I had to drop some books off at Quimby’s tonight, right around dinnertime, and Piece is one of our favorites, so it seemed like the natural choice. At first it bugged me and I didn’t want to – not because I don’t like them, their pizza is really great and their beers are even better. But because there’s no way to eat healthy at a place that has only pizza and beer. I mean, they have two or three half-assed salads on their menu, but you go there for the pizza.
I actually spent much of the evening mentally analyzing this. Do I feel guilty for eating this pizza tonight? Am I going to hate myself in the morning? It all came down to a few key points:
1) my bike ride home tonight was kind of hell. I had to stop at the bank, which takes me a few miles out of my way. So instead of my normal 7.5 mile commute it was closer to 9. I was also biking into a constant, hot, humid headwind. It worked me hard enough that I was shaking a little when I got home. So, exercise, check.
2) I had a pretty good salad for lunch. Brie, some walnuts, a poached egg, tons of mushrooms and onions on mixed greens. So decent nutrition for the rest of the day, check.
3) Even in having the pizza, I’ve made progress. Other times at Piece I have been known to eat with wild abandon, until I’m ready to burst. This time I ate three pieces, mindfully, and then realized I was full, and stopped. Progress! Check!
So, no, I guess I don’t feel guilty. The pizza was delicious, I didn’t overdo it, and I feel like I earned it. Excellent!
Another recipe for you! Niles insisted on buying this giant zucchini at the farmers market. I shuddered a little when he suggested it, because I grew up with a dad who liked to grow many things, and nothing grows better or faster or more abundantly than zucchini. All summer long, zucchini and squash casseroles, muffins, breads, cakes; my mom would give them away to neighbors and there’d still be plenty left over.
So he picks one of the largest zucchinis he can find (only $1! what a shock) and I immediately start imagining endless zucchini muffins. Actually I went into this recipe thinking I’d have to save half of it for a loaf of zucchini bread, but there was a LOT of pasta, so I ended up using the whole thing. It’s pretty good! It’d be good with chicken too, I think. So if your garden overfloweth with too many zucchinis, here’s one more way to get rid of them.
Well. So. A lot of beer this weekend. I’m not super proud of that, or the pizza. But it is what it is, they can’t all be winners, right? Once upon a time, I think I would have let this get me down, and I’d be feeling kinda crappy about myself. But there’s no point to that, it’s pretty counterproductive. Best just to knuckle down and do better next time, right? And surprise, eating poorly makes me feel sleepy and cranky. So there’s another motivator to eat better this week.
Rad! I haven’t been able to wear the jeans in question for almost a year. I couldn’t tell you why I never tossed them, except that they are the exact perfect shade of blue, and they flare out just enough to be a little funky, and I suppose we always harbor hope that these favorite things will magically fit us once again.
Anyway, it’s still too hot for jeans, so I haven’t even worn them out yet. But I have been able to be very satisfied with myself for fitting into these again. :)
Hm. Ok, but now I’m feeling very cliche for gauging my progress with a pair of jeans. Such a stereotype!
So this is a conversation that happened a handful of years ago, when Niles and I first moved in with each other. I was seriously astonished when he called me “athletic.” No one in my life had ever used that word to describe me before. At first I thought, how have I moved in with someone who clearly knows so little about me? It took me a few moments to realize he was right, that he knew me better than I knew myself, at least in this case. And it is stupid, utterly stupid, to think that a person who’s overweight can’t be athletic, and yet here I was, about to go on a 50 mile bike ride, and still absolutely believing that lie.
It was a GREAT ride, by the way. The path goes through forest preserves, past fields of horses, through the Skokie lagoons. I’ve been wanting to do it again, but I’m reluctant to do a ride that long alone (just in case something happens to me or my bike), and it’s hard to coordinate schedules with people. Anyone up for a bike ride? :) Especially now that the weather’s finally cooling off?
Also, here’s a photo of my awesome bike helmet, which I decorated myself. It was very much inspired by rstevens’ pixel skull shirt. The “pixels” are made out of reflective tape, too, so it’s also utilitarian. Drawback: It also forces me to behave when I’m on my bike, since it’s distinctive enough to be recognized. Ah well, you take the good, you take the bad…
Who’s got two thumbs and ate frog legs for dinner? THIS GIRL. :)
Ok. If you don’t live in Chicago, Longman & Eagle is a gastropub in Logan Square. It’s within walking distance from my house and they have many things to teach you in the ways of awesome food and also whiskey. It’s a bit dangerous for people like me and Niles who like food and also whiskey, but it’s also pretty pricey, so we don’t get there that often. I was feeling a bit down last night, so treating ourselves to a little gastric awesomeness was in order.
And yeah, frog legs! I don’t think I had ever had them before. Not out of any grossness factor, just because the opportunity had never presented itself. They were delicious! But everything at Longman & Eagle is delicious. Fortunately for me, the portions are also pretty small.
On the way home last night, I thought to myself, that was a great dinner, but probably not the best way to slim down for your sister’s wedding. And then I thought, how cliche of you, to try to lose weight before a wedding. That’s so CATHY. Am I right? I mean, yes, the photos and memories of MC’s wedding will last forever, but you know what? So will the memories of those frog legs, and the lobster potato salad.
I really don’t know how we fit all of this into our bags, but we were just so delighted at the novelty of being able to buy things like produce and preserves and NOT having to get them through airport security. Hooray Megabus!
Confidentially*, I love watching my boyfriend at a farmer’s market. I imagine it’s like watching me at a comic book store. Or an art supply store.
Anyway, the “Minnesota Wilderness Brats” are (well, “were”; I just ate the last of them) chicken sausages, with ginger, blueberries, and wild rice. They were delicious! There were lots of sausages, actually. A lot of handmade goods, dresses, jewelry and things, and just tons and tons of gorgeous produce. One of the interesting things our hostess Michele pointed out is that Minnesota’s large Hmong population does a lot of farming, and they farm a lot of the things they farmed in southeast Asia – so at the market you can get all manner of Japanese and Thai eggplants, bitter melons, strange gourds and cucumbers, lemongrass, persimmons, bitter balls, all sorts of things. I would have gone crazy buying them if I had ANY IDEA what to do with them.
I am curious to see what Niles ends up doing with the Napa cabbage. We actually hunted until we could find one that wasn’t that big, but it’s still enormous. I just hope it doesn’t turn into a giant vat of kim chee.
*Yes, I acknowledge the irony of using the word “confidentially” in a public blog.
Ok, we are back from Minneapolis. Have you guys been to Minneapolis? First off the Indie Xpo was fantastic fun, especially for a first time convention! Anyway, this morning, in the few hours we had before our Megabus left, Michele took us to the farmers’ market. It was amazing! So much amazing produce and handmade goods. Since we were taking the bus and not having to go through airport security hell, we loaded up. Handmade ravioli, artisanal sausages, napa cabbage, green tomato preserves… we just had the ravioli and some of the sausages for dinner. Excellent! We would have bought more if we had more room in the suitcases. Or, you know, a cooler. And some ice.
Anyway. Lots of good food and beers in Minneapolis. :D We had a great time! And I am now exhausted, because an 8 hour bus ride hurts your butt.
Okay, so it’s not as bad as all that. As Liz helpfully pointed out, all bridesmaids, no matter what shape or size, look sad and uncomfortable in their bridesmaid dresses. And MC (my sister) picked out a pretty awesome bridesmaid dress. It’s very Mad Men.
Honestly, I had even sort of been thinking about this; when she first asked me if I’d be a bridesmaid, I said of course, and I thought to myself, six months ago I probably would have said no. The agony of being up in front of everyone when I didn’t look how I thought I should look, it would have kept me from saying yes. I was feeling pretty good about myself saying yes so easily, and thinking about all the progress that I had made, until… Well, the thought of wearing the exact same dress next to someone many times smaller than me doesn’t exactly fill me with anticipation and glee. It was a little terrifying for a moment there, but I’ve already recovered.
As one of the other bridesmaids put it, the dresses aren’t for US, they’re for MC, for her to look at in her wedding album years from now. And she’s not going to look at my picture and pick it apart in excruciating critical detail. She’s just going to be happy that her sister was a bridesmaid and celebrated with her that day.
It’ll be fine. No one will be looking at me, anyway, right? They’ll all be looking at MC.
You hear that, little sister? Everyone’s gonna be looking at you. No pressure. :D
UPDATE! Sauceome got nominated for an Ignatz Award!! The Ignatz, named after George Herriman’s brick-wielding mouse, recognizes exceptional work that challenges popular notions of what comics can achieve, both as an art form and as a means of personal expression. The trophy itself is a brick. This is my second nomination, and given who was on the judge’s panel, it’s an honor just to be nominated. Winners are voted on at next month’s Small Press Expo in Bethesda MD. Wanna come see me at that show? and vote for me? early and often? :)
ANOTHER UPDATE! I forgot to mention this, but I will be exhibiting and talking on a panel this weekend at the Minneapolis Indie Xpo! Anyway, we’re leaving tonight, and I probably won’t have time to finish today’s comic before we leave, but I’ll update everything Sunday night.