Friday, December 3, 2010

Best Music of 2010

Sound Opinion's opinions (mid-year review)

Amazon's top 50

The Current's Hosts' picks
NME (New Music Express)'s top 75

My Favorite Albums of 2010:
Phantogram: Eyelid Movies
The National: High Violet
Yeasayer: Odd Blood
Mumford and Sons: Sigh No More
Sufjan Stevens: The Age of Adz (I think i'm going to write in "Impossible Soul" on the Top 89 of 2010. Because can you think of any other 25-minute song that is this amazing? and i want them to play it on the Current sometime!)
Broken Bells: Broken Bells
LCD Soundsystem: This Is Happening
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs (I kind of feel like i have to put this. but the songs are good. and who doesn't love a concept album.)
Cloud Cult: Light Chasers (their songs are so uplifting, and i love the harmonies and all the instruments.)
(interesting fact: i saw nearly all of these bands live this year. i could see Broken Bells on Monday, and that would complete the list!)

Late Additions (2009 releases):
Avett Brothers: I and Love and You
Lady Gaga: The Fame Monster (what can I say, I was a little late to the party.)

Favorite Songs (songs I love but don't think the whole album deserves to be on the list above):
Caribou, "Odessa"
Matt and Kim, "Cameras"
S. Carey, "In the Dirt"
Dessa, "Dixon's Girl" (I don't have the whole album, so I really can't judge it, but the song makes this list at least)

There are so many albums that came out recently that i don't have! (Cee-Lo, Kanye...I kinda want to hear Taylor Swift and Rhianna's new albums too, even though i have none of their earlier stuff.)

Best live show of the year:
it's a tie: Gaga vs. Sufjan. one cost $80 and i was at the back of the arena; one was about $45 and it was in the front row. front row always wins!

2009: I forgot i put Florence + The Machine on my Strib "Pick Six" in August 2009. They officially "broke out" in 2010, which I always thought was amusing because I knew that album was over a year old. I think i liked the music of 2009 better than 2010. I wonder what 2011 will bring! All this stuff, apparently.
2007 (not just music)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Beading with friends!

The weekend's second attempt at cooking without a recipe is now in the oven! didn't take any pictures during the assembly; will put up a pic of the final result (it's pumpkin stuffed shells).

The actual subject of this post is a hobby I have done in the past but not in a while: beading! my friend Laura has a HUGE collection of beads (she has been known to buy other people's entire beading collections, including tools). They are very well organized (better than the one cabootle i have mine in!):
Yeah. I love organization!
We Laura and her mother-in-law Shirley helped us make our pick of the following: 2 pairs of earrings, stretchy bracelet, bookmark, wineglass charms, or badge lanyard. Jen made wine charms (unassembled, from her twitter page):
Shirley helps Rhiannon with her bookmark:
Abby's cute earrings have another function:
Working on my badge lanyard (purple, of course!):
The supplies:
Final product:
Happy beaders: Deanna, Laura, Gabbi, Matt, Poonam:
Matt enjoys being the only guy hanging out with a bunch of women. He's the happy Bartender Man!
He makes some tasty drink (that pomegrante martini was stronger than it tasted, as evidenced by the video that I have yet to see...)
Ugh, all that yummy.

There were a few females in the house who did not make anything. Here's one of them.
very curious.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Experimental baking, part 2 (and drinking!)

I desire to make a food that combines the qualities of pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin bars. plus chocolate. but with less fat and calories than cheesecake. I want something more like a bar than cheesecake. plus, cheesecake is a lot of work. so right now, 4 oz of fat-free cream cheese (leftover from a different recipe) is softening on the counter. I don't think i'm going to bother trying to base it on a recipe, or a combination of recipes. I am flying by the seat of my sweatpants, and drawing on years of experience.
Here's the plan:
Beat cream cheese until smooth.
add pumpkin puree (i roasted a pie pumpkin on wednesday and have over 2 cups. plus a couple of cans in the cupboard, but i don't plan on using it). amount to be determined. probably start with 1 cup, then add more if it seems too thick.
add brown sugar, vanilla extract, and egg (probably beaten egg whites to make it fluffy).
dry ingredients: this is where i'm not sure. pumpkin pie and cheesecake don't use any flour. traditional cakey bars take about 2 cups. i want more of a bar-like consistency. so i'll probably start with 1/2 cup and work up. I also like to add oat or wheat bran for texture and fiber. more like a muffin then. i like that idea...
then, spices! pumpkin pie spice, obviously. i finally broke down and bought pumpkin pie spice not too long ago. it is just a combination of 4 things, but i got tired of measuring them out separately (cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice). i like lots of spice. also throw in some baking powder and salt.
I think I will bake it in muffin tins. I am toying with the idea of a crust, which is essential for most pies and cheesecakes, but not necessary for bars. i've got some graham crackers and Fiber One cereal, i might mix some up with a bit of sugar and butter and try that in a few cups.
once it bakes, i am melting CHOCOLATE on top!! and how does this sound: cinnamon and nutmeg mixed into the chocolate?? a-MAZ-ing, that's how it sounds.

and about the experimental the end of a long week, we deserve a drink, right? even if you are sitting at home alone watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas and blogging? here's what I combined: Strawberry vodka (trying to use up the small amount left), orange juice, and club soda. YUM! kind of a screwdriver-on-the-beach. i love baking and drinking.

Will update with pictures after I'm done!

update 1: the batter tastes pretty good, although it was thick. i didn't add any oil or butter, so i'm fearing hockey pucks.

update 2: pumpkin bars not turn out so good. kind of like the pumpkin bundt bread i made a few times last fall, these didn't cook in the middle. rather mushy. i still ate three.

The one in the top middle has chocolate chips on top, and i tried to spread them around, but that didn't work. I ate the other one. the two in the middle left are upside-down; they are the two with the graham cracker crust.

New plan: stick with the traditional pumpkin bar recipe. master it. change it. change the world...

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rocktober wrap-up

oy, what a month. actually, more like a month and a half. I've stopped attempting to take pictures a concerts because I'm never sure if cameras are going to be banned, plus Rhiannon's camera takes much better pictures anyway. So I'll bum hers and others taken by journalists.

Wednesday, September 22: Arcade Fire at Roy Wilkins. I wish I had seen AF before they were big. I'd like to see them up-close. Far away was pretty impressive too; they filled up the entire stage with a 8-member band and very impressive set pieces and background images.
Photo album from City Pages Gimme Noise

Thursday, September 23: Of Montreal and Janelle Monae. We were prepared this time. OM's Kevin Barnes enjoys a unique stage presence. It's always a spectacle. Rhi's photos.

Saturday, October 16: Sufjan Stevens at the Orpheum. Oh Suf. how i love thee. I also loved the opinions of this show. This was my favorite show of the month.
(Photo from TC Daily Planet: Suf gets in touch with his Impossible Soul. what's so bad about a 23-minute song anyway??)
Review from City Pages Gimme Noise (the first comment is mine)
Review from Star Trib (Riemenschneider didn't like it, what a surprise)
Review from TC Daily Planet

Thursday, October 21: Rock of Ages at the Orpheum: this musical features a ton of 80s music. I've had a lot of the songs stuck in my head since then. It was a pretty good show. Rhi and Amanda B are in love with Constantine now.
Review from TC Daily Planet
Review from Star Tribune

Friday, October 22: Phantogram at Fine Line. night out with the girls! First it was dinner at Thom Pham's new Wondrous Azian with my sis, rhi, and karyn. Krista and Margot met up with us later. The show was pretty good, although the band had a lot of things working against them: Any serious TC concert-goer hates the Fine Line. the layout sucks (the bar is too close to the main floor; to get from backstage to the stage you have to walk across the path to the bathroom; the door to the smoking patio is right by the stage) and they cram way too many people in there. and then the people won't shut up, and don't respect anyone's personal space. I concluded I hadn't seen a show there since Cold War Kids in October 2008, and I didn't miss it. (at that show, the crowd had no respect for the opener, AA Bondy, who I admit was probably a mismatch to open for CWK, but the crowd could have at least stopped talking when he was singing!) Another strike against the Fine Line: the bartender who provided Karyn with a Whiskey and grapefruit instead whiskey and ginger ale. But back to the show. It was okay. as expected for a band with only one album.
Calendar article from City Pages

Saturday, October 23: LCD Soundsystem and Hot Chip at Roy Wilkins. All the indie hipsters were a twitter over this one, the biggest dance party in town. Rhi and I were very happy to have balcony seats though (this being one of the reasons). She left a few songs before it ended; i went home after the last song (i was very tired). but the musicians themselves make the trip across down for a DJ set at First Ave during Too Much Love. That would have been so cool to have been at the dance night, and then one of the most famous DJs/musicians in the country/western world shows up. and i just gotta say, if you saw James Murphy walking down the street, you would not guess he's a musician in any sense of the word. He looks more like an IT guy/engineer.
Review from TC Daily Planet
Star Trib Artcetera write up (even Riemenschneider enjoyed it!)
Photo album from City Pages Gimme Noise
James' Theft of the Dial on the Current (I haven't listened to it)
Hot Chip's In Studio at the Current (listening to it now; I love them live, saw them at First Ave in 2008)

Wednesday, October 27: I couldn't miss Stars at First Ave, so I went by myself. the crowd seemed rather mature and subdued, which normally I would love, but I felt like they weren't giving the band any energy. Still, I liked hearing my favorite songs live. and the bubbles.
(photo from TC Daily Planet)
Review from TC Daily Planet
Review from Star Trib's Artcetera Blog

Friday, October 29: Mumford and Sons at First Ave. I think i'm alone amongst my group in finding the opener King Charles to be amusing; I like a little weird. second opener Cadillac Sky played their strings to the fullest in a perfectly short set. Then Mumford played their hits, with some technical difficulties; i enjoy a show that isn't a duplication of every other show on the tour. we got to hear a very quiet acoustic cover with some of the members of Cadillac Sky, and all musicians performing that night came together for the encore.
Photo album from City Pages
Review from TC Daily Planet
In-studio at the Current from May that Rhi and I went to (and we were very happy to, since their show at the Varsity unexpectedly sold out)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

concert spending

August - October 2010
The National: $25?
Rufus: $45
Interpol: $30
Lady Gaga: $80
Arcade Fire: $50
Of Montreal/Janelle Monae: $25
Sufjan Stevens: $32 plus fees, round up to $40
Rock of Ages: $70
Phantogram: $15
LCD Soundsystem: $46 (on sale 9/10/10)
Mumford and Sons: $28

(does not include Wicked and Fringe and baseball...)

Total: $454. plus parking and food and drink!

sidenote: I have a gross amount of cash. gross...get it? hehe. don't rob me.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Deals and Steals

Coupons! BOGOs! Discounts! If you're paying full price for something, you aren't trying very hard. Here are my methods for saving money.

For everday grocery store purchases, subscribe to the Sunday paper or visit these sites weekly for click-n-print coups:
Red Plum
These are the same companies who put out the coupons found in the paper, so if there's a coup for something you buy a lot of, go online and print out a bunch more! I recommend getting a coupon organizer and coming up with logical categories so it's easier to find what you are looking for. Some of mine are Fruit and Veg; Meat; Fibery stuff (eg, bread, cereal, granola bars); Dinner stuff (soup, pasta, kits); and Household (cleaning supplies, toilet paper, ziplock bags). I've seen some really cute coupon organizers in stores recently, like this one from Francesca's.

City-specific Daily Emails
Groupon started it all. Now I also get LivingSocial, CrowdCut, DealStork, and STeals (from the Star Tribune). I suggest being selective with what you buy--things that are actually a good deal, and things you will use. I like the discount to be more than 50%. Make sure you read the fine print (some restaurant deals exclude the busiest days of the week or the happy hour menu) so you know what to expect.

Amanda and I bought a couple Groupons to RollerDome at the Metrodome last spring.

Events and Activities
Goldstar sends out weekly emails for usually 50% off plays, comedy, and other stuff. Many theaters do $20 student rush a couple hours before showtime. or get on their mailing list and be on the lookout for discounted shows!
The fact that you have to pay to get into the MN State Fair sucks, but you can get tickets for $2 less in advance at Cub Foods (the deadline for that might have passed as the fair starts tomorrow), or find out if your place of work (or someone else's) can get even cheaper tickets. Also, buy a Blue Ribbon Bargain book for $4 at Cub ($1 less than at the fair!) to save monies on all the yummy food you were going to buy anyway! (I know the concept of buying coupons seems stupid, but sometimes you've got to spend money to make money!)

Also those big Entertainment books that retail for $25-35 are a good deal if you actually go out a lot or have a big family. I'm always afraid I will never remember to use the coupons before the year is up! A good idea might be to split the cost with some friends, family members, or co-workers, then more coups would get used.

Members-Only websites
You never know what stuff these sites will have for sale every day, but if you like designer clothes and accessories, you can save a ton (unless you actually like your money and you don't buy things at designer prices anyway). I joined (for free) Beyond the Rack and have bought a few things off of it (shipping is not cheap though so I try to combine items from multiple events).

I got this shirt from BtR, and wore it to Tiger Sushi II to help Rhiannon use her Groupon! Here's a site my sister referred me to:

If anyone needs a referral to one of these websites, leave your email in the comments and I'll send it your way!

Another cool website in the Twin Cities is Pocket Your Dollars, which aggregates coupons and deals from multiple sites into one place. at you can browse through discounted gift cards for local eateries (generally to use yourself).

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Fringe 2010, cont. (days ???)

Wednesday, August 11: did not fringe. Went to see Rufus and Martha Wainwright at the Orchestra Hall.

Thursday, August 12: Originally planned on seeing 4 shows, but instead played in a final softball game of the season with my team, SWAT (which stands for “seriously, we are terrible.” Because we didn’t win a game). So I did that, then went on a much-needed grocery shopping trip, then ate dinner and took a shower. Then I picked up Amanda and we saw…
-“O(h)” at the Southern Theater. It made fun of classical and modern dance, which I don’t know a lot about, but it was still good. They also sang. And stripped to their underwear.

Friday, August 13: ditched work early, met up with my mom, and drove all over Minneapolis!
-“ONEymoon” at the Southern
-“In the Weeds” at the Theatre Garage, about being a server and working at a restaurant
-“Bedroom Eyes” at the Jungle Theater. We even had time to grab some dinner (Milio’s) before this show!
-“Fw: Re: Mom Update” at the Playwright’s Center.
-“Speech!” at the Rarig Arena. Mike and Joe and others reenacting their forensics/oral interp days of high school (set in 1994). Very funny and true-to-life.

Today: much more expensive theater (Wicked) and another concert (Interpol). Sunday: working 2 more shifts, seeing at least 1 show (I only have 1 punch left!).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fringe 2010, days 4 and 5

on Monday, I volunteered by being "on-call" to be a box officer if they needed me. I hung out at Fringe Central for 2.5 hours and wrote a friend a letter, knitted, and talked to mom. i was not needed, apparently. easiest comp for four shows ever!
on Tuesday, i saw 4 shows:
-"Amaretti Angels." 3/5 kitties.
-"Pop Goes the Cherry." 4/5 Kitties.
-"Grind: The Musical," set in a coffee shop in Minneapolis. it sold out and they were understaffed so i box-officed and the house manager let me in for free! the show was average. 3.5/5 kitties.
-"Zombie High School." the best musical i've seen this year! good singing (all acapella with an awesome beatboxer), good songs, good acting, staging, etc. i was impressed. so apparently was the guy a few rows behind me who would NOT stop laughing. maybe he knew some of the cast. maybe he was drunk/high. detracted from the show a little, but i will buy the soundtrack if they ever create one. only one show left (saturday at 8:30), and i recommend it! 5/5 kitties.

Here are some pictures!
Sunday at the Ritz Studio. the Box office is CLOSED! no ticket for YOU!

Best house manager EVA! and the script for her amazing speech!

The realm of the box officer: ticket stubs, buttons, and credit card machine.

From the Bedlam rooftop patio on Monday, around 8 pm. view this full-screen for the full impact! It was rather surreal to be up there with only a few other people because after 11 pm it is PACKED. unless it's raining. then it's packed with soggy people.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Fringe, day 3

Sunday, August 8:
-A Nice Guy's Guide to Awkward Sex at Mixed Blood: featuring one of my favorite Acme regulars, Amber Preston! All of the characters are stand-up comedians (or aspiring to be). 5 out of 5 kitties.
-Bite Me, Twilight at Mixed Blood: I only got in because they added 12 seats and I used my gold comp! rather predictable based on his treatment of "Harry Potter" last year. still, very funny. 4.5 out of 5.

and then i worked 3 shows at the Ritz Studio!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Fringe, Day 2

Saturday, August 7:
"The Damn Audition," starring Joseph Scrimshaw and Randy Reyes. Best show so far. I guess all it takes are some good actors and a funny script! 5 out of 5 kitties.
"Naked Yoga" and other stories on a gay theme. not my favorite. 2 out of 5 kitties.

then i hung out in a coffee shop for an hour, had a latte, read the Onion, worked on my scarf. then i laid in the grass by Rarig for a few minutes. i was sooooo ready for a nap. but no time to sleep as i was due for 4 box officing shifts at the Rarig Xperimental. I worked one sold out show (Confessions of a Lazy Hmong Woman) and our recon sheets came out right every time, so it was a pretty good evening. i decided not to go to Bedlam, although i probably won't have any other opportunities to hang out there on a non-work night. Tomorrow morning I'm going with my neighbor (who has a pickup) to get my new front door from Home Depot....then more shows at 1! This time at Mixed Blood. Hopefully I'll see 2, maybe 3, but i have 3 volunteer shifts at the Ritz starting at 6:15 and I have some errands to run. so we'll see!

Fringe 2010, Day 1

my "day 1" was the overall day 2. but i was busy on the real day 1.
Shows i saw on Friday, August 6:
"Mike and Matt" and the Rarig Thrust: 4 out 5 kitties. Mike Fotis' younger brother Matt talks and acts just like him, but the resemblance is minor. i liked matt's story about the birth of his child better than mike's usual angry yelling about an incident in his life.
"Table 12: A Play at a Wedding" at Theater in the Round: 4.5 out of 5 kitties. my favorite show from Friday!
"My Mother Told Me" at the Southern: 3 out of 5 kitties. Dramatic spoken word and interpretive dance aren't my favorite genres.
"Cosmo the Musical or how to ruin your life by having unrealistic expectations" at the Rarig Thrust: 4 out of 5 kitties. songs based on articles from Cosmo, and very amusing characters!

today i'm going to see 2 shows, then have a break, then work 4 at the Rarig Xperimental (in the basement). Maybe i'll see you there!

Updated to add this picture of Spencer and me from the Fringe Prom on friday night!

beer goes great with '80s prom dresses.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Whole Body Cleanse: done

Cleanse over! i feel like a new person!!

okay, not really. actually day 14 was 3 days ago...maybe i didn't change my eating enough to make a difference. maybe the contents of the pills didn't do anything for me. so i don't know. my advice: if you want a real cleanse, do a good one, and really go for it. maybe take a vacation at the same time, or go to a retreat/spa. don't just take some pills and expect miracles! (I was not expecting miracles.)

My 5k is 9 days away...must start running every day! I ran yesterday when i got up (6:40 to 7:10 am)...then had mexican (and 2 sangrias) for supper. today, chinese for lunch! already had second breakfast (fruit and a cookie at 9:30). so i'm going to have a lot of cals to burn off tonight!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Whole Body Cleanse, Day 8

I'm totally behind on the blogging, and i apologize to the 2 people reading this. But after day 3, nothing very interesting happened in terms of the cleanse...and my life was pretty busy, so that was good. But the business led to some not-so-great-for-cleansing eating. But let's re-cap the weekend, shall we?

Friday I met my friend Spencer at the Witch Hat Tower in Prospect Park (famous for apparently inspiring Bob Dylan to write "all along the watch tower"--i only know that as a Hendrix song, however). The neighborhood was having a festival/fundraiser, and this is the only day of the year you can actually walk to the top of the tower (it used to be a water tower). So after waiting in line for approximately 45 mins, and growing hungry, we took the skinny, twisty stairs to the top and took some pics of Minneapolis, St. Paul, and surrounding areas. I could almost see to my house! well, not really, but I could see the Quarry.

Then we went to the festival part and I ate corn on the cob, two cream cheese wontons, and a plate of cake and ice cream! I wanted a root beer float, but they were out of root beer! :( so I settled with chocolate cake, so awful. But the evening involved a fair amount of walking (or at least standing around), so I got in my low-impact exercise. (no photos because I forgot my camera and spence hasn't posted any.)

Saturday was the AHA Heart Walk! I've been fundraising and planning for this event since March. the "walk" was 3 miles around downtown Minneapolis and the lovely warehouse district. Here's my sister and I:
The opening events were at Target Field, so it was fun to wander through areas I didn't see when I went to a game, like the exclusive "champion's club" right behind home plate.

After the Walk, and in the rain, we went to my co-worker Tim's house for a BBQ with our team and his family. so i ate a delicious cheeseburger...lots of pasta salad...half of a hot dog...a few sips of wine...some of the rhubarb bars I made...chips....afterward, my tummy felt stretched to the limit. but then I went home and sat on the couch (and watched the second disc of Party Down, season one).

Sunday I walked even MORE! at Grand Old Day, on Grand Ave in St. Paul. I hung out with my friend and co-worker Amanda K as we looked at the booths and watched bands. and ate things like Pizza Luce and mini donuts!
and we may have ended up with free deep fried s'mores on a stick... not surprisingly, it was also delicious. quite messy though.

Let's also make this a BAKING post! Check my recipe for Rhubarb Walnut Bars. I started with someone's recipe for Almond Rhubarb Coffee Cake, and made it BETTER!
everyone who had one said they were good! (i wasn't sure how the oatmeal topping would turn out, so I only put it on half.

So, on day 8 of the cleanse, I start taking a Milk Thistle capsule in the morning, 2 at night, and fewer laxatives at night. I don't feel different yet...I'm kinda tired but that's probably because I was up until midnight and it was rainy all day, which doesn't inspire perkiness. but on to week 2!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

WBC, day 3

This afternoon I got really tired. I don't know if I can attribute that to the cleanse, although the materials do say to take it easy, in terms of exercise, so as to not overstrain yourself, or something. I got the usual amount of sleep last night and wasn't overly sluggish in the morning, but I did do a lot of walking around at work today. So I don't know! i didn't exercise even though I brought my clothes to work; after walking the dog, i watched the news, then took a nap on the couch. I was awoken by my phone ringing at 7:50, but it was an unknown number. which was annoying, but i didn't need to sleep any longer anyway! So i'm going to bed at 10:30 tonight. I hope, if it rains, that it doesn't thunder too much.
In other notable news, i was reading on the FAQs that you can cut back on the Fiber capsules if things aren't...moving very quickly. considering 8 of the caps are 16% of your DV of fiber, and i get plenty every day (such as from my new favorite gnu "Fiber and Flavor" bars, 48% DV), i didn't take the 4 fiber caps tonight, just the 3 lax and 1 milk thistle. so we'll see if that makes any difference.
Saturday is the Heart Walk...hopefully I am feeling more energetic by then! Tomorrow night I want to go climb the Witch Hat Tower, then I need to go to the grocery store and make something for our post-walk BBQ (walnut rhubarb coffee cake, never made it before) and get a good night's sleep! We have to be at Target Field by 8:20 for a team picture.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Whole Body Cleanse, Day 2

Not too much to report. things seem to be status quo. and you don't really need to know what that entails. I was planning on going to yoga at 7:30, but it was so nice out I decided to celebrate National Running Day (as I'm told is June 2). but then i settled in on the couch...watched the season finale of "Kendra" and then ate soup and crackers for supper while watching "Top Gear"...then at 8:30 I figured if I was going to run, i needed to get out before it got dark. i took a new route and got a little lost which resulted going farther than I had originally planned. halfway through I regretted eating supper before i walked the rest of the way (except running across Lexington so I wouldn't have to wait for the next green light) to prevent any...accidents.
so that's all for now! maybe i'll exist on only lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and honey for a day, just for fun, to really kick the cleanse into high-gear. and then probably pass out walking to the bathroom or something.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Whole Body Cleanse, Day 1

I've only taken the 4 Fiber caps so far. they were tasty!
Relatively small morning dose, and the big glass of water.
let's record what i ate today:
breakfast: smoothie (strawberries, raspberries, banana, OJ, vanilla yogurt, little bit of canola oil) and a small banana muffin
lunch: lentil-tofu soup with golden corn vitatop and a small jell-o fruit cup. and some veggies from the Carrot Club Cube (that i brought, so of course i liked the selection). and a 100-cal pack of cocoa-covered almonds.
snack: Fruit (blueberries, blackberries, melon, pineapple) and two glasses of sparkling grape juice (i did not have cake though!) at my boss's surprise "you've been promoted to director!" party. and i had a piece of dark chocolate when i got back upstairs...
late snack/early supper at 4:20: fiber one bar
before softball: a few pickled mushrooms and a popsicle
after softball: two slices of pear-cheese bread and some cherry tomatoes
is that all? hmm, i didn't feel the urge to constantly eat today! I really think it's a monthly thing. I bet i've consumed twice my daily recommended amount of fiber. I think this "cleanse" just makes you constipated then gives you diarrhea.
Oh, also, for the record, i got up at 6:30 and went for a 20 minute run then 10 mins of sit-ups and stretching. and I played softball.
i'm kind of excited to take the bedtime pills and see how they affect me. now i shall walk the dog, take a shower, then take the pills and settle in to bed for some reading.

8 pills, and another big glass of water! I need 8 oz. just to swallow all of these. the lady on the booklet sure looks happy. "best poops of my life!" i bet that's what she's thinking.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Whole Body Cleanse, Day 0

I decided to try Whole Body Cleanse's two-week program. It's about $20, and you can get a $5 off coupon on their website. I'm not sure what I'm expecting out of it, but I thought I'd blog about how it goes. if it's not too gross. at least Amanda will find it interesting.

So everyday for the first week, I will take:
Morning: 4 Fiber Fusion UltraCaps
Bedtime: 4 Fiber Fusion UltraCaps, 3 Laxative tablets, and 1 Super Milk Thistle UltraCap.

the second week is slightly different--less laxatives, more Super Milk Thistle (let's call it SMT). the SMT is to cleanse the liver and gall bladder, and it "helps eliminate the toxins and excretory matter which gets loosened up by the Laxative Formula and absorbed by the Fiber Fusion." Fun! it also has artichoke extract, licorice, and dandelion! the Laxative Formula contains magnesium hydroxide, slippery elm bark (to support healthy intestinal mucous), and marshmallow root. the Fiber Fusion contains "all-natural fibers and herbs" and pectin from citrus fruit and psyllium husk. Apparently, "cleansing without fiber isn't pleasant." Toxins bind to the fiber and are excreted from your body, instead of being absorbed back into your bloodstream. cool!

Here's what I find most amusing about the little booklet i'm getting all this info from: pretty much every sentence ends with an asterisk to a footnote that says (in tiny font): "this statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease." True, i don't expect it to. I'm kinda glad the Enzymatic Therapies company hasn't bothered the FDA with their product, so the FDA can focus its limited resources on MY company's products.

Here are some helpful cleaning tips:
-drink lots of water (duh)
-avoid eating highly processed foods, sugar, refined flour, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, alcohol...
-limit your intake of beef, pork, sausage, bacon, shellfish, soy products, peanuts, oil, margarine, shortening...
-eat less dairy and wheat products.
So basically i can eat chicken, fruits, and vegetables? and maybe not as much fiber as i usually eat, since i get to take 8 fiber pills a day!

Tomorrow is day 1, so we'll see how it goes!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pottery, Part 2: the Reveal!

When painting with the glaze, everything looks pastely, so you're never sure how the final product is going to turn out! Fortunately, all of ours turned out great!
My vase:
I intentionally only did one coat on the inside, and on the outside I probably should have done another coat to get it more solid and less streaky, but once the glaze dried, it was hard to tell where I'd done 3 coats already!
Matt's stein:
with the sponge-paint technique.
Laura's bowl:
Amanda B and her bowl, turned out great!:
She sponged the inside:
Action shot! Amanda K's reaction to her bowl:
She did very good with the tape.
I didn't pick up Rhi and Lisa's, so here are the pictures Lisa took and posted on facebook:
Rhi's bowl (i think it came with chopsticks, but those were not glazed):
The inside of Lisa's platter:
It took her a LONG time to do the yellow background, and then the detail on the stenciled fruits, cake, and coffee cup. I'm sure her SIL will love it!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Crafting with others: Pottery, part 1

This month's group non-work crafting event was hosted by the fabulous Amanda B! She is a fan of painting pottery, and a while ago there was a Groupon for Kiln Kreations in Woodbury, so it was meant to be! Other attendees were Rhi, Lisa, Amanda K, Laura, and Matt. Here are action-shots of the hours of painting our masterpieces required.
Rhi and her chopsticks bowl. she did the "wax paper" technique to create very cool-looking dots.
First you put some glaze on wax paper, then lay it over the piece...
Then take it off! voila! art.
Lisa and the platter she designed to match her sister-in-law's kitchen. this is just the first layer of art! there was more!
Amanda B and her beautiful bowl, coming soon to a summer party near you, probably filled with homemade guac.

the marrieds: Matt looks SO excited to be there. but he was. he wouldn't have come if he wasn't into it. right? Laura worked very hard on her polka-dotted bowl.
Matt did a solid background on his stein, then sponged different colors on top of it.
Amanda K made sure to do at least 3 layers to get very solid colors on her bowl.
Here I am with my wavy vase. behind me you can see part of the wall of unfinished pieces we could choose from.
I painted the background a solid lavender, then used the "writers tips" bottles in 4 colors to created pointilism flowers. such an artist! this is the best thing i could think of that didn't require free-hand painting. that never ends well.

After the crafting was kinda the best part of the day...classy tailgating! Amanda brought snacks for us to enjoy while we painted, but then we were told we couldn't have food in the main room! just the rentable group room. :( so we all had a fresca at the table then moved the party to the parking lot!
we had to eat all the guac and cheese to see the designs that amanda painted on ceramics in the past! it was a fun challenge.

I will post pictures of the final fired pieces tomorrow! I bet you can't wait!