Showing posts from March, 2009

Back in Chicago

I'm back after a brief hiatus in Iowa. I hadn't seen my mom since Christmas and I missed her, so I hopped on Amtrak last Wednesday and spent a long weekend with her. Amtrak is funny once you leave the east coast. It's the strangest mix of people...students, hippies, people going short distances, people afraid to fly, and a bunch of Amish. It's actually quite comfortable for the short trip home, and it gave me an excuse to eat strange snack foods like the cheese and cracker thing I bought at the Kwik Trip in Caledonia on the way to the station Monday morning. (Note to self - go to the co-op the day before you leave Decorah and get something healthier.) I also got a lot of reading done. I finished The Omnivore's Dilemma , and I confess I really enjoyed it. I am more convinced now than ever that vegetarianism isn't the only ethical diet, but am now checking for grass-fed animals and finding local producers, because it just seems that this is the best way to e

The book you're looking for

If you're looking for the book mentioned here , it's Jesus Land by Julia Scheeres . It's a memoir written by a woman who was raised in a strict Calvinist family in rural Indiana and chronicles the racism directed at her adopted brothers (they are black in a sea of white rednecks,) the hypocrisy of parents who give lip service to Christian values while creating a hell at home, and her years with her youngest brother in a Christian reform "school" in the Dominican Republic. It's a brutal, compelling read.

Short updates on a long day

I have a to-do list a mile long. I've kind of been slacking this week, either getting tons done or doing absolutely nothing, depending upon the day. But since it's Thursday now, what would normally be an even-paced week of to-dos is now a crunch-time-get-it-done to-do day. Therefore you get a numbered list. 1. The alternating balmy to freezing days we've been having are making my hands freaky dry. And the windows in this place are these heavy double hung ones that come down from the tops as well as up from the bottom, and now that we've broken their winterseal they aren't totally closed, which means wind really whistles and cold air gets in. It's chilly in here. 2. I have an azalea plant that I seem hell bent on killing. Plants and I, we are not made for each other. 3. I am going through a phase where I hate cooking. Hate it. Think it's tedious and annoying. This is not ideal. 4. I've decided that there are benefits to wearing a plus size. For starte

Pet peeves, vol. 873

You know what I hate? I hate commercials that use the music, the graphic style or, worse, BOTH from the hit movie Juno staring that delightful ingenue Ellen Page. What is charming and clever in independent film is not when you're trying to push me to buy something.  Comcast and the Atlantis Resort can suck it.

What a nice day

It's gorgeous here in Chicago today. A bit overcast and a little windy, but still. Warm is warm. I've had a productive day, moving my little office to the back deck so that I could enjoy the fresh air. It's so nice not to be inside. Cali had a big ball chase this morning, and now I'm taking her back to the lake and we're doing a little training run. I have it in my head that fitness is a great new goal for this gap year, so I am doing a little run/walk alternating training schedule with the intent that I can be running 5Ks later this summer. I'm also doing yoga most days, and some weight lifting on the balance ball for good measure. I had a knee injury from last summer that has been troubling me all winter, but I'm taking things slow and it's getting stronger. In the meantime, Beth and I had this brilliant idea that we would go on South Beach together. It all started because we've been pretty much justifying treats non-stop for the past two month

Thai food overload

We've discovered a fabulous new thai restaurant. We'd taken the Scots to the airport, and by the time we got home we realized that we were pretty hungry. A kashi multi-grain waffle and yogurt will only take you so far, and since it was already 330pm we figured we'd just order dinner. and eat at old-people time - we hopped on Grubhub .com to see who was delivering. Grubhub is great, because it lists tons of restaurants you might not know deliver to you, it has every kind of cuisine imaginable and you can even order online instead of calling someone, often an advantage when ordering ethnic food because phone orders usually just result in some sort of misunderstanding and an hour later a plate of gelatinous goo with chili peppers shows up at your door. Online orders definitely simplify the whole language barrier problem. We found King Noodle on Argyle Street. It got raves on every one of the reviews, so we thought we'd give it a try. Everything on the menu looked good