Friday, June 29, 2007

on training.

I am in the midst of marathon training, which is only 99 days away! Yikes. Today I ran about 10.3 miles. Now, I have friends who have run multiple marathons who would just nod as I tell them this. I also have friends who would say something like, "WHAT? You are crazy. How do you do that?"

So, a primer. How to run 10 miles.

First you tell yourself that you are going to run 10 miles. Then you do it. While you do it, leave your ipod at home (headphones hurt for that long, and it's bad for your ears). Don't even bring a watch! Do bring a water bottle. Go slow, and walk frequently. Write blog entries in your head, or have conversations with cute boys you will meet in coffee shops, bars, etc. When you get to the Mississippi River, smile. It's blue and the leaves are green and everything looks a little more amazing when you just ran 5 miles to see it. Then turn around and think about how awesome you are. When you're done, stretch a lot. Look at the clock and laugh at how pathetically long you've been gone. Then eat a lot, and take a nap if you have time.

Yeah, fine, there is some training involved before you can get to this point, and my legs are kind of dying right now, but that's how you do it.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I almost forgot this one.

A girl at the coffee shop headed outside to smoke a cigarette. A button on her bag said, "Cancer sucks."

Yes. Yes it does.

Monday, June 25, 2007



This is what you do when you have clothes you don't wear anymore, and also an unexplainable affliction for plaid, and also a lot of free time. You make a new shirt, dammit.

My weeklong project of eating all the vegetables I bought will be trying, but I will succeed! Mashed potatoes every day! Also, I'm so annoyed that I didn't buy snap peas because if I did I could make this...which looks really good. Recipe idea for dinner, perhaps?

Elsewhere on the internet: Viewing American Class Distinctions through Facebook and Myspace

Truly fascinating stuff. It's long, but entirely worth reading. The commentary on the use of these sites in the military is interesting too. Quotes!

They see it [myspace] as gaudy, immature, and "so middle school." They prefer the "clean" look of Facebook, noting that it is more mature and that MySpace is "so lame." ... That "clean" or "modern" look of Facebook is akin to West Elm or Pottery Barn or any poshy Scandinavian design house...

When I first started tracking soldiers' MySpace profiles, I had to take a long deep breath. Many of them were extremely pro-war, pro-guns, anti-Arab, anti-Muslim, pro-killing, and xenophobic as hell. Over the last year, I've watched more and more profiles emerge from soldiers who aren't quite sure what they are doing in Iraq.
[Also, if I ever go to grad school for sociology I would be ALL OVER internet research.]

Sunday, June 24, 2007

to market.

This weekend ended up being a weekend of farmer's markets, which was quite fine by me. A review.

Saturday - Mill City Farmers Market

The good news about the Mill City market is that it focuses on all things local and organic, and it also has delectable goodies to munch on while you wander. The bad news is that everyone else knows the good news, which results in all the produce being sold out and massive lines for tarts and donuts. My friend and I settled on some delicious organic bratwurst, which I devoured in about...oh, two minutes? Sadly, right after that we discovered all the local eggs had just sold out. Shucks. Next time we will go early and eat to our heart's content.

Sunday - Downtown St. Paul Farmers Market

While I was disappointed in the downtown market at the beginning of the season, there are now vegetables aplenty and it is wonderful. In fact, there are TOO many vegetables. Today I ended up with mixed greens, kohlrabi, beets, gold potatoes, onions, and strawberries. I passed on broccoli, tomatoes, zucchini, and fresh cut flowers. The good news about the St. Paul farmers market is that it is close, in fact in walking distance. The bad news is that the walk home is mostly uphill, and that gets difficult in the hot sun when you are carrying eight pounds of vegetables.

There's also something really nice about buying what's available and figuring out what to do with it later. I always have some trouble figuring out what to cook, but it's easier when I just think, "You are eating fabulous salads and beet greens because that's what you bought this week. Got it?" I'm hoping to cook a mostly local dinner for friends pretty soon...whee! I'll let you know how that goes.

In other bloggy news, I changed the layout a bit and am organizing my links and sidebars. Of course blogger had to delete a lot of my prior changes, so I'm still working out the kinks.

Friday, June 22, 2007


NYTimes article about freeganism.

With my recent interest in sustainability (that has not gone away), I found this article quite fascinating. In particular, I've been having pangs of guilt nearly every time I drive my car or buy bananas from Guatemala. It's hard knowing what's reasonable to cut out or change when you can't do everything. (Unless I join some commune and live off the grid completely. Yeah, not going to happen.) It's trying to find a balance and do more, knowing I can't do everything.

Anyway, some quotes!

"Not buying any new manufactured products while living in the United States is, of course, basically impossible, as is avoiding everything that requires natural resources to create, distribute or operate."

“It’s always hard to give up class privilege. But freegans would argue that the capitalist system is not sustainable. You’re exploiting resources.” She added, “Most people work 40-plus hours a week at jobs they don’t like to buy things they don’t need.”
I guess when I read this, I didn't immediately think, "I'm going to start rummaging through dumpsters!" (Although not a horrible idea, really...) To me it's just about simplifying things. Not buying things that aren't necessary. Buying used when possible. And just..having less stuff.

And of course, as I write this I'm thinking about when I should go to the Gap so I can use my reward certificate and also use my credit since I accidentally overpaid my bill. Sigh. Next step: cut up that damn thing.

Monday, June 18, 2007

simple frames.

plexiglass frame

I believe I stole this idea from a ReadyMage magazine that is no longer in my possession. Yet the idea was so good, it was imprinted into my brain! Here's what you do:

1. Cut plexiglass into two equal sizes. (Note: you probably don't need very thick plexiglass. Be careful when you cut it! It's a little tricky.)
2. Put a picture in between the layers.
3. Attach the pieces together using binder clips from your large collection of colored binder clips. (WHAT? You don't have a large collection of binder clips? Get thee to Office Max!)
4. Put on wall and say, "awwww how pretty."

WOW. So easy. And they're foolproof, too. Some of my pieces have scratch marks from figuring out how to cut the plexiglass, but it still looks fine!

[In other news, I am so proud of myself because it's 12:15 and I've already gone for a run, watched an episode of Six Feet Under, made frames, made lunch using mostly local produce from the farmer's market, AND updated my blog. Amazing.]

Friday, June 15, 2007

climate control.

To A/C or not to A/C, that is the question.

It has been 90 degrees for over a week or so here, and my apartment does not have air conditioning. I have a window unit (somewhere - my sister's house?) that I could put in, but that involves getting it, and you know...actually putting it in. Last summer I got stubborn after an atypically hot Memorial Day weekend. I thought, I lived through that, I can live through anything! Most of the time, it was fine. And when it did get unbearably hot I knew all things would pass before I got the damn window unit set up.

The truth is, I sort of hate air conditioning. I hate being cold in a skirt and flip flops when it's 90 degrees outside. I hate that it feels fake. I hate that it's more expensive and is worse for the planet than using fans and keeping the lights off. And when people are complaining and wondering how anyone can survive without it, I wonder about unbearably hot places like the Middle East. Or the Sahara! The jungle, even!! They don't have air conditioning and they live! Probably because they just get used to it. So that's what I'm trying to do.

Furthermore, summer shouldn't be about layering cardigans over tank tops and hot days and wishing you had brought a pair of socks because your feet are cold. Summer is about wearing as little as possible in the comfort of your own home (and possibly others'), relishing in cold showers, and taking afternoon naps because it's just too hot to move. And when it really gets bad, I can just walk to the nice cool coffeeshop or visit my parents and their pool.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

food for summer.

There was some blip in the Onion AV club a few weeks back, and they said that in the summer we can only eat foods that are frozen, grilled, or in salad form (ala bean salad and potato salad). I want to entertain and cook this summer, but it gets damn hot in my tiny kitchen. What are some good summer foods, besides salads and bbq? (I don't have a grill, anyway.)

Also, a new idea: black bean spread! Think of hummus, but chunkier and darker. I found this recipe but of course had about half of the ingredients so I just adapted like so:

1. Saute some onions and garlic in olive oil, add cumin, chili powder, and cayenne.
2. Throw that in a blender with a can of black beans and some salsa and blend.
3. Since blenders aren't food processors, remove portions of the blended mix to make sure all is blended.
4. Serve with tortillas, chips, pitas, hot or cold.

(Okay, in the end it's a lot like a can of black refried beans but it somehow SEEMS better and it doesn't really take that long to make.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

the big to-do.

Here it is. My summer vacation. And no, I am not teaching summer school. Which makes this my SUMMER OF FREEDOM. Everyone has been asking, "What are you doing this summer?" Last year, it was pretty planned out: Summer school, trip to NYC, trip to Guatemala. This year....well, I am making a list of things to do. In categories.

Things that must be done:
- Two weeks of grad classes to finish my master's.
- I'm currently taking a Spanish class at the Resource Center of the Americas.
- Oh yeah, there's that marathon thing. Yep folks, I done signed up for the Twin Cities Marathon. So I need to train and get really sweaty and such.
- I'm also hoping to volunteer at a summer enrichment program once or twice a week.

Things that would be good to do:
- CRAFTS. Mostly sewing stuff. I finally hemmed my curtains, so the sewing machine is out and ready.
- READING. I'm hoping to read many good books. If you have recommendations, please...tell me. (also: my goodreads profile.)
- BIKING. I got this new bike, so I want to start exploring by bike. And biking to places I would normally drive to. Yeah. More of that.
- WRITING. I want to update this blog more. And somehow I also want to be on the internet less. This could be tricky.
- TRAVEL. Well, I don't have any plans yet but with this much free time I clearly need to go somewhere.
- FUN. Self explanatory.

What else? WHAT ELSE?

Monday, June 11, 2007

happy monday.

Some good things for today.

1. Envirosax.
These are much better than all the tote bags you get from schools and from joining npr. Super comfy, super cute. My bag stash is already starting to dwindle. I love it.

2. Make your own fabric, kind of
It's expensive and somewhat limited, but the idea is KEY.

3. Buying a bike that's older than me, found on craigslist. (pictures later)

4. Jumping pictures.
jumping goons

Sunday, June 10, 2007

places I used to live.

My old apartment.

My old roommate discovered this gem of an ad for our old place in Madison. When I read it, I like to pretend that it was written with a sort of "wink wink nudge nudge" sensibility, not to mention a complete overusage of the thesaurus. I will "make the cheeks on your face turn red" while it " seals the deal of satisfaction" (with "benefits"), AND you can share "illusionary desires" with your roommates. Are they not completely pandering to sexually frustrated college students?

Heh, or maybe I'm reading a little too much into that.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

morning glory.

The time between 5 -6 am might just be my favorite time of the day. I was out the door with my running shoes on at 5:31. I spotted a bright red cardinal in a green tree. I ran by houses and condos and wondered if the people inside were blissfully asleep, hitting snooze for the 3rd time or starting their coffee pot. Why is it that "good morning" sounds better than any other greeting? Caribou is open, but not chaotic. Everything is just calm. Some people are getting to where they need to be, but they're not stressed out about traffic - there is none. In my mind, they're not stressed at all. They are sleepily getting to their first destinations of the day. But then again, not everyone is a morning person. I never really thought I was, either.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

diy. or, buy diy.


I stumbled across this through one of those funny blog trails, and I find it so inspiring. Really cute clothes altered beautifully using mostly found fabrics, thus reducing dependence on both sweatshops and farms to grow cotton and the like. It's silly how I always bookmark sites like this with the intention of emulating their designs and ideas, and rarely with the intention of buying anything. ($88 for a shirt is just not something I'm used to. Yet.) And do I make anything similar? Rarely. There is the hope that someday I will be able to make creations like these. Someday, someday.