Monday, April 27, 2009

Fight or flight

This weekend I took a trip back in time. I spent two lovely days in Lewisburg, doing all of the things I loved to do in college -- walking to the Freez, enjoying a few beers at the Bull Run, and wandering aimlessly around Arts Fest while soaking in a beautiful Pennsylvania day. Absolutely zero stress.

Fine, I'm remembering college with rose colored glasses (it's finals time, right?). But New York punished me for letting my guard down just the same.

The worst part is, it led me into a false sense of security. I had a delightful walk through the park and a picnic dinner when I returned home after my lazy Pennsylvania weekend. "Maybe New York can offer me the same relaxation as Central PA," I foolishly thought.

Nope. First off, I wake up to find (forgive me, I've been ignoring the news this weekend) that I have willingly returned to the scene of a Stephen King novel. We all know how well I deal with any sort of medical scare, and at the height of allergy season, my crazy is on high alert.

Couple this with the fact that someone thought it would be an excellent idea to pilot a low flying jet plane around lower Manhattan this morning. Without informing anyone. This may seem odd to those outside the city, but we are a paranoid people. The last time Will Smith filmed a movie in New York, half the town was calling 911 over helicopters surrounding the Brooklyn Bridge. We will go "War of the Worlds" on your ass if we aren't informed of these things several times, with many well posted signs. Needless to say, the building across the street from mine was evacuated this morning. All because someone wanted a photo op of an Obama-less Air Force One.

So thank you, New York, for returning my adrenal glands to their previous gigantic size. I don't know what I would have done if I had to survive one more day of being completely relaxed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

Here are some ways to love your mother, fashionably:

Invest in a reusable water bottle. These ones come in regular water bottles, sippy cups for the little ones, and wine carafes for, well, people like me.

Purchase a pack of these reusable grocery bags. The printed ones are adorable and versatile -- they make amazing beach bags as well!

If you must buy plastic or glass bottles to, oh, I don't know, make alcoholic cupcakes, recycle them! Either throw them in the recyling bin or reuse them around the house -- nothing says class better than an empty bottle of Jack Daniels with a bouquet of flowers!

You Complete Me

As a lifetime member of WeightWatchers, I have been taught that, if you are going to splurge, make it on something really good. Don't waste your calories on dessert items that don't at least approach culinary perfection.

On a somewhat related note, I love chocolate. And alcohol.

Yet I often feel as though I have to give at least one of these things up to allow for the other. If I am going out drinking, I avoid chocolate. If I have a piece of chocolate cake, I spend a Friday evening convincing my friends to play Scene-it and snack on carrot sticks.

Chocolate or alcohol? It's like the ultimate Catch-22.

But no more.

I have been introduced to two amazing inventions in the past week involving the combination of these two wonderful things. First, I spent two amazing, spatula licking hours (while watching the Biggest Loser on dvr) baking these:

Please don't be fooled by their common-place appearance. These cupcakes have a Guinness chocolate base, a chocolate-whiskey ganache center, and Bailey's Irish Creme frosting. And, keep in mind, only 1/3 of that alcohol is baked off in any way. Biting into this is like eating the most delicious shot you've ever tasted. And you don't have to eat it in one bite -- the frosting doesn't curdle when combined with the Guinness cake.

Then, due to my propensity for combining two guilty pleasures into one, I was sent this link a few days later. Now, some may think that spending $15 on 3 chocolate bars is inappropriate in this economy, but they are ignoring two factors: 1. You (I) would spend $5 on a glass of scotch and 2. The more you drink (eat?), the less concern you have about the faltering economy. Everybody wins with a whiskey chocolate bar.

Because I consider two things to equal a pattern (not a math major), I'm convinced that there must be more delicious chocolate/alcohol combinations out there, waiting to be discovered. If anyone is aware of any other recipes (or wants to attempt the cupcake recipe), please let me know. I am more than willing to test out a batch of alcoholic chocolate and report back.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A New Scientific Hypothesis

This morning, I had to run a few things down to the museum. I had three posters in my hand, as well as a heavy bag on my shoulder. It was drizzling slightly, and I was in a hurry. So anyone that knows me will not be surprised that, while crossing the street, I completely bit it in front of two crossing guards. And because I was carrying a few things, I couldn't even catch myself. Before I knew it, I was lying on the ground in the middle of Liberty Street.

Embarrassing, yes. Uncommon, no.

For someone who has played sports her whole life, I am freakishly klutzy. I fall often, and it has even landed me in the hospital (and almost did today, due to my superhypochondria and the tiny headache that I probably had from drinking last night but wanted to attribute to the slight bump on my head). I have always wondered why this was -- and recently I read something that gave me a little insight.

In a book entitled, "Your Inner Fish," my eyes were opened to the way our ears (and entire bodies) have evolved throughout the past 3.5 billion years. I learned (among many other things) even more about how our inner ear controls hearing, balance, and acceleration. Acceleration aside, I am clearly lacking in two out of these three areas. Could my inability to stay upright have anything to do with my love of bad music? Are these two things intertwined, and if so, do I have an inner ear deficiency that leads to my desire to listen to twangy country and crappy pop? More importantly, if I start listening to better music, will I fall down less?

You know what? I can handle a few trips to the hospital. I'll stick with Britney.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Volleyball team names

My dear friends~

My volleyball team has a bit of a problem. We are trying to think of a fun, original name, but are falling short (Bumpin' Uglies was taken, and Balls In Your Face is apparently "inappropriate"). I prefer to be more timely than dirty anyway, so my previous team name was "Block of Love" (guess who picked that one!) and the team that one the Most Original Name award last season was "How I Set Your Mother."

Based on these ideas, does anyone have any suggestions? I was trying to work in a little Brit Brit, but I just can't seem to make "If U Set Amy" make any sense...


EXCITING BRITNEY INSPIRATION UPDATE: How does everyone feel about "If U Seek Aces?" Does that make sense to anyone but me?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Where'd all the good people go?

A sudden fear struck me at my desk today at work. Something was amiss -- I had forgotten something. I'm a very organized person, so moments like these are pretty rare, and very unsettling. What could it be? All of my work was done or in progress, I hadn't left any lights on at home -- but something was missing. And then I realized, with a shock -- I was belatedly mourning the fact that Rock of Love: Tour Bus was a repeat this week.

Confessional: I am a reality-tv-aholic. I've actually gotten much better, but I can't seem to shake those REALLY guilty pleasures (Top Model, Project Runway, Top Chef, What not to Wear, etc.). Yet, if I were to miss one week of any of those shows, I would shrug it off and check online who had been kicked off. No big deal. But today, I felt a strange yearning for the trashiest of them all. And I have a good idea why.

I love to love Bret Michaels (nee Sychak, born in, that's right, Butler, PA). I hardly know the chorus to "Every Rose Has its Thorn," but there is something about the way he wears his Steelers hat with pride and refers to everything with more than one X chromosome as "smokin" that really makes me root for him. Diablo Cody gives great commentary on EW, and I think she is right on with her assessment. Despite the horror that might register across my face at some of the antics of the, ahem, ladies who compete, I sincerely want Bret Michaels to be happy. I don't watch to see the crazy antics of an egomaniacal host (I'm looking your way, Ty Ty) or to watch people fail (who amongst us doesn't secretly watch Project Runway to judge?) -- I watch Rock of Love (Tour Bus!) because I truly want my hometown boy to find a girl who can both rock out at his concerts and give him a shot of insulin when he's had too much candy. Instead of loving to hate, I'm loving to love. And despite the occasional popping of an implant, isn't that what television should be about?

Jack Johnson asks us, "how many train wrecks do we need to see?" Although I generally agree, I beg of the Rock of Love people to have just one more season (read: this season sucks). I'm sure that Bret's soul mate is out there somewhere...and I'm sure that he will find her through trashy television. And if not, at least I will no longer break into a cold sweat in the middle of the workday due to Bret Michaels withdrawal.