Archive | October, 2010

Five Good Things About Halloween

31 Oct

a massive spider in its web and beer, all that's missing is candy

1.) Candy.  Candy, candy, candy, candy.

2.) It’s an opportunity (but not a requirement) to dress-up as something or someone one is not.  Level of effort or apathy is a personal decision.  (I spent about five minutes on my “costume”)

3.) People watching, particularly on public transit, is much more interesting.

4.) Pumpkins!  I am a huge fan of pumpkin-based treats.  So far this season I have made: pumpkin dip, pumpkin whoopie pies, and roasted pumpkin seeds.

5.) Huge influx of pictures and posts on facebook.  I’m a bit under the weather, so really appreciated the entertainment between naps.

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Five Good Things About NOT Cutting Weight

27 Oct

empty bowl, full belly

Awhile ago, I dedicated a post to convincing myself that cutting weight isn’t all bad.  While true, NOT cutting weight is a lot more enjoyable.  My season is over and I’m free to go crazy.  Here are five GOOD things about NOT cutting weight:

1.) Salt.  I love salt and we are reunited.

2.) Being a bit “fluffier” is a convenient way to stay warm – and just in time for the winter!

3.) My baking kick continues.  I plan to flip eat-to-share ratio of my goods.  (Aside: I made pumpkin whoopie pies tonight and I am kind of excited about them.)

4.) I check neither the calories nor physical weight of food.

5.) One of my things when cutting weight is that I do refuse to deprive myself entirely; I would spend all of my time being sad and crabby.  However, while cutting/monitoring, I do strategize what I eat and when I eat it.  No more!  I can have carbs before bed and juice for breakfast!  Hooray!

Five Good Things About Being Home

26 Oct

I got back from a trip this evening.  My return is a bit bittersweet as I really love the friends and city I just left, but there are good things about being back at my current address.

1.) I get mail at home. 

2.) My real bed is freakishly soft, due to its two featherbeds.  Most non-home beds do not resemble sleeping in clouds.

3.) I have a ton of food at home, all of which I can eat and all of which I (at various times) like to eat.  I am super excited to eat home food for lunch tomorrow.  (Aside: Who gets excited about lentils and rice?)

4.) The sheets in #2 above, along with my towels, smell like Downy (april fresh).  This is the official smell of home – and it’s soft!

5.) While I possess the ability to MacGyver myself out of a lot of situations, it’s nice to instead be prepared for those situations.

Five Good Things About Delta Shuttle Flights

25 Oct

free coffee! free juice! free love!

I feel a little apprehensive to post this as I still need to return to the tundra.  I last flew on Delta in ’03; the time between my Delta flights being due to my holding a grudge over a Delta error.  I’m once again flying them as they merged with Northwest, an airline with which I hold a freakton of frequent flyer miles.  So far, so good!  I might be able to move beyond this one…

1.) Complimentary coffee, tea, and juice awaited me in my terminal.  Not on the plane, where we were also offered complimentary beverage service – as still standard – but ALSO in the waiting area of the terminal.  I fly out of a terrible airport where nothing is free.

2.) In addition to free beverages, Delta Shuttle also provided complimentary newspapers (WSJ, NY Times, USA Today, and local).  If I had not been super tired, I could have spent the flight looking super pretentious.  Again with the free – good work, Delta.

3.) On the first leg of my trip, I had an entire row to myself.  As an petite person, this meant that I could lean against the bulkhead (sitting sideways) and the entirety of my legs were on seat.  (I sat in the window on the second leg; this is my general preference.)

4.) While not direct, there are a ton of flights out of my airport, to places I want to go.

5.) I slept fantastically.

Five Good Things About Queso (the melty-dippy sort)

19 Oct

1.) Queso’s melty state allows people who are unable to chew, but can eat/digest cheese, to enjoy cheese.

2.) While the spice is relatively mild, eating queso makes me feel more exciting than I am.

3.) While it does not go with EVERYTHING, queso pairs well with a lot of things: chips, tater tots, bread, fries, pretzels, spoons.

4.) Queso can make or break a Superbowl party; that’s a lot of power for a processed cheese product.

5.) While more complicated versions exist, that I am sure are worth the time investment, it is possible to make queso with just a hunk of Velveeta and a can of Rotel.

Five Good Things About Regan

18 Oct

i'm pretty sure if regan was a dog, she would be this (her) dog

I get to see my friend Regan, this weekend, which I am super pumped up about.  When I first met Regan, I found her a bit frightening; I suspect the feeling was mutual, albeit for different reasons.  It’s been over a decade since that first meeting and I now know that she’s just pretty darn great.

1.) One of Regan’s gifts is the ability to come up creative, endearing, and appropriate nicknames for people.  She doesn’t always know where they come from; they come the way true gifts do.

2.)  A high school that Regan used to work with named an expensive piece of athletic equipment in honor of her.

3.) Regan always appreciates a good treat.  She is ever-ready for treats as well, which is a good trait in a friend.

4.) Whether athletic, professional, or personal; Regan pursues her passions.

5.) I like her dog an awful lot.

Five Good Things About Alumni Clubs

17 Oct

I often think about, occasionally talk about, yet rarely follow through attending formal alumni events for my dear alma mater.  However, yesterday I SHATTERED my self-induced mold and attended not only a formal, but also an annual, alumni event.  

1.) My alma mater is a bit of a fancy place, so attending these events is an excuse to dust off my pearls and doll myself up.

2.) Groups of fancy people don’t gather around a crockpot of cocktail weenies, holding cans of Grape Crush (aside: maybe they should…) so any alumni event is pretty much obligated to feature delicious food and drink.  Last night’s event was a wine tasting with some lovely charcuterie, cheese, out-of-season fruit, and bite-sized tart options.

3.) Did you notice the above event was a WINE TASTING?  That’s my kind of networking.

4.) I did have some grown-up discussions.  I made one contact who could be useful to me professionally and I might be a useful resource to another alum.  Yay networking.

5.) The tundra is all about football – college and pro.  I went to a school without a football team.  I didn’t realize at the time what a void this would apparently be in my life.  Fortunately, the other alums of the tundra understand and relate to this travesty.  Hanging out with them over some hors d’oeveurs and wine is a lot cheaper – and more enjoyable – than therapy.  Whatever, our team is undefeated for the 135th straight season.

Five Good Things About Sunsets

15 Oct

that bird is heading home...to canada

1.) On a hot day, sunset means a break from the sun and its heat.

2.) They are awfully lovely, providing poetic inspiration to, well, lots of folks.  (Including me – I totally WON a ribbon in the fourth grade for a poem I wrote about Sunsets.  It included the phrases “billowing display” and “pastel flare.”  This was not a participation ribbon; this was a WINNER RIBBON.)

3.) Due to their slow-moving nature, they are easy to photograph. 

4.) Sunset means it’s almost bedtime – hooray! Except in the doldrums of winter, when it means that it’s almost dinnertime – also hooray!

5.) In some religions, fasting days end at sunset.  Fat kids like me are totally up on when their friends can and cannot eat.

Five Good Things About Farmers’ Markets

14 Oct

nom nom nom

I love farmers’ markets.  As much as I love the fall harvest, it is a bit bittersweet as fall is the precursor to a long winter.  (Winter farmers’ markets are fewer, shorter, and less delicious. although I’m glad that they are around.)

1.) One of my farmers’ markets features chef demonstrations, made-to-order snacks, and music.  It’s more than just a market. 

2.) It’s an opportunity to not only support local/small farmers, but also meet them and ask questions.

3.) In addition to produce, farmers’ markets are also a place to purchase dairy, eggs, and meat.  These products typically meet higher standards than those at the average grocery store.

4.) Samples.  Yum.

5.) Outside, stall-to-stall shopping.  A personal and hands-on experience.

Five Good Things About Being a Coxswain (Rowing Sort)

13 Oct

a boat with its coxswain in the bow and a boat with its coxswain in the stern

In the rowing world, a coxswain is the (generally, hopefully, ideally) little and (generally, hopefully, ideally) intelligent person positioned at either the very front (bow) or very back (stern) of a boat.  The coxswain’s role is to steer, coach, motivate, run the race/practice, and generally keep everything from going to crap.   Sounds like a blast, especially when you consider this is often a 5am gig.  Of course, there are some good things about coxing…

1.) Eco-friendly transit.  

2.) Coxswains often make a lot of tall and strong friends.  This is good news when the little person needs to reach something up high, change a lightbulb, or move to a new home. 

3.) Depending on where the coxswain resides, it is a great excuse to purchase and/or wear a SURVIVAL SUIT.  These things are great.  I could totally throw one on and fall asleep…in pretty much any conditions.

4.) It’s kind of fun to call home and tell a somewhat traditional parent that their dear child is now a “cox” and spends a lot of time “coxing” groups of large people.

5.) The coxswain is the only person in the boat who can actually see where the boat is going.