Monday, June 29, 2009

clean slate monday

today was MUCH better than yesterday.  got some decent work done, did cardio blast for an hr at the gym (today was 'thriller day' so most of the moves were mj related.  very funny), grocery shopped, had a comforting and delicious dinner, did some dishes and now getting ready for bed.  at a reasonable hour!  you know when 3am is yr 'reasonable hr,' you've turned into a frickin vampire.  but whatever, still getting it done.

aiming for bigger and better tomorrow on the work front.  it's the last day of june, so i'm getting paid and gearing up for the next two months of work and fun.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

begin again

feeling rather low today, prolly because i'm a touch hungover and haven't got much done in the way of work.  

raven's birthday party yesterday was out of control kinds of fun with a moon bounce castle, wading pools, midwestern bean bag game and some other game involving ping pong balls linked together by string which you throw at some pvc pipes.  i didn't play that game.  we also had an awesome obstacle course game that involved tasks like kissing raven, running around the house, somersaulting, taking a shot, and putting sunscreen on yr teammates.  so there was lots of healthy running around, giggling and tomfoolery.  there was also a lot of snacky eating, boca burger consumption, and very many cocktails.  

absolutely goes on the list of best parties ever.  certainly healthier and happier than the insane mansion party in denia thrown by the 17 year old maniac german girl.  also healthier and happier than uncle bob's wake, but that one did involve impromptu bagpiper, father cursing at policeman, and mom taking a slug of scotch straight out of the bottle -- oh wait, that was russell's 21st birthday party.  one of these days, i'm going to write out these parties so that i can maybe capture some of the energy and crazy.

okay, there's no reason to feel depressed now.  tomorrow is a bright and clean slate monday morning and the week can be full of healthiness, sunshine, and love.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


so yesterday i got diagnosed with ms and then my parents took me shopping.  and out to a fun pub dinner where i had a couple of much needed beers and a marinated portobello cap sandwich and fries.

i feel fine with the diagnosis, esp since the doctor was very positive and said that i have a mild case that's still in the early stages.  with medication, it should be really treatable and i may only have flare ups once every few years.  thank effing all that is good in the world for advancement in pharmaceuticals, seriously.  i know it's not a popular stance, but i don't motherfucking care.  if someone got diagnosed with ms twenty years ago, they would not have had the chances at a healthy active life the way i do now.  i saw my neighbor who had ms deteriorate to the point that she could barely make it to her mailbox and back to the front door and she was only in her early forties.  fuck that, my friends.  i would like to pay and pay and pay and hope that someone is making assloads of money so that i can play tennis until i'm 80.  

i hope that someone is richer than the stars for giving me the sense of hope i have now.  because without these meds, i might be facing near-blindness, use of cane or wheelchair, frickin numbness and weakness in all my body parts and all sorts of other crap body functioning.

glad the parents were here and that pretty baby is here to help me feel normal, loved, and spoiled.  m&d bought be two dresses at anthro, some glassware at crate and barrel, and then stocked my fridge at trader joes.  today we went for a really awesome hike at turkey run state park which featured a mini waterfall, cool rock canyon things, a big flowy creek and maje humidity.  but my quads are sore and i feel tired in that healthy active way that is the best kind of tired.

dinner at bistro with blackened salmon, cocktails, wine, champers and dessert didn't hurt either.  i am gonna miss them like crazy when they leave tomorrow.  i might cry now just thinking abt it.  i LOVE my family and have so much fun with them and i hate that we can't see each other as often as we like.  i have got daydreams of big weekly sunday dinners on a patio somewhere warm with noise and music and the loving bickering that happens naturally when people are super close and honestopen with each other, the teasing, the laughing, the midnight pizza run the late night tv watching.

anyway, i feel good abt where i am in my life and i feel capable of dealing with whatever comes my way.  i know i have bad habits that i need to fix and i'm not always the person i want to be.  but i know i can fix my problems and i know even how i can be exactly who i want to be. 

overall, there is so much goodness and light that i can't even feel bad abt the diagnosis.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

shit, man

i didn't even go outside today.  that sucks.  what did i even do inside?  

well, i did finish a job-market-oriented syllabus for a contemporary world lit class on love stories.  and i wrote up some sample paper prompts.  i made a smoothie and ate some peanut butter banana on whole wheat english muffin.  then i took a nice, cuddly nap with my special someone.  then i did some dishes.  oh!  i also worked on my fall american lit syllabus -- that was the hr or so missing from my memory.  thank goodness, i was starting to worry.

just ate some leftover black bean soup and quesadilla with a nice glass of trapiche oak cask malbec.  now i want something sugary but i don't know what.  and i opened my dissertation document, so i guess i gotta look in that direction for a while.

but parents come tomorrow!  hurrah!  that will be fun and adventurous and i get my beckett back too.  alright, time to do some work so that i actually deserve the time off i'm going to take!

fireflies and fireworks

it was a pretty night in lafayette even tho i spent most of it indoors.  popped out for a quick grocery and video store run and tried to stay out of the way of 'taste of tippecanoe' a kind of street festival/food thing that happens every year around this time.  i'm sure it's actually quite nice, but crowds tend to scare me and i am def not feeling emotionally sound enough for packed in people and loud local bands.  fireflies and fireworks will always charm me tho.

so today i mostly read and cooked.  got some decent school work done and made what i think was a very tasty dinner!  here are the recipes (spicy black bean soup and spinach quesadillas), if anyone is interested.  they are adapted from rachel ray and hot girl from high school, respectively.

Spicy Black Bean Soup 

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large onion, diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 serrano chili, sliced
1 dried bay leaf
2 (15 oz) cans black beans
1/2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp hot sauce
1 quart -or less, depending on how soupy you want it- chicken or veg stock (i used chx)
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
juice of one lime

got that stuff together, then followed rachel's directions to saute onion, celery, garlic, hot pepper, bay leaf.  then add red pepper and cook.  add one can of beans.  mash up the other can of beans using a fork and add it.  season with cumin, s&p, hot sauce and add stock and tomatoes.  let bubble for a while.  squeeze lime juice in before serving and serve with sour cream, scallions, cilantro. 

[i thought this turned out awesome and i'm excited to each it for lunch tomorrow!]

Spinach Quesadillas (mostly spinach, not so much queso)

1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach
1/2 red onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp chili powder
1 big handful shredded sharp cheddar
fajita size whole wheat tortillas

saute onion until translucent and then add garlic, chili powder.  add defrosted & drained spinach, let that hang out and warm up for a while.  add cheese.  i dumped out the spinach mixture into a large bowl, wiped down the saute pan and tossed in a tortilla.  spread the spinach&c over half the tortilla and toast until pretty and golden.  serve with sour cream and salsa.  this amount of spinach stuff made three quesadillas (i like mine stuffed pretty full).  

anyway, typing up recipes at 5 in the morning is exactly not what i should be doing right now.  but i've gotten myself back into the damn stay-up-all-night, sleep-half-the-day sched again.  but don't worry, mom, i'm always gettin my 8 hrs.  seriously.  i don't mess around with my 8 hrs.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

bodies, behaving and misbehaving

it seems as tho, without my permission, my body has taken one more step toward ms.  got the spinal tap results back and they weren't very good.  the secretary was vaguer than vague, so i have to wait until my tuesday doctor's appointment to really figure out what's going on.  i guess i have 'elevated levels' on two out of the three things they test for in spinal fluid.  not what i wanted to hear, but not exactly a diagnosis either.  

i feel okay abt it, not scared or nervous or freaked out.  probably because my body feels sort of generally awesome these days.  i feel sore in all the good ways from going to the gym thrice this week and i have lots of energy from eating well all week too.  

getting some potentially bad news is only more support for my healthy trend.  i have much better reasons for getting fit now than i have in the past.  a few years ago when i lost a lot of weight, i didn't really give a shit abt being healthy.  i just didn't want to be fattycakes anymore.  now, more than wanting to be thinner, i want to be stronger.  i want to have better endurance and i want to be able to lift things and pull things if i have to and deal with more spinal taps if i have to.  essentially, i want to be able to take care of myself if something bad happens.  

and if these results mean that one day my body is going to start quitting on me or throwing little body tantrums, then all the more reason to use it productively now and feel good abt it now.

plus, if you add a dash of thinkin into the equation, human beings are capable of surpassing a lot of apparent limitations, capable of changing and rewriting all kinds of things.  

so i'm headed in the direction of a large green smoothie* and nice, long walk at celery bog.  if the books don't get to me first...

*new fave green smoothie combo*

1 cup coconut water
3 big handfuls of spinach
1 apple
4 strawberries
1 handful blueberries
1/4 tsp freshly grated ginger
juice of 1/2 lime 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


tuesday has been sorta lame overall.  did some reading for dissertation, made some notes, avoiding actually writing.  made jamie oliver's fish pie which turned out pretty well but i didn't have quite enough potatoes i don't think.  will try again and i think it will be fab.  plus, i'm just annoyed that i have no access to fresh fish.  this town is real bullshit in some regards.

did 55 min of cardio blast yesterday and adam the funny instructor pretty much kicked my ass.  and it was hot as balls in there!  two fans are not air conditioning, purdue co-rec peeps.  and thirty chicks doing double grapevines, some kind of highland step action, pony kicks and robin hoods (don't ask) does not a comfortable exercise environment make.  tho i did almost pass out i was so tired.  so good job there.  unless it was just the lack of ventilation...

so, yeah, i'm cranky.  i just ate too many chocolate covered cranberries, there are lots of dishes to wash, and i feel unproductive.  add to that the fact that it has been a whole MONTH since my spinal tap and still no word on results.  my doctor insists that the lab hasn't finished the tests, but i guess it's time to start pestering.  i mean, the longer it takes the more freaked out i get every time the phone rings.  a-holes.  

will perk up soon tho, i'm sure.  i've got stuff to look forward to like the p's return trip with beckett, our plans to hike at turkey run, one day the sky will stop raining raindrops, and some day i'll figure out how to avoid going to the grocery store every god damned day for one stupid thing or another.  

also, i have a headache that won't go away.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


work hard/play hard summer officially started on thursday and began with something more like a mild bloop!  instead of a bang!  really, i've not accomplished much of anything since i've been back in the midwest.  i did drop a money bomb on trader joe's yesterday and i did spend a chunk of time at the apple store attempting to right my wonky internet.  dave the genius at the genius bar managed to get things running a bit more quickly so i guess that's a win.  and buying up half of trader joe's was fun.  so was FINALLY finding coconut water at the whole foods in indy.

but now it's time to get suuurious abt school.  i've got the panics and i don't want them.  so here are some of the plans i've got to make the summer a productive one:

1.  accomplish at least one bureaucratic and one school related goal every day.
2.  weekdays are for dissertation, weekends are for job market materials
3.  exercise five days a week
4.  at least one raw meal every day, one new recipe a week

i picked up modern spice by monica bhide while i was in arizona and there are a ton of recipes i'm excited to try.  i made vegan chili pea puffs on thursday and also cilantro-mint chutney and both were pretty successful.  the chili pea puffs are just green peas, serrano chilis, garlic, and tofu (or paneer) tucked into won ton wrappers and then either baked or steamed.  i did both and i can't wait to experiment further with different veg versions.  next up is either a spicy fish fry with tomatillo-red pepper chutney or this eggplant tomato indian ratatouille kind of deal.  very excited.

so i'm going to start using the old blog to track my summer progress.  that way, i have some kind of accountability for the high levels of fun, work, and fitness i want to achieve in what remains of my summer.  i had a beautiful vacation that totally hit my reset button and i think a few days of nesting around the apartment has helped me adjust to being back in shitsville, usa.

i have brand-new new balances, a huge green smoothie, and a pile of books on the material culture/body theory.  it's time to motherfucking make this happen.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

well, you know

ocotillos are important to me.  and agaves are where it's at.  how can i be leaving arizona already tomorrow?  

i only just went to bon yesterday to collect treasures and accessories and see the mother/daughter duo of utter charm and aesthetic wonder.  the daughter is totally preggers, btw and still rail thin and chic.  she is so excited and just moved in with her bf and seems just totally happy with her whole life sitch.  on the way home (after purchasing a small john derian from which to hang some dangly earrings, and a leather and gold bead necklace which i turned into a bracelet) i thought that her life seems so much happier than mine.  or that i imagine myself so much happier with her job/city/fam arrangement.  perhaps it's a grass-greener-other-side kind of deal, but it has certainly made me think abt what i'm doing to myself and why.

i guess the financial burden would be a real issue, but who wouldn't want to own  a boutique (two CHARMING locations) with her mother, spend all day hanging in one of the locations, and make awesome crafty art shit to surround yourself with/sell?  then they shop in new york and mexico together, cook dinners, hang out and be beautiful together.  oddly, even the moving in with bf while knocked up but not hitched thing appeals to me.  so comfortable and free and just genuinely happy.  no hoop jumping, no interviews in j.crew suits, no jargon or people trying to appear smarter than they are.

somehow, i will combine.  i need to remember that i love books and i love teaching them and i love writing abt them.  sometimes, the other people with whom i have to interact make me want to scratch my eyes out.  but they can't touch my life.  not if i don't let them.  i can make flowery string lights and be beautiful with my mother and even hang, unwed, in a boutique one day if i want.

Monday, June 8, 2009

happy girl

isn't that just the happiest beckett face you ever saw?  both me and the b are happy girls.  the wedding weekend was a whirlwind of good.  got back to arizona yesterday in the early evening and picked up beckett from her very awesome dog watchers who gave me a cd full of beckett pix.  pretty damn cute.  it appears as tho she had a lovely time.  

and i had such a beautiful time in san diego that it might take a few posts to clear it out of my brain.  i even managed to food poison myself (or some other, gross equivalent) and still had happiness.  the big events were pretty much flawless and even the little things (like splitting a pot of tea and multigrain toast with miller on sunday morning) seemed movie-perfect.  mills and i sat outside the living room cafe in old town under a canopy of trees in the cool san diego morning looking at palm trees and iglesia-goers and everything was quiet and sweet.

so, before i put myself to bed (to get ready for another 8 am hike), here are some of the little things.  if you don't know these people or don't care, you're gonna have to do some skipping.

lorena wears a delicate gold 'L' necklace now that is beautiful and subtle but proud.  sarah's brothers love her like crazy and show it in that boy way that doesn't use a lot of words but is more abt ecstatic dancing and telling a million stories and looking at her with amazingly sweet eyes.  christy has a long turquoise blue dress with silver decolletage that looks like it was made out of the ocean.  hasmig looks profoundly happy.  when ciana goes in the ocean she lets her dark red hair get its wild curls back and it's like something people base whole novels around.   christine's red hair is lighter and is always smooth and perfect like a commercial.  kim and her husband are so totally in love with each other that i hope and hope a marriage that mutually adoring is possible for all of us.  deanna has more energy and laughs inside her than i can comprehend and i've known her for going on 32 years.  russell is even fun to be around when he is overwhelmed with work and stressbombs.  my mom looked precious in her green and black dress and a woman asked abt my dad by calling him 'the handsome man in the corner.'  when we told him, he said 'bullshit.'

and that's not even a fraction of the weekend!  there's still miller and i dancing at the chee chee at last call in our party dresses while all the old men at the bar turned around to watch.  there's all the seashells i scooped up to bring home to indiana, just so i could have something of the beach.  there's jack's downtown apartment overlooking the baseball diamond and hand-made tortillas and ocean water and la jolla.  

well, i raise a big old bottle of pellegrino to wedding weekends and to friends who are 'as good as spring itself' -- to steal a line from lorena who stole it from hem. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

west, wester

up at 6am tomorrow to head towards san diego for sarah's motherfucking wedding!  woohoo!  i don't know when all my friends grew up and left me as the sole emotional 19 year old, completely content as a girlfriend.  seriously, i just figured out how to be a good girlfriend and i love it.  all of the commitment and none of the shared bank account.  wifedom is still a ways off for yrs truly.  probably just some weird hangups that have more to do with wanting to avoid suburbia than being scared of the commitment part. 

looking with maje forwardness to the beach, to cocktails snuck into the beach area, to a wedding by the beach, and to frolicking in the ocean waters (even if they're arse cold).  my commitment to the ocean is unparalleled, people. 

enjoyed a hot and spirited hike with parents this morning, returned home to make another green smoothie (forgot to mention that the juice of one lime also goes into the blender), swam for like 10 seconds and then promptly passed out for a three hr nap.  

had a hair trim accompanied by an insanely good neck/shoulders massage and got some new bangs.  then packing, laundry, dropping off the b (HATE IT.  HATE LEAVING MY DOGLET BEHIND.), eating sandwiches, talking on the phone with pretty baby, home pedicure, and soon sleeping.

still haven't heard from the doctor which is giving me the twitches and bad dreams.  i think i'll puke when i see his phone number show up on my caller id.  i know i can deal with whatever the results are.  it's just the anticipation of something bad that is freaking me out.

but wedding weekend begins tomorrow and i refuse to have my spirits peeped on.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

practically perfect jen day

made a green smoothie this morning and i totally liked it!  plus, i felt so proud of myself for drinking 3 big handfuls of spinach in the a.m.  stole the recipe from this site except i added some strawberries:

green smoothie
1 apple
3 handfuls spinach
2 cups coconut water
1/2 inch fresh ginger
3 strawberries
1 packet stevia

(this makes what i would call 'a shit-ton' of juice).  anyway, i think the green smoothie will make regular appearances in future mornings!

after juice, i worked out for 30 min, swam in the parents' pool, and then went to lunch at the dove mountain golf course.  had a vegi wrap  -- sprouts, squishes, cotija, tomatoes, grilled onions, whole wheat tortilla -- lovely.  then we walked around the golf course, window shopped at anthro, played puppies with the couple who are going to watch beckett while i'm in san diego, and the pops made veg chili.

really wonderful, happy, vegetable filled, sunshine covered day.  tomorrow i'm getting up at 7am to go hiking!  health bomb jen in effect, for reals.

wow, re-read the last part of that post and it sounds waaaaay more snotty than i had intended.  it was sarcasm.  which i don't seem to be very good at, apparently.

Monday, June 1, 2009

healthers, not so healthers

so i started today with my once a year guilty pleasure, the mcdonald's breakfast.  it happens once a road trip and it is DELICIOUS .  two hashbrowns, one biscuit with cheese/no meat, a medium coffee.  i do not apologize for the mcdonald's b-fast.

but to make up for it (emotionally), i raw shopped my ass off at trader joe's and the oro valley safeway.  coconut water, raw almond butter, various organic lettuces, dried flattened bananas, stevia packets, &c.  

and orange roughy, which was not raw but which i made my dad grill.  then i made him make his famous caesar and open a bottle of red and a bottle of champagne.  which shot the healthiness to shit, so why not have some ice cream with magic shell?  oh, magic shell?  why, yes. yes, please.

tomorrow is a new day!  it will start with a green smoothie, involve swisher, reading monica bhide's modern spice: inspired indian flavors for the contemporary kitchen, shopping for a better dress to wear to sarah's wedding, and working on the toast i'm supposed to give (ahem,  it will be totally charming by next friday, i'm sure).

also tomorrow i will be swimming in my new cheap but darling bather suit purchased at the j.c. penney cuz i forgot my two nice ones at homes and couldn't bear the thought of buying another +$100 effing suit.  so there it is.  i'm gonna wash it in color safe bleach twenty times because i don't trust mall shoppers (i know somebody puts those bikini bottoms on without knickers, i know it!  half of tucson is on meth, people!) but then everything is gonna be FINE.  and CLEAN really really CLEAN.