Monday, October 29, 2007

i am my own sweatshop.

I've only been to American Apparel a few times (we just got a local store), and every time I go I'm somewhat dazzled by the array of colors and the comfy knits. But there's always something a bit troubling about it at the same time, something that I can't always put my finger on. And although their stuff is not prohibitively expensive, it's just expensive enough to keep me from buying any of it, especially when it seems like I should be able to make something so simple myself.

Never fear though, as I am on my way. Here is my copycat version of the sheer jersey scarf:
jersey scarf

I'm sort of ashamed to say I even needed help coming up with this one, but I got the idea here. Let me sum up it for you:
  1. Find some stretchy and thin jersey cotton in a color you enjoy. (Really, this is the hardest part.)
  2. Cut it.
Et voila, a scarf! Now, American Apparel retails this for $15. Atrocious. I found clearance fabric for $1.50 a yard, and could probably make three scarves for less than $4 total.

Going back to American Apparel..I'm still a little confused as to why this girl has to model the scarf in 18 colors wearing a sheer tank top. There's nipple showing there! What the eff! (Yeah, this is probably why this place is a bit unsettling.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007


It took a short trip away from home and a beautiful descent into MSP for me to notice that fall was really here. The view from the plane was one of the best I've seen, with circles of yellow and orange amongst the green.

And part of me is worried that fall is almost over. I don't mind the end of winter, spring, or summer because they all bring wonderful seasons and changes with them. The end of fall signifies the end of a lot of good things - the farmer's market, longer days, leaves on trees, and decent weather. Winter tends to put me into a rut. Sigh.

Additionally, why is it cold everywhere I go?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

food will save the planet.

Although I tend to be wary of most trends, I'm okay with environmentalism being a trendy and hip thing right now. In fact I hope it becomes so trendy that the envirohipsters start rolling their eyes when hordes of unfashionable people commence to swinging their reusable bags at Target.

Going along with the current trend, I'm pretty amused by this site that claims eating peanut butter and jelly can reduce global warming. Now, I fully realize that vegetarian diets are better for the environment, but if you keep reading there's some sort of challenge to eat pb&j sandwiches as much as possible for two weeks. WHY? I guess because pb&j is marketable (the tofu campaign doesn't sell as well). And curbing global warming is marketable. And there you have it! Eat completely bland sandwiches forever even though there are many other veggie options for you that taste better. Though wait! It says to eat foods that use less pesticides and then this nytimes article says that peanuts use LOADS of pesticides!

Confused? Try reading The Green Lantern on Slate - this week, vegans vs. vegetarians! I like this column too, although I'm starting to think it's a lot of number crunching designed to make people feel less guilty.

Where am I going with this? I'm not really sure, but I find it intriguing how everything in the world is changing how people view food. It will be interesting to see if trends hang around, or if they just get kicked to the curb like most food fads.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


My flight to San Francisco leaves in about two in a half hours, and I am miraculously ready to go a whole 30 minutes before I need to leave! Amazing! And thus, I bring you links.

Gabe & Max's Internet Thing

Well thought out advice on how to use the internet for maximum benefits.

David Byrne likes the Blow!
Wow, that's a much better capsule of her live show than I could ever write.

Also, in case you're wondering, my love affair with butternut squash has not cooled down. In fact, it's so sizzling and hot it burned my mouth.

Okay, vacation! Wahoo!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

my first marathon.


The following is long, unorganized, possibly boring, and more for me than you. In fact, writing this was maybe more difficult than the marathon itself, and I feel a huge sense of relief knowing that it's finally done.

A lot of people have asked me why I wanted to run a marathon. Although there were a lot of reasons, they often escaped me in the midst of training. Somehow in the middle of everything it just became something I did. There were benefits, sure: I could eat whatever I wanted and still be thin, and not to mention the bragging rights. But there was also a lot of time and pain invested in the whole process.

It really started last year when I ran the 10 mile race at the Twin Cities Marathon. It was fun, but at the end I felt like I hadn't been challenged enough. I wanted to do more. And while I realized 26.2 miles is a lot more than ten, it was something I wanted to do at least once, just to say that I did.

In the week before the race, I started to get more and more nervous. I worried about the weather, leg cramps, or anything that would get in the way of me not being able to finish. I'd get anxious at work just thinking about it, and would have to change the topic if it were being discussed too long. It wasn't until Saturday night sometime, when I put on my running shorts and straightened my hair, that I started to calm down. It was an incredibly silly thing to do but somehow it relaxed and excited me at the same time. The marathon was coming and there was nothing I could do to stop it, nor could I control the weather, but it was going to be okay.

And the marathon did come. My friends and I wondered why we were so worried, after all, it was just running. Not a big deal at all! It was so hot and sticky we started sweating at the gates. It didn't take us long to realize that any time goals we might have had were about to be thrown out the window.

For me, the heat was sort of a mixed blessing. Since it was my first marathon, I couldn't think about how much better the weather was elsewhere. And it really solidified why we were there - not to finish at a certain time, but simply to finish. All we had to do was relax, and run. Sure, it was damn hot. At points I said, "We are running in a fucking sauna." So I adapted by pouring water over my head at every stop. I ditched my tank top somewhere past the halfway point. And I laughed when we crossed any splits (for instance, my half marathon split was almost 20 minutes slower than the one I finished in October). Eventually the sun went away and a breeze came out and I felt much more comfortable.

It's hard to talk about a 26 mile run because it's just so long. But overall, it went really well. All of the worries I had that my legs would fall didn't happen. I even felt like I had a decent amount of energy considering the heat..and the miles. Here's the crazy part - I had a good time. I was expecting portions of it to be really painful, to feel like I wasn't going to be able to finish, or just to have some other mental anguish. And maybe I was just in a continual state of delirium, but I had a really good time. Yes. I had fun running a marathon.

The crowds were fabulous. There were so many people out and in some sections it was like I was completely surrounded by people cheering us on. Some people dressed up, and I even hugged one person dressed as a chicken because my friend dared me to. Others gave out food (bananas, apples, candy, even beer) or were just encouraging (who doesn't like to hear they look gorgeous when they feel sweaty and disgusting?).

During the last six miles, we started to slow down and took a lot more walk breaks. I was okay with this. The end was definitely the slowest part, as evidenced by our splits. But at one point I remarked about how with every step we took, we had run farther than we had even run before. By the time we got to mile 22, 23 it was just a matter of going through the motions to finish. As we descended the hill by the Cathedral to the Capital, the last two tenths of a mile, it was almost as if my feet and my legs were moving but I wasn't moving them anymore - they just kept on going, controlled by inertia. We crossed the finish line just under 5 hours by the official clock, and at 4:53 according to our chip time.

Afterwards there was some recovery - I didn't really feel like eating and felt kind of crappy for much of the day later. The next few days involved walking slowly, cringing as I went down stairs, and lots of sleep.

I've been asked if I'm going to do another marathon, and my best guess is that someday, I will. But I'm not in any hurry.

Thanks to everyone for their support: my family for coming out to cheer me on (and also for sending flowers), Nick, Cassie, Kim, Julie, LaVonne, Niko, countless friends of friends, and everyone who cheered me on even if they couldn't be there.

Thursday, October 04, 2007


two days.

It's soon. It's really soon. It's a little over 48 hours away and I'm nervous.

To distract myself, I've been falling in love with butternut squash.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

seven minutes in heaven.

I try not to fall into the trap of the snooze bar. My alarm goes off too early and sometimes it's beyond too early even though it's the same time every day. And as I catch the NPR people talking about Burma Myanmar, again, for the sixth day in a row, I more minutes. My trusty dream machine is flirting with me, aching for me to touch it ever so gently. Come on, it says. You know you want to. Seven more beautiful minutes. You know being horizontal is so much better than vertical right now. I give in easily - why waste time on deciding whether or not to sleep more? That time could be spent sleeping! - and close my eyes. I open them four minutes later and think, three more minutes! Three more minutes of the best sleep of my life! Yet even before my time is up, I'm already awake. I glare at my alarm clock and get up, not about to be swayed again. I feel like the snooze bar has taken advantage of me, as I'm now going to be ten minutes later than usual and I feel not a minute less tired. I'm not falling for you sneaky ways again.