Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Crackin' myself up / Doing my part for reproductive rights, all in one post.

Here is a selection, not exhaustive, not at all, of doodles I have doodled in a variety of work meetings over the last many months:

A selection of doodles from boring meetings.

Homage to/theft from Kate Beaton:
A selection of doodles from boring meetings.

A selection of doodles from boring meetings.

Further commentary:
A selection of doodles from boring meetings.

Just a tiny little something:
A selection of doodles from boring meetings.

A selection of doodles from boring meetings.

A selection of doodles from boring meetings.

Inexplicable, though maybe referring in some way to data storage:
A selection of doodles from boring meetings.

And then elaborate:
A selection of doodles from boring meetings.

As you can see, these are fruitful times for me.

On a completely unrelated note, it is time once again for the Pro-Choice Resources 19th annual BOWLATHON. This event raises a significant amount of money every year in support of the work PCR does to knock down the barriers that prevent women, girls, and youth from accessing comprehensive sexuality information and reproductive healthcare. PCR is a local, grassroots organization that helps people across the country (via their abortion assistance fund and their sex ed website, it's the only organization in the country to offer education, advocacy, financial assistance, and outreach under one roof.

For me, fund-raising for this organization is a no-brainer, especially given the current political climate and the absolutely batshit cuckoo scifi dystopian legislation restricting reproductive rights that keeps getting presented and passed all around the U.S. right now.

Every donation, in ANY amount, is much appreciated and very helpful--whether it's paying for condoms to distribute to youth, or training sexuality education teachers, or funding the Emerge after-abortion support group, or or or (you can read more about PCR's programs here.)

If you feel so inclined, click on over to my secure fundraising page and give what you can. And don't worry, I'll remind you again later.

I'm off to NYC tomorrow, my homies. See you on the flipper.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Eat it.

Here is a terrible picture of my primary 10 minute meal lately:

What I eat the most.

It is perfect and fast and, for me, uses stuff I always have on hand. Here's what you need to make one big serving:

Miso paste
Tahini (peanut butter works too)
Sri racha or sambal oelek or chili paste of choice
2 cups near-boiling water
Sweet potato, diced into like 3/4 inch cubes (half a large potato or a whole small one)
A small head of broccoli, or half or a third of a larger head, chopped into florets. Also, peel and slice the stalk unless it's dry and tough and hopeless. If there are leaves on your brocc chop those up too.
Any other bits you like: a chopped scallion, some chopped cilantro, a handful of cooked chickpeas (see above), sesame seeds (those are the black insect-looking things up there in my soup), chopped romaine, sliced jalapeno (maybe omit the chili paste then), finely chopped kale, a squeeze of lime, etc, etc.

To make this version, put the sweet potatoes and broccoli in a microwave-safe dish with a couple tablespoons of water, cover, and zap for 2-3 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender. You could also use a steamer on the stovetop, of course.

Heat your water til it's nearly boiling. In a little bowl or mug, dissolve about 1.5 tablespoons of miso paste and a tablespoon of tahini in some of the water. I just mash it around with a fork til it's incorporated. Stir in a plop of chili paste. Pour this over your steamed veg, and top up with more hot water. I usually end up using about 1.5-2 cups of water, but you'll want to taste as you go to make sure it's salty enough for you.

Top with any of the raw stuff you want to add (I love it with romaine) and mix it all up and eat with a fork AND a spoon. Fast, satisfying, nutritious AND delicious.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday tunes.

I'm having that day where I finally remember to listen to a bunch of stuff I've saved to check out on spotify. This is good:

I'm completely exhausted right now, having gone all day yesterday from 7 AM to 1 AM and being at work as usual today. Last night was another installment of Hipshaker Minneapolis, which is a monthly vintage soul/R&B/funk dance party that is super fun but that was too heavily skewed toward oldies-ish stuff last night for my taste. It finally started to get funky as I was trying to go home at midnight. As I was shaking it with Angie, one of my oldest friends, I did briefly consider asking her if, as a teenager, she ever thought we'd be dancing at a university-adjacent club together in our late 30s, but then I just laughed at myself and rolled with it. I've always loved to boogie; why should now be any different? I'm pretty sure that when I was a teenager I just never considered my late 30s. It would have seemed like a non-age to me.

After Zumba on Wednesday night la luna was crazy huge and bright in the clear cold night. I chased the moon down the creek trail for awhile on my bike after class, because I was already so warmed up (the shimmying!) and it was so beautiful. I took the path to its logical conclusion at the neighborhood liquor store for a six pack. There's been too much crap going on this week to bike much, so that unexpected, moon-driven detour was a little gift. Today it was -13F with the windchill when I left the house--not to mention that I was dragging SO much ass this morning--so I bagged the biking today too. I'm looking forward to keeping it very, very mellow for the next few nights. I have two concerts this weekend and just generally a big long day of singing on Sunday. It's good to have musical things on the schedule, but what I would really like is for about 10 more episodes of Downton Abbey to watch.

Friday, February 03, 2012

More shoppin', and then the shoppin' kibosh.

I had temporarily forgotten about my search for black shoes that could be all things to all people, but was recently reminded of it several times when I found myself at a loss for appropriate footwear. The all-purpose black shoe is a very tall order, as you might expect. Danskos aren't really cutting it for me anymore, somehow, and anyway I have enough of those. I actually just had to retire the very first pair I ever bought, the red ones, which I had for over 10 years. The soles just completely disintegrated.

Anyway, the requirements for these black shoes are as follows. They need to be walkable but not, strictly speaking, walking shoes. I can never find flats that I like and that fit me worth a damn, so flats are out. I like a little platform anyway, if I'm not going the barefoot shoe route. The shoes need to work with skirts and trousers and, ideally, jeans. They need to be dressed up *enough* but not incapable of being casual. They need to be slightly funky so that I don't feel womansy when I wear them. Womansy is the other reason many walking shoes are just out of the question. I have a hard enough time not skewing Arty Lady of a Certain Age with this haircut. You see why this has been such a problem for me? Siiiiighhhh, my life is so hard.

Anyway, I got these, way on sale:

They are comfortable so far, not too granny-ish, and I've walked nearly a mile in them today and feel fine. That contrasting tongue is actually very ruffly and cute in real life. And for me, they're a good take on that whole oxford thing I haven't really been able to get behind. I think they are just what I was looking for. Score!

Also, while searching for my all-purpose black shoes, I found these amazing things:

They cost way more than I spend on shoes, so I will just have to admire them from afar. Like from realllly far away, because I am going to put myself on a little old spending diet for the next month or two. Setting up house costs money, of course, so the last month has been a more expensive one than usual, which I get. And I think I'm good with money, good with saving, and good with spending, too, so it's not like I'm looking to overhaul my financial life. Last year I managed to make a $7000 jump in my net worth, even with the shitty market and no extra academic giggery. It's just that sitting down and actually looking at my spending for January made me want to be a little bit more intentional and conscientious about it all. This is mostly just an experiment in doing a better job of making do with what I have, tackling something around the apartment if I find myself wanting to go shopping for home shit, and seeing how much money I can sock away so that I can eventually quit my job and start freelancing again. Yeah, I said it. If a college job is not forthcoming, which it may well NOT be given how things are going in academia and in the job market generally, I have to figure out how else to make money, and I don't really want to do it the way I've been doing it.

I have a summer festival teaching gig in the works but am still figuring out how it's going to jive with my desk job. More details on that when I have them. And I've applied for another college job, so right now I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that my materials get me, at the very least, a phone interview.

Oh yeah. I got to bike to work all week (took a break today) because of this weird, weird, springy weather, and I started Zumba on Wednesday (speaking of womansy). It was totally fun. Can't remember the last time I shimmied that much. Certainly never in a high school gym.