Sunday, June 24, 2012

Raindrops on Roses and the Lizzie Bennet Diaries

Ever watch a movie or read a book and at first you're just so happy that this amazing thing exists in the world and then before long you find that you're pissed off that this amazing thing exists in the world and you didn't create it?

That's how I feel about the Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

I was a wary convert though.

ANOTHER Pride & Prejudice spin off/adaptation/retelling? Yeah, that's totally what the world needs.

As it turns out, yes, yes it is.

Every Monday and Thursday I am excited to come home from work to new episodes on YouTube. Which may say more about the quality of my social life than than the quality of the show but we're not talking about me today, people. Focus!

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries take the much beloved heroine of classic literature and gives her a vlog. This, in the wrong hands, could have gone horribly wrong. But the writing is fantastic and the casting was inspired. I mean, I actually like Lydia. Whaaaaaat?

I'm not going to bother reviewing it. I like it; I'm pretty sure you've figured that out already. So go watch it yourself. If you're an Austen fan, you're gonna love it. And if you're not a fan, this may just be the classic lit equivalent of hiding spinach in brownies. It has the core of what makes Austen wonderful, without the social mores of Georgian England that cause a lot of modern readers (my super intelligent BFF included) to roll their eyes and sell their copy back to the bookstore once the semester is over.

Seriously, just watch it already.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Somebody that I used to Know

I was cleaning the other day.

My version of cleaning is usually comprised of a lot of moving things around so that one area looks somewhat cleaner than it was before without anything ever really being put away or thrown out or in any way cleaned. This is 50% due to general laziness and 50% because I own a lot of crap and I never really know what to do with any of it. I’m not planning on playing host to the Hoarders crew anytime soon, but I do have a tendency to hold on to things because “I may want it someday” or because of some imagined or inflated sense of sentimental value.

One of my goals this year is to declutter my life, get rid of all this flotsam that is just taking up space and maybe get it somewhere to someone who would really want it, or need it.

So, as I was saying, I was cleaning the other day and I came across this little photo album that had just been shoved on a shelf in a stack of other useless things. It’s something you might find in a dollar store or the bargain aisles of Target. Almost every page is filled with photos from the production of “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” I was in during my junior year of high school. There were pictures my father took from the audience that make me look like I was the lead of the school play when really I was just another voice in the chorus. And there are backstage and cast party photos that I took.

Every time that I have looked at this album over the last ten plus years it has made me sad. When I was in high school I was fat and awkward and weird and desperate to be accepted by any and everyone. I so wanted to feel apart of something and I didn’t know how to get that, so I always seemed to end up taking pictures instead of being in them. Maybe believing that would somehow connect me to the people whose pictures I was taking. Maybe just to prove that I was there. All the kids that seemed cooler than me, better; the kids that I wanted to be friends with and be accepted by, they’re all in that horrible pink photo album. Most of the photos that I took were of people I barely knew or never talk to anymore.

I don’t even remember most of their names. What I do remember though is how I felt. Awkward. Unlikeable. Unworthy. Less Than. All those high school feelings come rushing up around me every time I look at the stupid thing. And for the first time I asked myself a question that should have come up years ago. Why do I keep looking at the damn thing? Why do I still own it?

I’ve been holding on to someone who never really existed. That girl that I was in high school, that’s not me, that’s just who I let myself be, believing that my weight made me unworthy and my weirdness made me unloveable and my talents weren’t good enough. All Lies.

I can now appreciate that being awkward and weird in high school led me on a path to my many awkward and weird friends. I am thankful for not being exactly who I wanted to be because that helped me get to be the person I want to be. Even though it really really sucked at the time.

I do have pictures from high school that I look at and I smile. This photo album though is nothing but bad mojo. It’s like a little ugly siren trying to pull me back into the pit of adolescent angst. Which brings me back to that question. 

Why do I look at it? 

Because there is still a part of me holding onto who I used to be as an excuse to hold myself back. Because that 15 year old still lives in side me, still whispering that I’m ugly and fat and just not at all good enough. Well, she can go fuck herself I’m throwing that album out. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I signed up for a CSA this year.  It’s something I had been thinking about for a while but the large lump sum payment they require upfront always left me a little gun shy.

It is a bit of an investment, isn’t it? And a bit of a gamble too. Although, wait, that’s redundant isn’t it? Investment implies risk. Right?

goodies from week one

What I’m saying is that it is easy to get put off by the idea of a CSA. You have to plunk down what can sometimes be upwards of $500 and you’re not guaranteed a thing. What if it doesn’t rain enough? What if it rains too much? What if these hippies are just really bad farmers?!

I know, I know, it’s hard to trust people sometimes. But if you open your heart to the possibilities life wants to offer you may just fall in love with a Japanese salad turnip.

Seriously though, they’re really freaking good. Have you had one of these things? I got a bunch in my first box from my CSA with Golden Earthworm Organic Farm. They’re delightful.

I’m only two weeks into my first ever CSA so it may be a bit early to be evangelizing but I really do feel like standing on a street corner. If only I could find my soap box. I know I left it around here somewhere…
week two loot

Every Tuesday is like Christmas. I go to my pick-up site with my reusable shopping bag and I fill it up with goodies.

One of the things that has struck me the most is the dirt. The produce we get at the supermarket is so polished and pristine it’s easy to forget that it came from the ground. Shoppers today want perfect food. If there is a bit of dirt, or if the tomato isn’t perfectly round or that perfect shade of red, it doesn’t get sold. This may sound weird but there’s something kind of comforting about finding a dusting of dirt on my Swiss chard.

Swiss chard and collards 
Signing up for a CSA is also a great way to lose weight. You want to get healthy you need to eat healthy; which means veggies, veggies veggies! Sure, you can go to Costco and get 47 lbs of frozen vegetables for less money but then those vegetables will probably wind up stuffed in the back of your freezer for four weeks before you decide to defrost a scoop to go with your bacon cheeseburger. CSA vegetables won’t keep so you are forced to eat lots of veggies right now. And once you finish them well it’s time to go get your next box! VEGGIES FOREVER!

I am having so much fun with my CSA so far. Opening a box and pulling out something I’ve never cooked with, possibly never even eaten before, pushes me out of my comfort zone a little bit and forces me to explore and be creative. I doubt that I would have ever purchased rhubarb at a supermarket. Or butter lettuce. Isn’t lettuce just lettuce? No, not it is not.

my too much sugar and not enough time rhubarb oat bars
Rhubarb is something I’d only ever heard of on TV. It is a perplexing pink stalk that apparently makes good pie. I split my share with my cousin so I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough rhubarb for pie but I found this recipe online and made some pretty tasty treats (though, if I were ever to make it again I would cut the sugar in half. And I would cook down the syrup a lot more than I did. Impatience has no place in baking, young grasshopper. My bars never quite solidified, but they were yummy).

garlic scapes, just minutes before I murdered them

The thing I was most excited about from week two were garlic scapes. They’re the tops of the garlic clove. Who knew garlic had tops? My farm’s web sites has lots of recipes for their crops and I found a simple one for roasted garlic scapes. Which sounded like heaven since roasted garlic is one of my favorite things on earth. I should have checked on them while roasting though because 30 mins at 425 turned out to be way too long and I wound up with mostly burned scapes. I’m still in mourning and am hoping I find the strength to move on. “Sorry, I can’t come into work today, I burned the garlic scapes and I need time to heal.” Any chance that’ll fly with my supervisor?

But today is Tuesday. And that means that I get to open a new box and it’s Christmas all over again!

Monday, June 4, 2012

I'm so lazy I'm not even going to bother coming up with a title

The day started off well. I went to the gym. I did some laundry and went to the grocery store and baked rhubarb oat bars with the rhubarb from last week’s CSA box. Then I sat down to watch maybe 20 mins of TV while I ate lunch, just relax a little before getting to work on everything else. Just Like Heaven was on. I’d never seen it, I like Mark Ruffalo, I figured I could stand half an hour of it. Four hours later I was still on the couch. That’s where I’m writing from now, actually.

I did have a plan for what I was going to blog about today. But it never got past the planning stage to research and development as I had been swallowed by a romantic comedy vortex. And they weren’t even particularly good romantic comedies. I sacrificed my day to the god of mediocre romance. Not exactly who I planning on worshiping.

It is Sunday though, so I have decided to cut myself some slack. I mean, I did go to the gym where I took a teeny tiny little baby step towards my goals of running a 5k (I can do 5k no prob, it’s the running part that’s going to take a bit of work) and doing a pull up (I am so far from that it’s not even on the horizon, but at least I’m moving forward). I also tried a new recipe today. And I AM blogging. Yeah, maybe this is filler and not what I had planned to post, but it is something to post. And really that’s the only requirement.

Plus, I was out late last night at a Jonathan Coulton concert so if you think about it I actually did pretty well for myself- that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I didn’t show up with much this week, but I showed up.

And the rhubarb oat bars are delicious.