hellboy II" was coming out, I was excited. until I actually watched it.

awww...

that's right.. awwwww...

I mean, the acting was pretty good. The dude playing the evil elf prince (hahahaha!) was really good (Luke Goss, I've never heard of you, but you were good!). The special effects were excellent... and yet, I would have to say this is probably where things went wrong. There is something to be said for ingenuity.. you know, when you can't afford all the fancy schmancy CGI, so you do something else. You make your asteroids out of potatoes, you stuff a bunch of little people into teddy bear outfits, and you hire Frank Oz to give the best puppet performance ever... then, years later, when you get rich and famous.. you go back and fuck it ALL UP!

alright.. back to Hellboy then: having less wunder-effects means your drama rests more solidly on your actors' shoulders instead of the CGI, and your movie becomes more about the problems of people (if people = demons, trolls, elves, fairies) instead of an alien party fest that was better done by "Men in Black".

or as my sister says, "Speed Racer was better". yeah... yeah it was.

July 16, 2008

yarghhhh

when I was job hunting, one of my two requirements was that the job should be within five miles of my house. I don't recall what my other requirement was but I hope I got it because I now have a one hour commute (each way). I am so blitzed from having to catch the early commuter bus, that I hardly recall much of anything... much less my password to get into this blog.

I enjoy the actual commute; it's a a nice time to relax. i've been reading (st. leibowitz and the wild horse woman - i'd give a link but i'm on the bus right now) and observing other passengers. i've specifically been observing other women's approach to business wear. this is a strange field. I first noticed that most women wear flip flops during the summer commute. this is great. as soon as I get comfortable with carrying a shoe bag into the office, i'll do this. however, I encountered one business woman at the microwave yesterday who hadn't bothered. she had a full business suit going and was shod in leather flip flops. the flip flops, I was pleased to see, were decorated with about a million little plastic sparkly free-swinging bead dongles.

these little accents of discord (and often full blown business attire sabotage) tell me that many of the women on my commute dislike their clothes and possibly their lives.

hmmm.. well, my thumbs are getting tired from blogging from my cell phone, so i'll save my commuter pop-psychology for now.

missives from the edge

riding the metro always puts me in a mood, depending on the stop. the smithsonian stop always makes me feel great. you ride up the escalator and practically burst out onto The Mall (the national one, in dc, its a big grassy field surrounded by museums). its fantastic!

others, like Rosslyn, make me feel like I'm ascending from the bowels of hell (no disrespect intended to the metro system. its a fine way to commute, if a bit expensive). At Rosslyn, you ride up a multi-story escalator. the height is great enough to give me vertigo and I always keep a hand on the rail. anyway, the ride takes minutes... which is plenty of time to contemplate the zoned out nature of the commuter rat race. and once you reach the top.. you still have to walk through a mild bit of sub-terrain before you hit the street.

=================================

I think spending 4 months at home has changed me. I'm temporarily working in a common area and the guy next to me doesn't stop talking. he's really nice, friendly, but loquacious is an understatement. even when there is no one to talk to, he's leaving voicemail about how he's going to call your other number, cue more voicemail. I can't get anything done but on the plus side, I'm not angry. on the downside, i'm thinking seriously about walking out of the office for the day.

ok. I'm sticking it out but will be taking small breathers throughout the day. one odd thing i've noticed is that this man speaks about 80% in colloquialisms. its like listening to a large collection of sound bites.

July 20, 2008

waterloo

sometimes, i really think that television has messed up my life.

I mean, this is something I already know. When I was on my 10 day silent meditation retreat, about 40% of the blathering that went on in my head was television. episode reruns, movie scenes, soundtracks, whatever.

i bought some running shorts at target today. they were on sale and made of that moisture wicking stuff, which is excellent since its really hot right now (even hotter when you're jogging). However, there was some limited color selection, and I wound up with bright green. I tried them on when I got home and they struck me as being so damn cute. I wore them all day. I didn't even go running. I just puttered around the house in these lime green shorts that remind me of napoleon dynamite (the movie).

ugh.. can't I spend a day without some kind of media association in my brain?

July 22, 2008

tender vittles

well - I'm not going to tell a story about what I've been up to lately. I'll just let the numbers speak for themselves.

The scenario: I am a concerned pet owner who realizes that many pet foods contain trash that results in your cat having to eat more to get the nutrition it needs. I understand that buying good food should pay off since the cat will eat less and suffer less health problems.

So I get a decent brand of pet food:
Hill's Science Diet dry cat food = $1.47 per lb
Hill's Science Diet canned wet food = $1.45 per lb

Then I realize that maybe I would like to make sure that the cat food doesn't contain chicken brains or feet:
Nutro canned wet food = $2.15 per lb

Then I think, "Hell, why don't I make my own cat food":
organic chicken thighs = $1.99 per lb
(note* cost of supplements not included)

And then I realize that making my own cat food can be a little messy and that I'd like to support local business:
Aunt Jeni's home made frozen raw cat food = $5.00 per lb.

I'm starting to think I'm in the wrong business.

Here is a good web page if you are interested in researching cat food:
The woman who writes these is pretty comprehensive.

July 29, 2008

FYI

Dear Mom and Dad,

I must apologize. This Saturday, I jumped out of an airplane and didn't let you know beforehand. What I mean to say is, I went skydiving and listed you as the emergency contact. but, it was fun and I'm still alive!

my bad,

your #1 child

-------------------------------

ok, so I've never actually wanted to go skydiving but the opportunity arose so the loml and I decided to jump on a bandwagon and go. Since it was my first jump, I had to go tandem. Which is fine by me. The way I see it, the instructor doesn't want to die either and since he has more experience, I should let him take care of that objective.

So after several hours of waiting for a plane (the skydiving place was packed!) we got to put on our harnesses while receiving some instructions (don't put your hands in the instructors face while diving) and meet our partners. Then we loaded into the plane (an Otter).

I was the first one in, so i got to ride next to the pilot during the ascent. We went above the horizon and I chatted a little with the pilot (he finds this kind of thing very boring). Then we (there were about 20 of us) hit altitude and we had to get harnessed to our partners/instructors like the meat packets that we were.

Since I was the first one in, I was also the last one out. We spent a long (30 seconds?) time just crouched by the door. It was almost scary. I'd spend 5 seconds staring out and thinking, "Am i scared? no... maybe.. no". and then repeat. After awhile, the pilot got tired of us hanging out in the door and tipped the plane sideways, so.. we jumped.

Free fall was not cool. it was noisy as all hell, like someone was next to my ears going "fwapfwapfwapfwapfwapfwap". but we did that for a bit while I looked at the horizon, which was kind of smudgy. after what felt like an incredibly long time of fwapping, the instructor pulled the cord. Technically, he was supposed to offer me the chance to do it myself, but who knows. Maybe I missed the arm tap. I was rather busy contemplating the idea that my goggles might blow off my head.

but this was the best part, the floating down. and even the side turns were incredible. The view was incredible. a lot like what you see from the plane, but when you skydive, it surrounds you.

My landing was uneventful and painless. My hair was messed up like you would not believe. I had goggle marks on my face.

fantastic and completely worth the insane prices they charge.

July 31, 2008

the youtubes

someone I know keeps spamming me with all these really boring human interest articles. I know, they mail you too. Well, I was really bored today so I actually clicked on the link, which was for a YouTube video about a family of moose (mooses, meeses) playing in a sprinkler. I made it for about half a second before I got distracted by another video called "Pop Corn with Cell Phones".

Now, this video is patently fake. You can tell by the fake camaraderie, the suspicious table set up - but mostly the jug of orange juice. Puh-lease, like I'm gonna believe that three people are going to sit around drinking Orange Juice???

But watch that video anyway, just so that you can watch this one, called : Cell Phone Popcorn Debunked.

This gem of a video displays truth, quality, and the American WAY! Its great and it warms the cockles of my tiny geeky heart.

About July 2008

This page contains all entries posted to daisyblahg in July 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

June 2008 is the previous archive.

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