Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Is it June yet?

Because that’s when I’m going on vacation…in Costa Rica! Yes over the weekend I accomplished many things, and buying my ticket to Liberia, CR is one of them. We will be staying in the casa of one of the bridesmaid’s parents in the northwest Pacific Coast region. I forget the name of the town, Playa something, just south of the Parque Nacional Santa Rosa which is home to the largest remaining stand of tropical dry forest in Central America. I bought the Lonely Planet guide to CR and the more I read the more excited I am getting. So much wildlife and things to see, maybe I’ll even take a surfing lesson.

Other things I accomplished over President’s day weekend:
Did my taxes (and my refund covers the cost of my airline ticket and passport renewal, sweet!)
Went to Yoga on Saturday AM
Swam 2800 yards in the pool on Monday
Shopped at Target, Ross and Whole Foods
Cooked yummy food
Took dog for long walks
Watched season 2 : disk 2 of Six Feet Under

We tried to go see the Tea Leaf Green show at 14 Below in Santa Monica on Saturday night, but it was sold out when we got there. Super lame-o.

Why can’t every weekend be a 3 day weekend? I’d get so much more done.

And finally some food for thought. This is reposted from a forum I frequent, NoPuppyMills.com, in a thread concerning the “designer mutts” that are all the rage right now, “puggles” (pug/beagle crosses) in particular. It just sort of resonated with me as very true and very sad:

"The vast majority of Americans have no concern for the suffering caused by unethical breeders or the animal suffering caused by those who use animals to put money in their pockets. People want what they want and they turn their heads or try to justify their actions. Some people actually have no clue. They are thoughtless and empty headed people going through their daily lives never questioning anything. I find that most people are just selfishly apathetic and don't want to know as long as they are able to satisfy their wants. This is America and we are self indulgent to the point of ridiculous. It takes too much effort to care. It takes too much effort to consider the consequences of our actions. We are obsessed with consumerism. If it tastes good, feels good, looks cute, gives us pleasure, makes us look cool, is a means to pay the bills then that's all that matters to most. I find it interesting that every year the United States generates approximately 230 million tons of "trash", consumer waste, crap that no one wants, no one needs. That's 5 lbs per person per day.Consumerism also takes a toll on our pet animals as well. On average 2-3 million pets are euthanized in shelters across the country every year, another example of consumer waste. 2-3 MILLION, yet no one cares. Everyone is so obsessed with their wants, desperately trying to justify their actions all the while savoring their juicy disease causing burgers, steaks and chicken fingers, which were once living suffering animals, without a care in the world. I think we should be ashamed of ourselves. I can only hope that we can encourage future generations to move forward and make some progress in changing and becoming a more conscientious and respecting people at a scale that the average Amercan [sic] can grasp. A nation that is compassionate, ethical and well educated is a strong nation and one to be admired."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It is a post / Told by a blogger, full of randomness and rambling, / Signifying nothing.

Hola amigos and amigas. It’s been a while since I rapped at ‘ya. If I post once a week that’s enough, right?

So, those of you waiting with baited breath to hear what fabulous prize I won on the Price is Right, well wait no more. I won….Nothing! Absolutely nothing! You so stupid! (OK, if you didn’t see UHF that won’t be funny. And you should Netflix that. Weird Al at his best.) I did not get called to come on down, but it was an experience (an all day experience) to be part of the studio audience on the PiR. We got to the studio lot at 6:45 and were basically just waiting around, with a trip for breakfast and to a park for napping in the sun to kill some time thrown in there, until the taping at 2:30. Once we got in there and they started taping things moved really fast. The taping will be aired on Thursday, so maybe if you watch you will see me and my peeps out there screaming like crazy trying to keep ourselves warm because it was freakin’ freezing in there. I think the studio is actually designed to be some sort of cryogenic chamber for Bob Barker. Bob seemed cool enough, upon audience request he recited his famous line from Happy Gilmore. He seems a lot less orange in person than on TV. The set is a lot smaller than you’d think, and even cheesier looking than you could possibly imagine. Everything in there seemed to be made of plyboard plastered with glitter.

My whole department at work got new computers, and I got functioning speakers and an ergonomic split keyboard. And only two people lost all their e-mail in this process. No small miracle considering the IT support around here. I’m listening to streaming internet audio right now! It is so much faster and doesn’t crash on me if I try to run the database program. I am in love.

I was supposed to go see Keller Williams in Santa Ana last Thursday, but I had such a crazy pull-your-hair-out-of-your-skull kind of week at work that I was in no shape for commuting to a concert. I settled for just going to the Friday show at the Music Box. It was so great to see Keller again, I think my last show must have been back east, maybe at the 9:30 club in DC. Too long ago! Saturday night we went to the House of Blues to see Galactic. I’m sad to say I was not nearly as impressed by this show. It wasn’t specifically horrible or anything, it just kind of seemed like there were no high points or things I really remember from the show. Just didn’t do it for me.

Dexter is back in school, we’re taking him through basic obedience again and we had orientation with the trainer on Saturday morning. I think he’ll do much better this time around and hopefully he’ll be ready to start the Canine Good Citizen courses.

I have been so bad about going to the gym, I have plans to go tonight. Breaking the gym going cycle is a dangerous slippery slope, which can result in days on end and even weeks of non-gym-going. Unfortunately my plan to go straight from work has been foiled because I forgot my purse at home, and my iPod is in there :/

I have a new favorite breakfast. I really like berries of all kinds, but don’t buy them so often because fresh berries are ridiculously expensive at the grocery store. Enter: frozen fancy berry mix from Trader Joe’s. Frozen berries are a lot cheaper, keep forever (almost) and can be made into delicious smoothies in your blender.

Berryific Soygurt Smoothie:

½ to ¾ cup frozen berries (I use a strawberry, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry mix)

A banana if you like

6 oz soymilk (plain or vanilla)

½ c. plain soy “yogurt” (I use Silk brand)

Sweeten to taste (I use about a tablespoon of Perfect Sweet brand natural Xylitol sweetener)

All these measurement are approximate, I just eyeball things and throw them in the blender and adjust if the consistency doesn’t seem right.

I finally saw 40 Year Old Virgin on DVD last night. Very funny! But it did seem to get a bit long and drag on at the end.

Happy Valentine’s day to everyone and hope y’all are having a good week so far. I myself am looking forward to my 3 day weekend! Hooray for President’s Day!

And just for good measure…a gratuitous cute dog pic.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Wherefore art thou not vegan, oh Jell-O?

We had a smashing Nonukah weekend and I am having a very hard time being awake today at work, even though I slept quite a bit during the “big game” yesterday.

I really, really wanted to make vegan “Jell-O” shots for the party last Saturday (if you don’t know why regular gelatin products are not vegan, or Kosher for that matter, read this. I know, gross!) So, I went to Whole Foods first because I remembered buying it there before, but they told me the brand they carried was discontinued and they had not yet found a new supplier. I then went to Trader Joe’s, Wild Oats, and even One Life Natural Foods in Venice. Nothing, nada, zip, all traces of delicious vegan jelly desserts have disappeared from Los Angeles! Even this online store I found that sells it is “out of stock indefinitely”. Alas, there were no Jell-O shots this year. Next year I will have to remember this and order long before the day of the party. I brought some mango flavored Finlandia vodka and made some fuzzy navel type concoction with peach nectar and orange juice. It was good and all, but I am still disappointed by the lack of Jell-O fun that could have been :/

I am so excited for the Price is Right tomorrow!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Older and Wiser

I really need to resolve to post more. So, Sunday was my birthday. Yes, at 26 I am now firmly in the “mid- to late-twenties” group. Just a hop skip and a jump away from the big 30! Last week was also my friend Becca and my downstairs neighbor and frequent dog sitter Lynnae’s birthday, and this coming Sunday is my sister Stacy’s birthday. So much birthday goodness going around. Yay Aquariuses! Jason took me out for dinner on Saturday. We went to Dhaba in Santa Monica for yummy Indian food with mango ice cream for dessert. On Sunday we hit up the Farmers’ Market for Omelet Guy omelets, then Becca and T-Bone joined me for yoga at the YMCA, and we finished off the day with a little get together at our place with cake (strawberry shortcake!) pizza and a little game of Lunch Money. The birthday week continued on Tuesday when my department treated me to lunch out (Italian, yum) and an awesome gift. $70 in gift certificates to the Library Ale House in Santa Monica. Do these people know my taste or what? Other very exciting gifts: salad spinner from T-Bone and Ben (I made salad mix on Monday, it’s still crisp and fresh in my fridge!), beautiful silver heart earrings from Jason’s mom, a vegetarian cook book from my parents titled “Cooking With Herb” (no, they have no clue), and from Jason an iPod nano (I am part of the iPod revolution!). All in all a great birthday.

This weekend the Nonukah festivities begin. I made two huge pans of pash’d’da (faux crust quiche) last night and I’m making cheese cake squares courtesy of T-Bone’s aunt’s recipe tonight for Friday’s Shabbat dinner. I’ve got to get to Whole Foods sometime for vegan Jell-O so I can make the Jell-O shots for Saturday. So much to do, no wonder I’ve been slacking on the gym this week. In case you’re wondering what Nonukah is, I’ll just post a tid-bit from this year’s e-vite:

Friends, Phamily,
We have for you a little riddle . . .
What holiday involves . . .
more people gathered into a small space than Sukkot?
more drinking and general merriment than Purim?
more lights than Hanukah?
and rhymes with Santa Monica?

That's right it's time for NONUKAH?

It’s a bit late this year seeing as “9th night of Hanukah” is long past, but it can also be interpreted as “not Hanukah” and I am very excited to see all the out of town kids that are coming. Tuesday I am taking a personal holiday and we are all going to the Price is Right! Keep your fingers crossed that one of us is called to come on down.

I have many pictures just waiting to be posted, I’m really bad at uploading from my camera for some reason. The weekend can’t get here fast enough, we are going to have so much fun!

Another piece of exciting news, after a month of weight loss stagnation, I think I lost another couple pounds! At this rate I will have lost all the weight by 2036.