I recently visited home for the holidays, and being back in my old room from high school brings back a lot of memories.
Now, I didn’t totally hate high school, but I also didn’t totally love it.
I was a zoo in every sense of the word. I was a cheerleader with jet black hair who loved The Cure and played softball in the spring. I’ve never been the kind of person to fit into one type of mold – I somehow always find something in common with almost every person I meet.
That doesn’t really work in high school, and people end up questioning your moral character.
“Damn. Why is that bitch talking to them?”
If I somehow lived the life of the characters on Friday Night Lights (I know, I really need to get over this show) where they all seem so grown up and mature (they go to bars for fucks sake), that might have been OK. While they all go through serious drama, they come off as way more mature than I ever was.
Anyway, I recently came across this photo of me snapped in my bedroom when I was a senior in high school.
It’s no fucking wonder my parents (and my brother) hated me. If I wasn’t lazy, I would get on photoshop and draw arrows to the MANY things that are wrong with this picture.
For starters, God forbid I allow myself to get a little sun. And, secondly, lose the goth/emo/I hate life bitchface.
You will notice that there is a bright yellow construction/traffic light thing. Apparently, I thought it was cool to steal it and bring it home. I remember that. It was cool until I tried to go to sleep at night.
Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink.
WHO THOUGHT STEALING A BLINKING LIGHT WAS COOL? WHY?
A few things of note on my mirrored closet doors.
1. I thought the GAP was THAT cool that I put a sticker on my wall. The GAP. Seriously?
2. There is a photo of my brother (taped above a photo of some male model) in which I clearly drew devil horns and a goatee on him. What a nice person I was.
3. Apparently, I thought that Bartyles and James wine coolers were so cool that I put their labels on my mirror. Wine coolers? Seriously.
4. I guess I liked black and white photos of people kissing. A LOT.
5. Wire hangers were totally acceptable to me.
The point is, if I ever had to go back to those days, I might die. Even knowing what I know now, I would never want to be an angst-ridden 17-year old who covers her wall with stupid shit and has enough anger to last a lifetime.
As you’re probably aware, I’m currently on a Friday Night Lights binge.
I am almost done with Season 2. I have forsaken all of my other shows. They sit, in the DVR, waiting for the bender to end.
And, yes, I’m also running a marathon.
These are the things that keep my mind occupied. They are my escape from long days at a cubicle. The escape from taking orders, battling traffic and wondering if I could be doing more with my professional life. Wondering why the fuck my numbers never come up in the lottery.
Yesterday was one of those particularly rough days. During the drive home, I told myself to let it go. Be over it by the time I walk in the door. Let it go so that I have the evening to salvage what’s left of the day and enjoy it.
I never know what each day will be like, so I always savor the last 5 minutes in bed before getting up. And, I savor the last 5 minutes before I fall asleep. Somehow, I know that those moments could potentially be the best part of my day. I want to remember them. They are what carry me through.
When I got home last night, I was still trying to snap out of the funk when I noticed a piece of mail from the Longeteig house.
First of all: How exciting is it to receive mail that isn’t a bank statement or a pack of coupons? With email and facebook and cell phones, real mail has become SO exciting.
Inside was a CD of songs from a band that does a lot of the songs on Friday Night Lights. There was a note. Just a quick note to say “I miss you.”
And just like that, the best part of my day started.
I’m putting this on the internet and in writing so that it is real. So that there’s no turning back, and so that I can lean on random people for support.
After weeks of debating in my head, I have decided to run a full marathon. I have 15 weeks to train, and will do my first (and almost certainly last) marathon in Eugene, OR on May 2.
When I ran my first half marathon, I watched in awe as people continued on for 13 more miles after I had crossed the finish line of the half marathon. I have very close friends who have run full marathons, so I know it can be done. I know you don’t have to be an elite athlete, and that anyone can start from walking and progress to 26.2 miles.
But, I am nervous. I’m worried about the time commitment, the possibility of injury and about the complete change in my life over the next 4 months. Because the truth is, I can’t really make weekend plans because running 20 miles on a Sunday doesn’t really coincide with a night of drinking on a Saturday. Nor does it coincide with doing ANYTHING on a Sunday aside from that run.
And so I thought a lot about this decision. It comes at a time where I have been seriously assessing certain things in my life and wanting to change those things. Focusing on this will force me to make some of those changes – drinking less, eating better, thinking about positive goals as opposed to dwelling on petty things that don’t matter.
There really isn’t a more perfect time to attempt this. There’s no wedding to plan, no babies planned in the very near future and no big plans over the next 5 months.
The Proclaimers wrote a sweet song about walking 500 miles and then 500 more “just to be the man who falls down at your door”.
Even The Proclaimers knew that 1,000 miles was their max.
I’ve already told you how I don’t have any grand resolutions for 2010, but I am trying to continue to challenge myself in different areas of my life. In 2009, I decided I was going to run a half marathon. I ended up running three over the course of the year, as well as one 10K.
A lot of people scoff when I talk about running. Most people hate running and get bored with. To be honest, sometimes I hate running too.
As I prepare for the upcoming Surf City Half Marathon, I’m finding myself extremely bored with it. I am lucky this time around in that I don’t need to train as diligently because I’ve been running consistently for almost two years.
But, I need running.
For me, exercising does two things for me. It keeps me fit, and it keeps me mentally healthy. I know immediately if I have missed more than 3 days of running. I just don’t feel right.
Sometimes, I am sadder. Sometimes, I am bitchier. Sometimes, I am more lethargic. I don’t sleep as well and I am not myself. Laef can also tell and will very politely say, “Sooooo….maybe you should go on a run.”
That’s code for: You’re being a huge bitch and I don’t know why you are sobbing over the fact that Tim Riggins is sleeping with his 30-year old neighbor and not you. GET OVER IT.
Lately I’ve been thinking that I need a new goal. I have been dangerously close to committing to a full marathon. Or buying a bike a trying a triathalon. Or joining a team that competes in something like the Hood to Coast.
I had to read this web site about 500 times. And then 500 times more just to be the person who fell off of my chair.
Briefly: Sam Felsenfeld is running 60 (YES SIXTY. 6-0) marathons in 2010 to raise awareness for Autism. Essentially, Sam is running ONE MARATHON A WEEK to honor is son Jack.
Maybe I am the only one freaking out because after I run one half marathon, I need like at least a week off. Then, I slowly ease back into running 3 miles.
This fool is in wicked shape. He’s running around a 3:30 pace.
It’s insane. I am in awe of this, and it has completely helped me become re-inspired by running.
And, for all of the people who shy away from running or exercise, Sam wasn’t a world class athlete. He was an unhealthy, overweight college student. He started walking. Then he started jogging. Then he started running. And now he runs marathons.
Since I’m on this big, “I can do anything I want” kick, I thought this story was worth sharing.
Over the years, I have heard my good friend Angie rave about this show. The main reason I didn’t get caught up in it is because it has never seemed to have a stable time slot or station. I was always curious, but it never seemed to cross my path.
Well, Angie, being the great friend she is, brought me Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD when she visited LA last month.
And now I’m making up excuses like, “I have a headache” and “My alarm didn’t go off and I will be late”.
Because, literally, when I walk in the door from work, I scarf down something to eat, feed the cat, brush my teeth and get in my comfy spot on the couch and do not stop watching this show until 2 a.m.
The reasons are simple: Superb writing, awesome storylines, gorgeous people and the excitement of a football town.
Laef has been out of town since Tuesday. Which has not helped this addiction whatsoever. There’s no one to stop me at midnight. There’s no one to tell me to turn it down. There’s no one to take the crack pipe from my hand.
If you are not watching this show, you should start.
And, I’m scrapping my entire Top 5 because Tim Riggins (I don’t know his name in real life, I want to make out with the actual Tim Riggins) is 1-5.
He totally looks better on the show when he’s in his boots and has stringy hair. Not to mention, he constantly says funny shit.
Ladies, if you have problems convincing your man to watch, tell them to talk to Laef. He pretended not to care about the show the first time I watched, and then suddenly he was glancing over whenever the girls were onscreen. One of the characters is dating Derek Jeter in real life, so that’s got to mean something on the hottness factor.
Somehow my salt-womb pork won the last Culinary Throwdown so I am hosting the first Culinary Challenge of 2010.
Of all the ingredients, themes, techniques, food-related things I could have chosen, I picked leeks.
A million things went through my mind – scallops, artichokes, chocolate, lemon, garlic, coffee – things I LOVE.
But, they’re all things I know and have tried. I have been curious as to what a leek is and how you cook with it, so I picked leeks hoping to learn a thing or two. I am also curious about braising, poaching fish in olive oil and molecular gastronomy, but I wasn’t quite ready to complicate things. And, let’s be honest, I don’t own a dry ice machine.
My mom sent me a recipe the same day I posted that leeks were the theme, so I decided to use it. I have mostly heard of leeks being used to make soup, so that’s what I was going to do, but the following recipe sounded simple and yummy.
The recipe is from Food and Wine Magazine.
Luckily for me, there were very few ingredients. That was nice considering I was still trying to recover from NYE and the Rose Bowl.
You will notice that The Sanch is NOWHERE to be found. That’s because he heard the word “Leeks” and was like, “Fuck that. Call me next time when there’s pork, beef, tuna or cheese”.
The leeks were full of dirt, so the first order of business was to thoroughly rinse them. I then sliced them as thin as I could and placed them in a deep skillet over moderate heat. By the way, why does the recipe say, “moderate” heat? Is moderate medium? Or is moderate low? Or is it medium-low? Is this a Swedish recipe?
For the second challenge in a row, my recipe used heavy cream. I figured if the leeks tasted like poo, the heavy cream would totally make up for it. So, I dumped cream on the leeks, added some spinach, salt and pepper. I mixed the creamy-leek sauce with the pasta and added some basil.
Not the most exciting plate, but it really did taste good. The leeks were quite stringy and since Laef as never eaten a leek either he was examining everything and asked “Oooohhh…is this Parmesan cheese?”
How bad do you think I felt when I had to tell him it was a leek? He said he liked it, but he will eat pretty much anything. I could see making this again mainly because it was super, super easy and provided us leftovers. You really can’t go wrong with pasta mixed in cream.
Fusilli with Creamed Leek and Spinach
Total: 25 minutes 4 servings
3/4 lb. fusilli pasta
1 1.2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 large leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 c. heavy cream
4 c. baby spinach (4 oz.), coarsely chopped
1/2 c. lightly packed basil leaves, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In lg. pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta ’til al dente, then drain.
2. Meanwhile, in lg., deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the leek and cover over moderate heat until softened, about 10 min. Add the cream and simmer over moderate heat until slightly thickened, about 5 min. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.
3. Add the cooked fusilli to the skillet and toss over moderately low heat until coated with the leek sauce, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, add the chopped basil, and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into bowls and serve.
Programming Note: Tomorrow is TheCulinary Throwdown! Make something yummy with Leeks and come by the blog and leave a comment that says, “I’m up.” Moi will be around later in the day to check out all the recipes. (Please don’t make me be the douche bag that has two fucking people participate. I don’t care if you have to eat a raw leek, do something.)
As far as I can remember, I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions in 2009.
If I did, I certainly can’t remember keeping any of them. There are things that I want to be better about (my abs, drinking less wine, eating less cheese, reading more books), but I can say that as 2009 came to a close my wine and cheese (AND CHOCOLATE) intake were doing abso-fucking-lutely NOTHING for my abs and the Julie and Julia book I started in October fell behind the bookshelf and was rescued only after I saw the movie and decided to finish it.
I am horrible at finishing things. I can get 112 pages into a book that I love, and then something just takes over me. I simply. Can. Not. Turn. Another. Page.
I can get 22 minutes into a decent movie, and then something takes over me. My. Eyes. Must. Close.
However, I did get married in 2009, which is a huge accomplishment for me. Marriage is pretty final. I’d venture to say that I’ve “finished” my dating days.
And, THANK GOD, for that.
Anyway, now that I’m settled into a very happy married life and have put the last 10 years behind me, I can’t help but want to do all sorts of things over the next 10 years.
I’m not talking about stupid shit like waking up an hour before work so that I can eat a proper breakfast and read the newspaper (I contemplated that as a 2010 resolution and promptly woke up 17 minutes before I had to leave for work yesterday, at which point I realized that new year’s resolutions are stupid and I need to think long-term to give myself ample time to succeed).
I’m talking about big picture: Career, Family, Home, Happiness and Health.
There’s no way I can fail. If I am still working at my current job in 10 1 year, then I don’t deserve happiness. Truth be told, I can hold on for another year or so because it pays the bills and gives us opportunities to live our life. Between the two of us, we have a roof over our head, food on the table, and the things we need.
I’m lucky to have a job with benefits. (Sometimes, it feels like a friend with benefits because I often feel fucked when I leave to get on the 405).
But, I want a career that I love. I’m determined not to be one of those people that wakes up at 50 only to realize I didn’t follow my dreams.
We’d like to start a family. We’d like to have a home to put said family. And we’d like everyone to be healthy.
So, here’s to pacing myself with my resolutions. I figure if I’m pregnant I can quit worrying about my abs.
Or, I’ll have at least 5 years to lose the baby weight.
As I think about starting a new decade, I can’t help but think about all of the wonderful things that happened to me over the last 10 years. In short, I became an auntie four times over, I got married, I worked a wonderful job that allowed me to travel to Hawaii, Chicago, Miami and many places in between. I graduated from college.
I turned 30.
I lost some of my baggage.
And, I had a great group of friends who have been with me since the beginning of that decade.
That means, 10 years of memories. 10 years of good times and bad times. Many times of them holding my hand as I try to stagger home from Rennies. Many times of them wiping my tears while I cried over a broken relationship. Many times of tolerating my good sides and my bad sides.
Despite babies, weddings, moving, jobs and life’s general chaos, we have all remained in each others’ life.
So, it was the most perfect timing that the Oregon football team played in the Rose Bowl this year. A year that I happened to live in LA, and can actually afford to be a part of it. A year that doesn’t require me to buy a plane ticket anywhere, and where I can offer a small space in my tiny house for people who may not be able to come if hotel rooms were part of their travel expenses.
A year that allowed us to be together for the end of a decade that saw us through so many things together.
My last day of work was Friday, December 18. The very next night I was part of Lady Gaga’s little monster crew with my friend Annett in San Diego. I can’t think of a better way to start a two-week vacation than to scream every single Lady Gaga song while escaping from my reality for two hours. I dreamt of a life that was guided solely by my loves and inspirations. A life in which I could make a living doing things that I love.
Aside from inspiring me to sing Speechless at the top of my lungs for three days straight, she truly inspired me to think about what exactly it is that I love to do and trying to figure out a way to make that my reality.
I was still doing the little monster hand greeting as Laef and I headed up north to visit my family for Christmas. Thankfully, my nieces know what is up and actually enjoy dancing to Poker Face instead of whatever bullshit Miley Cyrus is putting out these days. (OK, I admit, I do secretly sing to Party in the U.S.A. if I hear it, but I can’t take her pole dancing and short black biker shorts).
After a few days with family, I headed back home to regroup and get ready for the Oregon peeps to arrive in LA for the Rose Bowl.
Even though our little house can barely handle Laef, Sanch and I, we had Chris and Alissa Hansen, my brother, and Amy Detwiler staying with us for a few days.
The Hansen’s were the first to arrive, coming in on Dec. 30. We took them downtown to Ercules in Manhattan Beach where we also met up with Michelle and Jeff Eberhart, Angie Sit and The McNamara’s.
For some reason Michelle kept saying that all she wanted was to be in the blog. But, I don’t know how to best explain to her that being in the blog usually means I make fun of you.
So this is what I will say about Michelle: She is the only grandma I know who wears knee-high boots with tassels. And, she is the craziest, most-fun 41-year 29-year old I know.
But, the line of the night goes to Chris Hansen.
I was talking about how I used to have a crush on this guy. And, it has recently been brought to my attention that said guy is “fat and bald”. I could barely contain my excitement over this new development when Chris said:
“So. He is fat? And bald? I am trying to figure out what is so wrong with that.”
We finished the night with some food and shots of Patron at Hennessey’s. It was a great way to start off the weekend.
The next day, New Year’s Eve, (OK, I need a minute. That seems like 4,980,343 brain cells ago) …
Chris, Alissa and I went to the UCLA men’s basketball to watch Laef in action. We tried to get him to do the “O” hand signal from the bench, but all we got was an eye roll. UCLA ended up holding on for a 2-point win over Arizona State so it was a good game to watch.
We raced back home to lay on the couch and watch The Hangover while re-energizing our already tired bodies. It’s amazing how two days of activities become much more difficult as life presses on.
Once Laef got home, the four of us headed to Sashi for our NYE dinner. It’s hard to put into words how amazing the meal was. The presentation of everything was so beautiful. The flavors were overwhelmingly good. Every bite seemed to have some larger purporse that left us baffled and wondering, “Exactly how does one come up with a Kobe Beef Cone thingy?” Or, “How do you make a red pepper ribbon?”
So, we not only ate, but we talked about food and took pictures and marveled at how decedent everything was.
Amy Detwiler and my brother arrived that night, and we decided to stay home so that we could be up early for the Rose Bowl. We sat around the table and played the dice game. That was until a car crashed into a utility pole near our house and the power went out.
What else to do but stand on the corner in sweatpants, with the neighbors, watching a car explode?
And, that my friends, is how we rang in 2010.
Seeing as the power was out, Laef and I were unable to inflate the air mattress that we were going to sleep on. So, we slept on a deflated air mattress with as many blankets as we could muster, and did not feel a day over 84 when we woke up.
It didn’t really matter because it was ROSE BOWL DAY!!!
I am not going to lie. I might have taken tailgating very seriously. I might have had one of the best days ever.
The game, as you might know, was a bummer. It wasn’t the Oregon offense we had seen for most of the year. It was frustrating to say the least.
I won’t say that it was a moral victory just being there. But, I will say, win or lose, I was taking in every bit of the experience in spite of fumbles, missed field goals and lack of possession time.
I met all sorts of people. The vibe was very pleasant. Duck fans seemed happy. OSU fans were very nice.
It was an amazing day.
It was the perfect end to a decade of memories with my peeps.