Tag Archives: Laziness

Breaking the Rules (now what have I done?)

The end of April has come and gone and spurned May, like a little hellion what with tornadoes and dead terrorists honchos who’s name rhyme with “Obama” (hurrah on that last one). I sat and watched a week’s worth of these reports a bit like Amelie.   In the beginning of the film, Amelie (if for some reason you haven’t seen it, and I don’t think there is a reason not to) is a child who has been given a camera for her birthday instead of a baby brother. At first, she is so excited with the gift. She runs around her neighborhood capturing pictures of everything she loves.

Then one day, she takes a picture and two cars crash in front of her. Some jackass walks up to little Amelie and says, “Now look what you’ve done.” Poor wee thing takes this immediately to heart and runs home to turn on the tv. News story after news story reports various tragedies all over the world, which makes sense to Amelie, because she’s been taking pictures for a while now. She’s sitting on the sofa, huge remote clutched in both tiny hands, eyes enormous with shock and guilt, and shoulders slumped with the weight of what she thinks she’s done.

That’s how badly I was feeling about missing my April 30th book deadline.

I began thinking over all of the OTHER things I did with April, and I began to wonder if those had caused the problem…and if, generally speaking, the reach of inconsistency is broader than we think. The Butterfly Effect, basically.

The same question popped into my mind today as I put 25lbs of organic carrots into my trunk for juicing, and then drove across the street to grab a Rita’s (Ice. Custard. Happiness.) gelati before heading home. Am I toying with some master design when I slap convention and order in the face like that?

To encourage myself, I’m writing out the top five things I DID do with April, which did not include meeting my own deadline. In no particular order, they are:

1. Worked. I mean, it does take time, and this girl has got bills to pay.
2. Wrestled with life and relationship decisions. Since this is essentially what my book is about, I guess I was bound to start thinking about the topic sometime or other. Why not now, just as my deadline is RIGHT there? This ended up involving much brooding, listening to sad cd’s I haven’t seen since high school, and the inevitable late night, wine-infused, teary chats with my pillow.

3.  Juiced. Now, detoxing is a once a year thing for me, but just as the Lord has promised not to flood the entire Earth again, family and friends (especially Stephanie, who has yet to really forgive me for biting her head off for something trivial four years ago) have made me swear never to only juice, so it’s been one meal a day for me, and a second meal of only raw fruit and veggies, which has kept me balanced and from picking fights at random.

4. Started a new business.

5. Painted my toes, which is no minor thing after keeping tootsies corralled in the cave of close-toed shoes for a season. Cramped and with no sunlight, we all know the sort of disrepair that can occur and the undoing of that requires time, tools, and  muscle. I managed, however, and am proud to say I’ve been clomping about in espadrilles for weeks now.

All of this to say, it’s been a productive and distracting month, but I did write. And there are a mere 1,500 words left to be put down, so off I go…

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What to do with the New Year’s Resolutions Rotting in Your Fridge

It probably isn’t a stretch to say that many of you made some health-related resolution this New Years. Maybe you wanted to work out more regularly, perhaps you’re swearing off sugar and white flour because you know they’re of the devil, or it may be something like, “I will not get blinding-drunk at parties, so that I wake up the next day wondering where my shoes are, what that stuff is in my hair, and why there are branches and sand in my bed when I live in the city.” Whatever the case, bravo for wanting to make better choices for your body, and here’s a post on what to do with all of those vegetables that you thought you’d start loving overnight, but, let’s be serious,  are now rotting in your fridge.

An aside, I have been doing a ridiculous amount of domestic stuff since the holidays. I sewed an apron (the whole thing. With a POCKET!), crocheted (kinda), mended (3 garmets, 4hrs. tiny holes.), and made shoe clips, which scalded all but 2 fingertips. I feel that qualifies me to give you my recipe for:

Garbage Sauté

  1. Grab every vegetable turning wrinkly in the fridge-   if it’s slimy, slap yourself in the face for your oversight and laziness in letting things fully rot, be sad for a moment for the money you’ve wasted, let guilt creep in because there are children in a far off land that would maul you for that slimy wad, and then toss in the trash.
  2. Find the dullest knife possible to chop these veggies up, because a) the effort will make you burn more calories and b)you are less likely cut the tip of your finger off like last time.
  3. Put olive oil in a pan (If you think I know which pans are what, you’re crazy. Figure it out. The flat-ish one.) When it’s hot (med heat), toss in garlic (if you don’t have garlic on hand at all times, stop reading this now. GO away.) that you’ve minced. Go crazy. It’s competing with veggies that are at their most flavorful (since your non-committal ass has let them begin to wither), so any less than 5 cloves, and you shouldn’t even bother. Mincing, btw, involves smacking the side of the knife to each clove to separate from the skin, chopping, sprinkling salt, sliding your knife over the shards to help the salt pull the date-repelling (fact) oil out, chopping more, mushing more. Voila. You reek, but your dish will smell amazing. Only let it sizzle in that oil for 30 seconds to infuse.
  4. Pat yourself on the back for knowing how to mince garlic AND properly infuse an oil.
  5. Scour the fridge for a lemon and maybe leftover wine.
  6. Curse, and run back to the pan to stir and turn down the heat, bringing it back to medium, since you had turned it up in your impatience to heat the oil.
  7. Check your blackberry to see if you’ve missed anything important.
  8. Curse because you didn’t think to chop your veggies in advance, and now the oil is ready for you to throw in mushrooms, peppers, chick peas (or some other bean protein from the cupboard), onions, olives, broccoli, squash, and maybe that tofu you bought January 1st, knowing healthy people eat it, but had no clue how to prepare. Chop as quickly as you can with a dull knife, having moved your flat pan off the burner to avoid cooking the garlic.
  9. Once veggies are chopped, throw them into the pan with a loud, “BAM! Take THAT, Emeril!” and chug some of that old wine.
  10. The veggies need turned a couple of times, but should go soft  in about 10 minutes, which gives you time to boil water for the pasta/grain of your choosing.
  11. Curse and kick the wall when you realize you don’t have any pasta.
  12. Check Blackberry to see if you’ve missed anything at all.
  13. To cooked veggies, add any vulnerable veggies, like spinach, which would be a little gross if cooked for 10 mins, but now is a good time to put it in there. Add the juice of your lemon, and, if you’re feeling the bravado that comes from week-old wine, get some of that lemon zest in there without grating off the skin of 3 knuckles.
  14. Run for band aids when you’ve grated off the skin of 3 knuckles, and shake your aching fist in the general direction of whomever invented the damn microplane.
  15. Add a can of organic diced tomatoes, which you keep cases of in your cupboard. From Costco. Tu amor.
  16. Throw your favorite seasonings in. Oregano or Basil is always a good idea. Fresh pepper-der. Then taste to see if you need any more seasonings, or if some more salt is needed. This is personal.
  17. Spit taste test back into flat pan, because you forgot to blow on it to cool it off, and now your tongue is swelling and may scar. Stir.
  18. Throw whatever’s left of the wine in there, not to exceed ½ cup- give it a few minutes of simmering…but not too long. You’ve never understood this silly notion of chefs the world over to “Cook off the alcohol.” Waste not!
  19. Dump into a bowl, wish one last time that you had pasta, and plunk whatever cheese is in your fridge on top (ideally feta, goat, or parm)
  20. Carry bowl and any wine remnants to the table. Glass is optional. This is Garbage Sauté, after all. Feel good about having not totally wasted your money and dreams of becoming healthier.

Garbage Saute, ya'll

See? Anyone can cook. Now, go forth and purge the veg drawer in your fridge, if it isn’t stuck shut from not having been opened in over 2 weeks….

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There are Movers Who Shake and Shakers Who Cannot Move

While conducting this personal social experiment (that could be an oxymoron), I have learned something very important about myself. I’ve had a sneaking suspicion of this self-factoid most of my life, like the fact that,  in middle school, I began keeping every birthday  card and letter I was given in a yellow cardboard Hecht’s box and only just sorted them and put them into something more permanent last year when the Hecht’s box disintegrated , or that in college I wrote all of my major term papers the hours before they were due. You are probably thinking that my personal epiphany was that I am lazy, and this is a popular conclusion with people I am close to, but no. My layers are more intricate than that. My revelation has been this: I tend to not do things, unless they are absolutely necessary.

While cleaning my bike* in my backyard on Friday, I was distracted by the conversation on the other side of the fence. My neighbors are 3 guys and a girl (or 4 guys– I’m not totally sure) who work together at Blockbuster. They are in their late 20’s, had no desire for higher education, and spend their days drinking and smoking something in the backyard to stave off the stress of becoming obsolete as soon as Netflix, Redbox, and Hoolu are finished taking over the world.

This is what I heard:

Guy #1: I would totally have an element in my blood that made me immune to pain.

Guy #2: That’s stupid. I would have the power to go invisible and would use darts with neuro toxins for weapons.

Guy #1 shouts: You are such an eff-tard! The gravity factor in the 9th Vortex would slow your damn darts down, so they wouldn’t be able to pierce paper! Dude. You’re an idiot.

Guy #3: Heh heh. *belch*

Guy #2 mutters: Oh. Yeah. Well, I’d still want to go invisible. And I would totally have an aircraft with a ring of blades around the outside that could cut through steel.

Oh. Now I get why this is so popular with guys. Yeesh. (fansitekits.com)

(They used words like “Stormcatcherising”, “Ugalgamoth”, and other crap I didn’t understand and find too foolish to recant here.)

I shook my REAL head and walked my REAL self, which could feel pain and was visible no matter what, back inside and shut the REAL door. Feeling validated as a totally normal person, I spent a moment classifying those fellas into a category reserved for people who collect thousands of baseball cards and have only been to a handful of games, or who spend hours playing Farmville and have never touched a vegetable attached to a plant in their life. Then, it sort of dawned on me that we all do something similar. That, while I don’t play World of Warcraft (or whatever), do not mend imaginary fences so the pigs don’t get out, nor get heated when discussing things that don’t exist, I do get passionate about the way I want things to be, which is probably the same thing. The things I want, the things this journal is about, are things that don’t exist yet, and it’s up to me to make them real, which is a huge challenge, since, as mentioned, I don’t always take on tasks until they’re imperative in some way.

So, that’s where I am. In need of 3 motives for being kinder, thinner, and published, since personal fulfillment doesn’t seem to turn me on. I’m opening the floor for comments, suggestions, and butt-kicks. Give it to me.

*I was cleaning my bike in the hopes that it’s readiness would get me back on it, since it is a favorite means for exercise and a huge stress-reliever for me. That was Friday. This is Monday. Get the picture?

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Hot Yoga (or clammy, sopping wet yoga, in my case)

It took about two weeks to fully recover from almost a month of Euro frolicking. The coup de grace was a case of chronic sinusitis, which came about from inhaling germs coughed and sneezed freely by travelers and locals alike. I later learned that it is a very serious thing to get on an airplane when that swelling exists in your sinuses and ears. You risk bursting all sorts of important stuff and I can testify to experiencing a severe case of barometric distress when descending into Chicago. Scuba divers experience this and abort their dives, but I didn’t have time to ask the pilot if he would mind leveling out for a sec so I could equalize, since I was busy squeezing my head, praying, and mentally divvying out my personal property to friends and family (Shoe and bag collection, Harry Potter series in hardcover and soft, cd’s circa 1997, etc.) in the event of what felt like my impending death via blood vessel or head explosion.  About 3 in 100,000 people will ever experience it, and it is usually only a section of your head, unless you have a severe case. Like I did.

If you have a severe case, an imaginary metallic wire is wrapped around your eyes, molars (Yes. Your teeth.), weaved through sections of your brain, throat, and finally, your ears.  When the plane descends, which lasts for approximately 5 minutes, very strong travel gnomes grab each end of that wire and pull as hard as they can so that each of the above mentioned items feels both squeezed to bursting and sliced, all at the same time.

All of this to say, I did not work out at all last week. Pardon my melodramatic way to excuse my laziness, but that is how I do. The experience was truly akin to the seventh layer of hell on a good day, but it had no lasting affects, other than to scare me into never flying again should there be a hint of stuffiness in my noggin….but I’m milking it, regardless. (That is such a gross expression, so if you have suggestions with the same meaning, please post in the comment section)

My abstinence from physical activity was broken on Tuesday night when I was invited to “warm” yoga.

Photo cred: unitedyogis.com (not sound judgement, from a marketing perspective)

I have an appreciation for the bendiness that yoga affords and have done it a few times before, but usually leave either discouraged that I couldn’t wrap my legs twice around my own waist, or with a dislocated shoulder from trying too hard or engaging the wrong chi. Curiosity about what value the heat would add and maybe a little guilt about my slothfulness propelled me to the studio.

Here is what I learned:

  1. There is no such thing as “warm” yoga. The class just before it was “hot” and leaving the door open for five minutes does not cool a place down.
  2. The positions you get into (or attempt to get into) are not attractive, so lights should always be kept low. Or off.
  3. Classmates should carefully select their meals for the day, since they will be sticking their posteriors in my face and those odd positions may make you toot. (Which I would appreciate you pardoning yourself for, since it knocked me right out of what had been a stellar downward dog)
  4. Yoga IS hot. Holding the weight of your body on the knuckle of your thumb while reaching your toes for the ceiling and deep breathing will heat you up fast, but yogis want to up the room temp up to volcanic levels and this confuses me.
  5. Instructors should alter their vocabulary for the anatomic vernacularly immature. I am uncomfortable being told to locate my “pelvic floor” in public, and I don’t understand how to make it feel like a sling. Also, words like womb and spinal make me shudder.
  6. You shouldn’t wear cotton yoga pants, since sweating is inevitable and I witnessed many a soggy bottom. Wick away, next time.
  7. It isn’t ok to giggle when the instructor reads the latest Chopra meditation tidbit because when she says “Peace is our gift to each other” you think she said peas and your 3 year old attention span immediately pictures sending the Jolly Green Giant as our ambassador to the next U.S. Peas Summit, and what a stir that would cause because he wears an off-the-shoulder dress made from leaves, which may not be the best representation for…. (and so on). Yoga is serious! It is not funny.

    Photo cred: anotherkcblog.wordpress.com

  8. Always buy or rent the special towel thing that covers your yoga mat, because you will sweat out every bodily fluid from areas you didn’t know had pores, which will make that mat slick as a cow pie on a flat rock (as we say here in the South) and send you flying into the wall, or into your gassy neighbor. Neither is a good thing.

On the whole, I left the studio feeling taller and happy to have taken on some healthy activity after my hiatus. It was a bit like a spa treatment with the heat and steam and stretching, mixed with a bit of HELL with the heat and steam and stretching, but I would do it again. That is, until it loses its trendiness and goes the way of poor Jazzercise.

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