A Few Random Things for Sunday

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1.) Last week at work I spent almost an entire day on orientation computer modules. The more fire safety education I do, the more random information my brain retains about the nature of fire. This particular time, I was most struck by all the different Classes of Fire. Why is this not a Buzzfeed personality quiz yet? I’m totally a D (combustible metal). Or maybe a C (electrical)?

2.) The other night, whilst assembling furniture and drinking bourbon, I found myself thinking of a favorite quote from Gloria Steinem, on women becoming the men we wanted to marry. Not that all men—or only men—assemble furniture and drink brown liquor, but in some settings that are not my apartment, this Friday night home-improvement might garner a raised eyebrow. When I told my mother about it the next day, she laughed and said, “I love that, becoming the men we wanted to marry—someone has to do it.” Seriously.

Another old photo I couldn't part with
Another old photo I couldn’t part with

3.) The cleaning jag continues. In an effort to free up space on my computer, I trashed a bunch of old photos and music files. Like that EP from that awful guy in that awful band circa 2006 or 7? Why was that even still there? Please don’t ask me which awful guy or which awful band…

4.) This book. If you just got engaged or just a signed a lease with your boyfriend/girlfriend, you probably shouldn’t read it unless you’re prepared for some deep thoughts to wake up your morning commute, but if you’re game for a little positive reinforcement about enjoying and appreciating your independence, you’ll enjoy it. Love the NYPL for making e-books so easy to borrow. 

5.) Elaborate Valentines Day dishes? Meh. Who needs to wait until February 14th to make this chocolate soufflé? I love how sane Mark Bittman’s recipes are. I also can’t believe this one is from 5 years ago. Of course, 5 years ago I was shacked up with someone who hated eggs so much he felt compelled to make gagging sounds when I fried one up for myself, which explains why it wasn’t on my radar. Live and learn.

So…which class of fire are you? What was the last book you read? Do you like chocolate soufflés? 

“Classic Kombucha”

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This “Classic” Kombucha business really cracks me up. I guess 0.5% alcohol still counts, but seriously?! Anything to be able to charge more or find a new angle to sell something to a niche market…Hah, “black label” kombucha. Too bad it tastes so good. Kombucha classic

I may or may not be a little disappointed I did not get carded. over 21 kombucha

Do you like kombucha? If you do, what’s your favorite variety? 

Fall Beers

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I’ve tried to like beer, but we’re just never going to be good friends. Yes, even pumpkin beer. I know. pumpkin face

However, I understand that people love beer, and that seasonal beers get a lot of love.

Current health recommendations for alcohol are up to one drink per day for women and up to two per day for men—not fair, but you need to take into account the fact that our bodies metabolize alcohol at different rates. So if you’re wondering what to fill those two allotted glasses with this weekend, Self magazine’s Flash blog just put out a great little list of “fall beers worth every calorie.”

Do you like beer? If not, what’s your poison? 

Random Sunday Thoughts

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*My fingers get really confused between my work computer and my home computer. If my fingers had brains, they would be at a pretty low risk for Alzheimer’s, what with all the mental workouts!

* I am making this soup today after seeing a link to recipe on How Sweet It Is a few weeks ago. Cannot f-ing wait.

*Last night I celebrated a friend’s entry into his late twenties in a bar with lots of old-school video games. It was great to catch up over drinks and pizza with friends I’ve been happy to see a little more of recently. Instead of a surprise cake there were surprise donuts, which was adorable. I tried a piece of a coconut one that looked delicious, but after a bite, I realized that maybe I’ll just never be a donut person, and what with all the other things out there to enjoy (as illustrated in yesterday’s post), that’s totally okay.

I may not love donuts, but pizza I can dig
I may not love donuts, but pizza I can dig

*Also, either I’m getting old, or those two Jameson & club sodas I drank last night were stronger than I thought. Goodness. This morning was not quite like the clear-headed morning after the last karaoke outing. I was up for another Athleta yoga class, but super-thankful it was a gentle one that did not involve hanging my head in downward dog too much.

*”Wow, my day was just not complete until you offered to send me a picture of your [preferred phallic euphemism]!” said no woman ever. I can’t decide if it’s better or worse to get a “warning” first. Furthermore, in what kind of work setting does one have the freedom to be taking/sending these Picassos in the middle of a weekday? Unless it’s the kind of thing one saves on one’s phone for when one feels like killing any semblance of mystery that remains in the modern world? As far as dating is concerned, I am officially jaded. My fall calendar is filling up fast with professional events and with birthday celebrations for friends and family. I’m willing to risk the possibility of turning into a gray-haired New York City eccentric with tons of stories but no wedding ring if it means actually enjoying my life.

*Speaking of enjoying life, let’s talk about music. My friend David posted the new Pixies EP1 on my Facebook the other day. Pixies without Kim Deal. So weird! Even though it’s just not the same, I will never be able to not love the Pixies. It’s pretty crazy to think it’s been ten years, but I associate their music so, so much with the summer and fall when I was 17 (haha so unique, I know).  Sometimes it seems like a universe away, and other times, a week since I was blasting this song 24/7:

What’s on your mind this Sunday? 

On Dating and Eating

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On that list of “Things Single People Are Scared Of”—aka Why I am secretly afraid to get a dog:

Just something I come back to whenever I need to remind myself why I bother at all…

For better or worse, I like dating. The process of figuring someone out is fascinating. It’s also fun to have a reason to dress up a little and go new places and try new things. When it’s good, it’s good. However, it can be frustrating and, yeah, a little bit soul-crushing, especially when your mailbox is flooded with Save-the-Dates and your Facebook feed has magically become a giant baby picture album and oh! Look who else got engaged this week…

Apparently, being a sane, healthy, gainfully employed woman with a masters degree is a handicap in New York City. I’ve often been that person someone dates right before they meet their next long-term partner. That said, I’m wired for optimism, and my workaholic nature means giving up just isn’t an option, despite the sh!t that comes out of my mouth sometimes. If nothing else, I’ve had a wide range of experiences, complete with a few ridiculous stories, some good to offset the bad.

Since this is a food blog, I thought I’d share a few things I’ve learned about staying well-fueled while playing the field. Granted, some of these are mainly applicable to ladies looking to find a suitable gentleman friend, but for the most part, they’re just common sense for anyone. Common sense some of us may have come to accept through learning the hard way, that is…

  • Eat a snack before heading out or stash something in your purse if you’re at all ambiguous about whether food will be involved. As my friend Ryk puts it, it’s hard to be sexy when you have low blood sugar. By this, I think he means that crankiness and dizzy/sweaty/shaky-ness are not exactly conducive to playing the get-to-know-you game.
  • One or two drinks max (and note: if tequila is not your drink, it will most likely still not be your drink on a random weekday night)
  • On a dinner date, order what you feel like eating, not what you think you should order. If you want salad, eat salad; if you want lobster tacos, go for it. Order what you’d order if you were out with a family member or friend you’re comfortable with or by yourself. Also, if he picked an expensive place, don’t automatically assume he’s going to pay, but do consider that it’s likely because he wanted to bring you there and show off his good taste and fat wallet. Because $$$ = inches or something? There are exceptions, of course. If his online dating profile name is something like Srching4Sugar_Mama, just say no.
  • On that note, let him pay on the first date. Old-fashioned, yes, but still applicable for a reason.
  • If your overwhelming thought is “That’s nice you want to hold my hand and all, but I really just want to eat this taco,” that’s probably a sign. Especially if it’s a first date. Am I just out of touch or is hand-holding on a first date a little weird?
  • Know your deal-breakers. For example, if you can’t stand eating in bed and you find a gentleman caller eating cold McNuggets (with BBQ sauce) in your bed while you are trying to sleep, tell him to take it to the table. Not that this has ever happened to me or anything…
  • Beware the man who drinks his dinner. This goes for booze, smoothies, and Master Cleanse-like concoctions. The exception to this one is a very attractive bartender I used to chat with about juicing (I was working on an article about it) who would work his way through a big green smoothie throughout his shift. Because I have a tendency to play it too cool/dumb, he probably thought our conversations really were just informal research to me.
  • Be upfront about food allergies. Always.
  • Never underestimate the awesomeness of the afternoon walk & talk. One of the best dates I ever had involved getting green juice and walking down by the river for a few hours. Never saw the guy again, but I had a great time.
  • Be open to being spontaneous. If you’re having a good time and he suggests grabbing a bite after finishing a drink, it’s oaky to say yes if you want to go. On the flip side, of course, don’t feel obligated. Listen to your gut. Your time is your time—no explanation or apology needed. Also, you could always be the one to suggest a change of scenery—no need to leave it up to the male of the species to dictate the course of the evening, you know?

What are some things you’ve learned about dating and eating? 

Sunny Sunday

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This weekend has been the perfect remedy to a rough, emotional week. Saturday, I had to go get my spots checked at the derm in NJ, and then my mom and I had lunch (thank you, Karen for the great recommendation!) and indulged in a little retail therapy. I got some great deals on a few work things that will be perfect for the transition into fall.

When I got home, I took a disco nap and then joined some friends for BYOB karaoke. We hadn’t been since my birthday, and it was so much fun! Our vague theme was breakup songs, and we toasted to my cat allergy—at least if/when I die alone, I will most likely not be covered in cat piss. Medicine is great and all, but never underestimate the healing power of singing and dancing like a complete fool with your nearest & dearest. I had many favorite moments (my friends are hilarious), but especially  getting the whole room dancing to the Supreme’s “You Can’t Hurry Love.”

Though I always act my age responsibly and stay well hydrated, I was a bit surprised to wake up bright-eyed and energetic, having enjoyed a good dose of whiskey. And bourbon. And champagne (see toast, above). Yes, champagne at karaoke. Anyway, taking advantage of the gorgeous weather and my good mood, I took a long rambling walk through the park. I also cleaned the eff out of my apartment and prepped some food for the week. Burned some incense to clean out any lingering bad vibes. Yes, I have a Masters of Science, and I still believe in that stuff.

If nothing else, I can tell I’m well into the “moving on” mindset, as I was craving pumpkin at breakfast—and chocolate, but nothing unusual there. Chocolate pumpkin oats in an almost-empty peanut butter jar totally happened. Perfect timing, like, culinary destiny or some sh*t like that. September is next week! This is both exciting and terrifying.

Do you like karaoke? What are your favorite songs to dance and sing to? 

Do’s & Don’ts of Brunch

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IMG_2117I go through phases sometimes where I feel the need to take breaks from social media because whenever I log onto Facebook it seems like everyone is going on more vacations, having more sex (or so I—probably wrongly—assume from status updates about saccharine couple-y things), and eating more brunch than me.

But then I go through phases where I’m too busy eating brunch and having sex and (pretending I’m) on vacation to care. The pendulum swings one way and then the other and then the other…or however the saying goes.

Though I’m in between these two modes right now (aka Facebook doesn’t bother me that much but I still have time for it), I appreciated this Glamour magazine Do’s & Don’ts of Eating Brunch. As an early riser, “brunch” is usually straight-up lunch for me, but calling it brunch makes me feel like I’m living that Big-City Life or something. 17-year-old me would think my 27-year-old self was super-lame for waking up so damn early on weekends, but hey, DNA.

A few of my personal brunch Do’s & Don’t’s:

  • Water before coffee. Coffee before booze, especially if you order drinks before deciding what to eat—it’s easier to make good decisions  (food-related and otherwise) when your head is clear.  Whether I order alcohol depends on whether I have anything in my stomach and what else I have to do that day.  I usually skip the mimosa (the OJ is way too sweet) in favor of plain sparkling wine or a bellini—peach puree and champagne are lovely together. A bloody mary can be a good choice too, as long as you keep in mind that you’re likely getting a lot of sodium in there.
  • Eat for energy—I usually choose my meal based on what I think will help me feel energized and ready to take on the rest of the day. I’m an easy sell when it comes to anything with poached eggs and veggies. Bonus points for avocado. I also try to go for things that involve mixed greens as a side. A mix of carbs, protein, and healthy fat helps keep me satisfied. 
  • If you’re craving bacon, order bacon. If you don’t, you’re just going to be thinking about it all day/week/whatever. Ignoring a craving sets up up for feeling deprived and overdoing it later.

Is it “brunch” or “lunch” for you? What do you usually order?