Friday, April 30, 2010

QuoteS of the Day

Mr. Big: After a while, you just want to be with the one that makes you laugh.

Samantha: Well, let's just say it: you won.
Carrie: Was there a contest?
Samantha: Oh please! There's always a contest with an ex. It's called "who will die miserable."

Carrie: You have to figure ... if the world's fattest twins can find love, there's hope for all of us. Somewhere out there is another little freak who will love us, understand us, and kiss our 3 heads and make it all better.

Carrie: After he left, I cried for a week. And then I realized I do have faith: faith in myself, faith that I would one day meet someone who would be sure that I was the one.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Quote of the Day

"There is a desire within each of us, in the deep center of ourselves that we call our heart. We were born with it, it is never completely satisfied, and it never dies. We are often unaware of it, but it is always awake. It is the Human desire for Love. Every person in this Earth yearns to love, to be loved, to know love. Our true identity, our reason for being is to be found in this desire. Love is the "why" of life, why we are functioning at all. I am convinced it is the fundamental energy of the human spirit. the fuel on which we run, the wellspring of our vitality. And grace, which is the flowing, creative activity, of love itself, is what makes all goodness possible. Love should come first, it should be the beginning of, and the reason for everything."

Gerald May (Living in Love)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My "w00t w00t" for this week so far

  • I think this exercise thing is finally kicking in and becoming a habit. I love the feeling of sweating and pushing myself just a little bit further each day. Let's not overlook the fact that there is a younger, very cute fella that works there and works out there. He is just nice and adorable and ripped like a mofo. Oh and I have now mastered the wet hair-do at work so that I look professional but don't have the flipped out ends. All in all, I am digging this gym thing! I also have more energy throughout the day which is quite nice.
  • This email was sent around my new office: "I would like to announce the hiring of one of our GA's for the 2010-2011 year. April Cannon is our newest addition to the staff. She is currently working in Vancouver, Washington. She earned her BS degree from Oregon State University. She is pursuing a Masters in Higher Education Student Affairs. Please welcome April to our staff!" Colored me very excited! That means I am official and that I am really doing this whole grad school thing. Holy crap.
  • Dog sitting tomorrow through the weekend at a nice place in downtown Portland. I am looking forward to snuggling up with a sweet dog at night while I get through at least part of my reading list. I know there is a huge TV there too but the thought that I can kick my feet up, stare out at the city below me (25th floor), and read a great book just gets me all excited. I may miss a few days at the gym but walking the dog four times a day and doing some yoga will completely make up for it.
  • As I get low in my groceries, I get incredibly creative which actually turns into incredibly healthy for some reason. I start combining all my frozen foods with the (usually) extra pasta in some sort of sauce (pizza sauce, pesto, salsa, etc.) and it makes a yummy dinner and lunch.
  • Lunch date with Jenn tomorrow!
  • AND....this just in.....I helped someone a little bit with their resume and they have 5 job interviews this week! How awesome is that? Um, very!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring in Portland

I had such a great day yesterday. I had a leisurely day in Portland and got to truly enjoy what Portland really is when you get past some of the "quirks."

I am dog sitting next week at a beautiful place downtown so after I visited with the pup and his parents, I headed over to the PSU Farmer's Market. I have been trying to go for years but was never up early enough. If I had more money, I would have loved to enjoy some of the homemade pasta, pickled vegetables, vegan baked goods, and the vast array of vegetables that looked amazing. I did manage to grab a nice lunch at Salvador Molly's tamale tent. I am a sucker for a good tamale and this one did not disappoint.
It had artichoke, cheese, and a tangy salsa on top. I need NEED to learn how to make these! As I wandered, I also bought a few little bites at Two Tarts: oatmeal peanut butter macaroon, chocolate creme macaroon, and a fleur de sel chocolate chip cookie.

From there, I went to Urban Grind to get some work done. I had time to kill until the evening extravaganza so I enjoyed a huge Chai latte and finished up some work for a friend and update another friend's resume. I felt very productive!

The Willamette Weekly hosts a Eat Mobile event and I was one of the lucky ones to get tickets early. There was a lot of hype about this and people were pretty upset if they didn't get tickets. I had invited my co-worker to come with since she isn't from Portland and although another friend couldn't join us, we ended up hanging out with another co-worker and her husband for a good portion of the night. And this thing did not disappoint! It was some of the most delicious food in small but decent portions and you could just roam, stand in line and meet the most interesting people while waiting. It was also one of the most gluttonous feelings to be surrounded by fellow foodies, all talking about food and stuffing our faces full of this deliciousness. You know you shouldn't have a beignet with chocolate espresso sauce right after sausage and sauerkraut but you just keep saying, "Okay, oh, that line is short, let's go there!" for the entire night. We rare took a pause as we tasted almost 20 carts for 2.5 hours. There were a few were weren't able to try (poutine, Grilled Cheese Grill, Fifty Licks) but I was delighted that I didn't have to go to all these places individually and could now understand what people had been talking about all along! Among my favorites were Flavourspot waffle cart, Whiffies' fried pies, Moxie RX's granola and raspberry rhubarb, Sip vegan juices and smoothies, Violetta's aforementioned beignets, and The People's Pig Cuban pork sandwiches.

Truly, a Portland weekend!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Love List

As I leafed through O magazine the other day, there was a woman that made a declaration of what she wanted in a man. She talked about the importance of knowing what you want, what is the most important, and what you are unable to deal with in a relationship and a partner. I often find myself thinking that marriage and relationships are ultimately partnerships; you have someone else that can offer support but you need to be able to support them as well. As I made my list, I began to become more specific and more needy but I realized that I should be because I can give this all to my significant other as well. If I ask them to be supportive, I will be supportive back. If I ask them to be comfortable with himself, I must be comfortable with myself.

And, here goes, the 100 things I want in a order of thought not necessarily importance

Friday, April 23, 2010

Horoscope for the week

Verticle Oracle cardAries (March 21-April 19)
"Although obstacles and difficulties frighten ordinary people," wrote French painter Theodore Gericault, "they are the necessary food of genius. They cause it to mature, and raise it up . . . All that obstructs the path of genius inspires a state of feverish agitation, upsetting and overturning those obstacles, and producing masterpieces." I'd like to make this idea one of your guiding principles, Aries. In order for it to serve you well, however, you'll have to believe that there is a sense in which you do have some genius within you. It's not necessarily something that will make you rich, famous, popular, or powerful. For example, you may have a genius at washing dogs or giving thoughtful gifts or doing yoga when you're sad. Whatever your unique brilliance consists of, the challenges just ahead will be highly useful in helping it grow.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I don't know about anyone else but there are some days (nay, weeks!) that I am just a grumpy grumperstein. It is okay and actually quite normal to be grumpy on occasion but usually there is a reason for it. I am doing all the right things (working out daily, eating well) but just can't seem to shake out of it. I think the main culprit might be my quality and quantity of sleep. I usually average 6-8 hours but what I sleep ON is starting to take its toll on me.

I think this is an appropriate to explore all of my current emotions in a very creative way.......
(Copyright of Roger Hargreaves)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good Things Today

(Click for source)
For our staff meeting, my boss brought in triple cream brie with whole wheat crackers, whole walnuts, and pear slices. Seriously, I could live off this stuff. Perhaps I was meant to be French? Or at least European?

I bought a new (to me) digital camera! I really wanted one now that there is the potential for me to be driving cross country. Oh the sights I will see. For the past four years I was using a 2.0 megapixel hand-me-down from an old roommate. It definitely served its purpose but now I have a whole 6.0 megapixels and zoom to play with. I was nervous about how low the price was but it turned out to be a great find on Craigslist. Especially with new babies and leaving old friends, I will have to make sure to capture all the memories.

The gym. I am loving this whole push-myself-for-distance-and-sweat-buckets thing I have going on. I have been working more towards distance than speed and trying to fit in a tidy little workout before work each morning. I think that I might attempt to get a bike after the move and today I did an exercise bike for about 4.5 miles which felt great. I actually wish I could stay at the gym longer some days. The next feat will be to fit in a yoga or pilates class after work one of these days. I really want to stretch out my back and be more flexible.

Monday, April 19, 2010


Isn't it funny how we do things that we KNOW will cause us more stress? We eat bad things and then have a stomach ache for a few days or we get next to no sleep and know that the next day you will be falling asleep as you sit at your desk. Yet, we still do it!

I didn't get much sleep last night because of every sort of thing rolling around in my brain. From this to that to could to might; from love to budgets and interiors to the sorting of possessions. It is all just in my head and I feel like it is even expanding like caulking in a crack....although my brain seems to be the crack and the caulking is expanding way, way too much.

Some of these things are going to ease with time; some I believe are just going to stick with me forever. Even good news brings up new issues and concerns. Of course, there is always the overthinking result of  "it's too good to be true" scenario that is downright ridiculous.

I am not only thinking about my own silly problems but also friends. Some friends I think about I haven't been in contact with for a long time while others are very near and very dear. Some friends I know are always going to stay with me no matter what happens, even when we don't talk. Others, quite frankly, I wish would leave my memory so that any negativity that stems from our relationship would just float away into the atmosphere.

Okay, I previously titled this post "Looney Bin" but have since gone the more realistic route of "Babbling."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Meet Meat

During a brief intermission in my carnivorus eating, I was in the right mindset to watch Food, Inc. It was a pretty difficult thing to watch and at times, I did cover my eyes (hey, I made it through Fast Food Nation with eyes wide open the entire time). I knew about meat processing plants and how animals were treated but this seemed to go above and beyond everything I had watched thus far. These were major meat players (like Tyson) that are practicing cruel and inhumane tactics in "growing" animals for our consumption.

They also had farmers featured that took great care with their animals and only produced a small amount of meat each month, most of which was sold at farmer's markets. A lot of local farmers in Corvallis would come to the markets and would take the time to explain where the meat came from, the processing, and how to truly savor the taste of the meat. It was like you were paying your respects to the animals as you ate.

Enter in another informational aspect, Alicia Silverstone's "The Kind Diet." I watched an Oprah episode about the various food movements in this country that are happening right now. She had Alicia on as well as Michael Pollan, the author of "Food Rules" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma." I immediately put them on hold at my local library and just yesterday I grabbed "The Kind Diet" and "Food Rules." I skimmed the second one but dove head first into Alicia's book. It was well presented, easy to understand, and gave the reader a great background on why you should look at what you eat and how asinine some of the reasons we eat other animals are. She discusses things that have not been presented before like how we are not physically made to consume and digest meat or how weird it is we drink milk from another animal. There are also topics that have been a hot bed of discussion including how cows affect the ozone layer or how chemicals have trained our bodies to perform opposite of how we were made to. Just really interesting things to think about when we prepare meals and grocery shop.

There are two tactics that she has about eating cleanly, humanely, and environmentally friendly. There is the vegetarian diet and the vegan diet. She also discusses raw and macrobiotic but neither would I ever be able to do-vegan is still a far stretch for me. One of the things I really enjoyed were comparing myths about nutrition to the realities. Calcium is a huge concern for me because I worry about osteoporosis and rarely ever drink milk. I had no idea that sesame seeds and sea vegetables have far more calcium than milk ever could!

The more research I do, however, the more I feel like grocery shopping and food is becoming too critical. In the 1940's, they ate fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, white flour biscuits with real butter, and didn't seem to have huge health concerns like we have today. Today we deal with 20-piece chicken nugget buckets (buckets, do we need to eat from buckets?) and 40oz sodas full of enough sugar and calories for a month. We are also spending so much more time inside, on the computer, in our cars and sitting at our desks now that our society will soon end up just like "Wall-E" invisioned we would. Scary? Hell yes.

MY point is that the time has passed that we could trust our food suppliers and labels. We can no longer even trust our vegetables now that GMOs exist. I hate that I now look at my chicken and think of "Food, Inc." or that I now need to worry about if my fruit and vegetables have a 4-digit code or a 5-digit code. I think because of these things and the unhealthy eating habits that American seems to enjoy, the push for vegan and vegetarian diets have become even greater and exposes are coming out all the time to better inform the public.

So, as I continue reading "The Kind Diet" and "Food Rules" I am going to continue to learn more about my food. This may or may not impact my food habits but for right now, I am definitely considering cutting meat out completely. Dairy may be harder because I really like cheese--good, solid, no substitutes--cheese. Eggs, another item discussed in the book, will also be up for consideration. Lucky for me that I already buy and am addicted to various substitute meat products not only for moral reasons but because they are easier to make!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

HEA Ending

Movie: Paper Heart
I wanted to see this movie since buzz started at Sundance. I think both main characters, Michael Cera and the adorably disheveled Charlyne Yi are excellent in this story of love. It isn't necessarily how they got together, although they did date in real life, but it talks about The movie begins as a quest to help Charlyne figure out if she will ever be capable of love and if love even exists. People are dumbfounded when she candidly says that she isn't sure she will ever be in love. The reactions are some of the best parts of the entire film.

Things that stood out to me:
Marriage isn't always this great thing. For some people, it is scary and represents a lot of pain, unhappiness, and "settling" for less. I have such a crazy view of what marriage is versus what it should be that I fear I tend to fall into this group more often than not.

True love is not the same thing as love. One guy told his story about how he found a true love; someone he saw as he looked at his life and thought it would be empty without her. For him it was true love but for her it was not. For it to be true, it needs to be from both sides. Sometimes we don't always know that it isn't mutual.

Love is the enjoyment of another person. It is the spike in seratonin levels and feeling of euphoria.
Love is an emotion that encourages procreation. As humans, we have an obligation or need to procreate. The love part facilitates that.

Maybe these explain why people who have been together for 20 years get a divorce. They have kids, they have the enjoyment and love for their children, they create a home together, and when the children leave to lead their own independent lives, maybe that love dies and all that is left is two people with a long history.

Depressing take on things? Yes.
Check, please.

There are people who are together for decades and never have children. Does that make their love more pure and dedicated? They have formed a life for themselves and in order to sustain it, they keep those fiery passions and lines of communication open. I never thought about things like this but it does bring a new perspective on the longevity of "love."

This then brings up the question of divorce. One of the judges and lawyers that work in a family law court see divorces and the "evil" side of love. One woman said it brilliantly: We are not a very patient society. When we get in a relationship and its not what we want or what we saw it as, we quit. We like to have immediate results and we like to have what others have. It's, again, our human nature.

For love to exist, we need to be so vulnerable, so trusting, so optimistic, and so honest....hello, SCARY! Each and every one of those words is SCARY. It is diving into a pool where you know nothing about the depth, the substance in the pool, your ability to swim or if you can breathe underwater. Good grief. No wonder there are so many movies--they are there to encourage us to believe!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Little Comment & A Little Vent

Do you ever get this nagging feeling when someone makes a little comment? A little comment meaning that it was said in passing or without much thought or emotion. It happens all the time; we make a comment or an observation and that's where it ends. Sometimes I wonder where the other person takes that comment though---does it stay with them and continue through their day or does it stay in that passing moment. Perhaps I don't make sense explaining it but I know that it must be a thought of other people, too.

When you are a kid, people say things all the time and you just go along with it because, well, what else would you do? If another kid says something, you eitehr get angry and say "Nuh uh" or ignore it. Do you remember any of those things that were said to you as a child? Do they still influence you today?

I still remember things that were said to me in elementary school, mostly about my weight. I took part in the 80's fashion scene (can we say crimped hair and Hypercolor shirts?) and was always nice but quiet so the only thing that anyone could pick on me for was the weight. And even 20 years later, I still remember what certain kids said and that boggles my mind that for all the things that I have accomplished, these "needle-prick" comments still resonante with me. It actually kind of irks me!

So, these comments come and go and eventually they will fade into the memory graveyard along with my math skills and remembering why I liked Jordan the best in NKOTB. But there are still these little comments today that keep elbowing me in the side. My mom said something last night that kind of put me in a sour mood and immediately after I had a strong emotional and physical reaction. To her, it wasn't anything significant or serious, strictly a little comment in a causal conversation. To me, it put a complete hault to any positivity and made me frustrated that despite all that I have been doing for myself to be healthier, my mother doesn't seem to think it is all that big of a deal.

I wish that everyone could have this great, everlasting confidence. Despite little comments on Facebook or looks on the street, we could all stand tall and be as comfortable in our own skin as we are in our pajamas.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Social Influences

One of the hardest things about having female friends and co-workers sometimes is this continuing need to talk about "diet" "losing weight" "can't eat X" or whatever. Granted, it is not healthy to have pastries and cupcakes in the breakroom 24/7 but it is not going to kill us all to have a slice of birthday cake once a month either. Get a group of girls around a chocolate cake and more likely than not, at least one person will say "Oh, that is going straight to my hips" or "Great, are you trying to make me fat?"

There is one lady at work that I talked with about healthy fats-those found in nuts, avocados, and olive oil-and she gave me this look like "Oh, yes healthy fats but we can't eat too many of them either!" While I understand what she meant and it is all about moderation, her tone towards food was so restrictive even when talking about healthy things. It struck me as just damaging to have to see food as the mortal enemy.

We had three birthdays in my office last month that we celebrated with cake. Each birthday person got to pick what kind of cake they wanted and our resident baker made them. When it came time to pick out a piece, one of the girls stated "I want a small piece of each!" which I thought was smart. We aren't talking massive slices of cake bigger than her head rather just thin slices where you could get two or three bites of each cake and be satisfied. My co-worker and I split the sampler plate and it was plenty to get a taste but not so much to make a huge impact on our day or psychological stability.

I completely believe that when you are sitting down with an entire cake and a fork THEN you need to re-evaluate what you are doing. When you are partaking in a celebration or out to a restaurant known for desserts, its okay to enjoy life! Life can be savoring a bite of creme brulee just as much as it is to have the people there to share it with.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Today, while many people stood in line for yet another gadget that keeps us from being fully engaged in the world around us, I went to a baby shower. I rode with a good friend to the baby shower of a dear friend that was hosted by one of my oldest friends. It was one of those days that make you thankful to have such friends.

The house that the baby shower was at brought back high school memories. I was blessed to have had a great group of friends in high school. We were never trouble-makers or terribly popular, but we went to football games, shared plates of nachos at Red Robin, had sleepovers where we ate far too much junk food, and planned trips together. Having those people in my life actually made me believe that the world was much bigger than it appeared. I was thinking about today WHY I have the strong urges to travel and be something bigger and greater and perhaps it is because of these friends that I do have those things to even think about.

This house of an old friend is where we held girls' Christmas dinners, painted the room in the girliest fashion possible complete with butterflies and puffy, white clouds, and hung out at in between weekends and movies. It was nothing particularly special but returning to it after several years away, I felt comfort in memories and in myself. I remembered what it felt like to not be so intimidated by failures or possibilities. We just had fun and enjoyed being with each other.

I am in contact with maybe three people from high school that I was close with. Since then, I have been able to add to my circle of friends and in each person, their hearts, passions, and experiences have influenced and added to my own.
For one person's strength, I see my own.
For another person's heart, I see the person I strive to be.
For one person's perspective, I broaden my own.
And for another person's faith, I see the beauty that lies within us.

I am always in awe of people that are able to be open and honest with everyone; it takes serious guts. If we were able to tell it like it is, maybe we would all be able to connect better and would work harder to not lose touch. A day goes by, then a week, then a month and then the next thing you know, you get married and have kids and you haven't spoken to your best friend in a decade. How does time slip so quickly? Should we blame technology on helping or hindering our personal relationships? Is this just the sign of the times and there is no longer a need for hand-written notes and calls just to "check-in?" Are family dinners even possible with Bobby on the computer, Susie texting her friends, Dad on the iPad and Mom watching TV on the couch?

I saw a picture of the tremendous line at the Apple Store today where a dad had taken his child with him. Beneath it the caption read "This kid won't remember a world where there weren't iPads." My first thought was "How sad."

Friday, April 2, 2010

Oh, Grocery!

The weather outside is absolutely bi-polar. It is pouring down rain and incredibly windy but somehow the blue sky keeps teasing us. Even scarier, the fact that I am on the 4th floor of a big building and have the windows creaking a bit against the force of the wind. I am a total weather nut and love this but the sounds are a bit much.

In much yummier news, I went grocery shopping last night! It is very exciting especially when you are down to shriveling vegetables and pasta. I am not normally a Wal-Mart shopper but I had a bunch of things to grab both grocery and otherwise.

I came upon some lovely little items though and the prices were, of course, quite nice.

Healthy Choice Steamers

I was skeptical about the steamer meals because frozen meals always look good on the packages but then when you get them home they are this scary piece of "meat" and vegetables overrun with sauces. This bowl was so good! The grains were all done perfectly, huge pieces of broccoli, and a the nutritional facts are all balanced and appealing. I am going to dive even further into the "steamers" line pretty soon and see what else they have to offer.

These cute packages of freeze dried fruit are aimed at children but I couldn't resist picking up a couple. I grabbed the strawberry and banana packet which contains one whole banana and four strawberries. The idea of freeze dried fruit is still a little strange to me but I do love the fact that I can satisfy my crunchy and sweet craving with only a handful of calories.

Many people still categorize popcorn cakes as dry, tasteless health food. They have come a long way! I regularly eat the apple cinnamon and white cheddar popcorn cakes because they are just good. The apple cinnamon flavor isn't overwhelming but I like it just the same. These snack rice cakes with berry flavors are not only really flavorful but also crunchy and sweet! I grabbed a few while I made dinner last night and they are just as addicting as potato chips and tastier than most cookies out there. I only saw them in two flavors, Wild Blueberry & Blackberry but I imagine the possibilities are endless. (P.S. I like my rice cakes with a smear of PB on them!)

Now to a local shout-out for the most amazing fudge: Oh, Fudge
They are featured at the Daisy Maiz store at 607 Washington St. Vancouver, WA 98660 and also frequent the Vancouver Farmer's Market. One of my co-workers brought in two big boxes of various varieties today and we are all in quite the sugar comma heaven. I have a beautiful piece of fudge that has peanuts and caramel running through the middle and another that is coffee flavored. The consistency is soft and it's not so overly sugary that it hurts your teeth but you absolutely want to save each and every nibble...slowly....and possibly in the privacy of your own home.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

White Stuff

Now that I think about it, not a great title, huh? Well, while I was at the gym today I overheard a conversation about how someone gave up all white foods and has never felt better. This woman has to be at least 65 and looks great so whatever she is doing, I really should be doing. I have heard this theory before and it completely makes sense: all that white bread, rolls, pasta, and mashed potates are just fillers that end up sitting in your stomach like a brick. Really it does nothing for us but slow us down. So as I desperately tried to squeak out 10 minutes on the rowing machine, I declared I would try my best to elimintate white foods from my diet.

However, I am in the throws of crankiness this week (thanks to womanly duties) and I had forgotten to pack a breakfast. That, along with my desperate craving for coffee lately sent me over to McDonalds where I proceeded to get a white breakfast item and a medium iced coffee. It was damn good.

I know that fast food is crap and I haven't been partaking in it since Lent started and even before that, it was on a rare occasion or desperate need to eat something while out and about. I knew exactly how much fat and calories I was going to be eating and that I would need to adjust the rest of my day in order to fit this splurge in. I will say this: it managed to keep me full until lunch.

To overcome my love of the fast food breakfast sandwich, I have been making them at home with even better results!

1-Bagelthins, lightly toasted and spray with butter
1-egg puff (crack egg into bowl, whisk, put in microwave for 45-60 second, tada)
2-strips of Morningstar Farms "bacon"
sprinkling of nutritional yeast

Seriously, it takes less than 2 minutes to have this in the morning and is completely satisfying. AND yet another reason why I love meatless products, so easy to prepare! Although I have to be honest, I have missed being able to eat meat since I gave it up for Lent!