Tuesday, December 28, 2010

35640 x 8000! No, wait...

...that would be the display resolution of the HIPerSpace.  We're talking a different kind of resolution here.
not this one (source)
 Even though we've not quite reached the new year yet, Blogland is already starting to be all atwitter on the topic of New Year's Resolutions.  Off the top of my head, Dianne Sylvan, Holly the Everythingtarian and Al Kavadlo have all weighed in recently, and I'm sure there are some others I've missed, as well as plenty more in the coming couple of weeks.  Everyone's got something to say about this one.

Monday, December 27, 2010

"My touring...what??"

Hey guys!  Just a quick note on something that is so random it'll make you all squint up your eyes and go "whuh?" as soon as you read it.  So apparently one of the search keywords used to reach this site in the past week was as follows:

"my touring wagon is badassery"

That's right.  All aboard, beeyatches!  We're going off the rails on the Crazy(SexyFit) Train to METALVILLE!!!


PS: If the person who used this phrase to get here is reading this, you're the awesomest.  Please don't explain yourself.  I just love the mental image as is.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We wish you a merry Christmas!

From all the Tobs and our friends to everyone out there in Blogland...

Jessie, moi, Babysis, Maggie and Laura

another Laura!
the traditional Christmas pickle

gorgeous Babysis wearing the hat I made!

Maggie, Eamon Motel Kamzoil, Laura and Babysis
...we wish you all a very merry Christmas (or Solstice, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Diwali or whatever your personal favorite is), and pray that the coming year brings you nothing but good food, good wine, good friends, good conversation, and too many laughs to count.

 To start you out on the "laughs" bit, here's an outtake from a profile photo shoot Babysis was doing for me.  I feel it's high time to let you all know that I am, in fact, part velociraptor.


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Money Monday 20/12

Happy belated Monday, everyone!  And also Blessed Solstice and omg did everyone see the total lunar eclipse last night?
source here
I was up at 3 trotting around my house with the cat stuffed inside my coat for company and warmth (she was fine; she eventually went to sleep) to watch it.  Unfortunately it was too cloudy to see much but it was still pretty cool - we're not going to get this particular type of eclipse again for 19 years, and I think that one will be on the day before the solstice instead of directly corresponding.  So this was a pretty special event, and I'm glad I got to be conscious during it, even if the actual viewing part was difficult.

This week's questions (original post here):

  1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on presents again!  I am SO excited for Christmas!.
  2. Today I feel optimistic towards money.  I think I've done a good job of managing it in the past year, and I'm excited for all the ways I can make that even better in the upcoming one.
  3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was helping T with his big huge semester-ending school project, and the finished product is pretty awesome, meaning there's a lot less stress on his end, which always makes me happy.
  4. I will consider this week a success if I wrap everyone's present before Christmas morning!
  5. My favorite holiday movie is well, I was going to say "A Christmas Story" before I read Miss Pretty Pennies' reasons why she loves "It's A Wonderful Life," which brought back all the lovely mushy sentimentalism that goes with watching that one (even though I do hate the fact that he never gets to travel).  So I'm gonna say it's a toss-up between those two, with "The Star Wars Holiday Special" rounding out the list for a complete marathon.  If you've never seen that last one, DO.  Even if only to make a drinking game (nog, glogg or wassail) based on it.  It's just that spectacular.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


So yesterday was delightfully sunny and gorgeous, and didn't seem so cold (even though it was right around freezing) simply because it was so beautiful outside.  Today, however, is a different story.
There was a mixture of snow and freezing rain falling all night, still depressingly spattering down on occasion.  We didn't even get the thick coating of ice on everything that NC does so well - at least that would have some aesthetic appeal to it! - but just damp, drippy sleet all over everything, and a sky that's a blank, gray, too-low ceiling.  Ick.

So what else could I do but make myself an omelette!
There's feta and smelly mystery cheese (which melted beautifully) inside it, and the broccoli is steamed in the micronuke and then sauteed in a butter-and-white-wine-vinegar mixture.  And coffee, natch.  It's decaf, though!

Crossfit update!

Monday: Bootcamping it up with Bea leading the class, as Colin's off gallivanting around in NY for the holidays.
  • Warm-up: 5 minutes of jumping rope.  
  • 15 minutes of 8 sit-ups and 8 back extensions (both with an abmat) on the minute, every minute, but I switched to 10 of each after...4 rounds? 5? Somewhere around that.  
  • 10-9-8...3-2-1 reps of air squats and push-ups.  
  • No crawling... :(

  • Warm-up: double-unders for several minutes.  Welt marks ALL over my legs.  ow.
  • Practiced ring dips for the strength portion of the workout - 75 reps total, scaled however we needed them.  I did about 10 unaided and the rest with a box or a giant rubber band.  
  • The WOD: 2 minutes of each movement for max reps, with 1 minute of rest in-between each station.  The movements, in the order I did them: box jumps (20inch box), single-under jump ropes (199 reps), American kettlebell swings (25lb), deadlift (115lbs, 22 reps).  I'll fill in how many reps I did for the jumps and KBs when I remember what they were...
this is a split jerk.  source here
  • Strength: Clean and Jerks (using the split jerk), 12 reps total.  I made it up to 78 lbs, a personal best! :D
  • WOD (as it were): 12 minutes long, 3 power cleans on the minute.  I started with 65lbs but moved up to 75 and then 85 within a few rounds, and finished it out with that weight.

Today we're going to be doing the Filthy Fifty.  Check it out here and wish me luck!

Lurkers: how do you lift your spirits when it's gross outside?


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Money Monday 13/12

...even though it's no longer Monday!  Whatevs, yo.

It's cold and crisp and brilliantly sunny today!  No more snow since that last dusting, but the woods are just screaming to be tromped around in, so that's where I'm headed soon.  First though, the update:

This week's questions (original post here):
  1. The most I’ve spent this last week was on presents presents presents!!! :D
  2. Today I feel pretty cool towards money.  I've been staying right on track with all my spending for a couple months now, even considering that I'm waiting on several checks that I should have gotten by now (namely, the repayment of that last worthless paycheck and an insurance check).  And once all that finally comes in, it'll be like a small windfall...that'll go directly into savings, of course.
  3. Money can’t buy happiness. One free/inexpensive thing I did last week that made me happy was...well, it's not free (and barely inexpensive, considering how much I go), but Crossfit makes me happy.  Really, really happy.  Better-than-chocolate level of happiness.  It's definitely a good investment.
  4. I will consider this week a success if I make good goals and stick to them!  I'm referring to my 2Sexy goals, to be decided at the meeting tonight.
  5. My favorite holiday treat is maple sugar candy!  We almost always get some in our stockings (yes, the seesters and I still get stockings.  yes, we're all legal adults) and I try to make it last as long as possible - just breaking a tiny corner off at a time and letting it melt on my tongue.  But then when I get down to a smallish lump, I just nom the whole thing in one go.  It is marvelous.

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    Questions, questions...

    So I've been thinking a lot lately about food. 

    image source
    Yes, I know.  You've heard it all before.  But the fact is, it's a big, tough issue for me, and a constantly ongoing one, too.  Lately it seems like every new day shows a different facet of my complicated relationship with food.  Will today be straight-up Spartan Athlete Nelly, where food is fuel and all eating and exercise is simplified to "calories in, calories out"?  Or will it be Anti-Orthorexia Nelly, where the mindset is "obsessing over health and food too much is just unhealthy.  and everything in moderation!  so I'm just going to have this chocolate now, mmkay?"  Or even Just Plain Burnt Out Nelly, whose mantra is "f*ck it all, i'm going to have two pots of coffee and a half-cup of cookie dough for breakfast, french fries for lunch and top it off with deep-fried tofu soaked in mystery sauce for dinner!"

    (this last one is especially not fun and invariably leads to bloating and general feelings of ickiness.  and I even know it while it's happening, which means I don't really enjoy it, so it can't even be classified as hedonism.)

    I think a lot of the problem is that I haven't yet found a truly healthy eating plan that I can work with as well as I can with Crossfit, for exercise.  Crossfit has been an absolute miracle for me, mainly because I stuck with it long enough to grow to absolutely adore it.  It's been almost two years since I started and I haven't missed a single session (6-week for the bootcamp or by months for the regular class) in all that time.  It's just perfect - the activity, the camaraderie, the entire mindset is just so appealing to me.
    Eating is an entirely different story.  A lot of the draw of Crossfit is that you do it together with a whole bunch of other similarly-minded people who, if they're not in there with you sweating away shoulder to shoulder, will cheer you on until you finish.  Eating, however, is (at least for me) almost always a solitary act.  No one to tempt me with the bad foods, but no one to help keep me from temptation, either.

    image source
     And that's another thought - the bit about "bad foods," I mean.  After a terrifying (and still difficult) bout with anorexia (not myself but someone I love), I've always tried my hardest not to label foods as "good" or "bad;" not to see healthy, "clean" eating as a morally good but vaguely unpleasant act that had to be done to atone for my past sugary transgressions, and neither to reward myself for good behavior with edibles, especially if the  "good behavior" was partially avoiding those very same foods.  But now I'm coming to the conclusion that yes, there are good and bad foods.  There's still a lot of grey area, but there are absolutely some things that I should eat a whole lot of, and others that I should eat very, very infrequently, if ever at all, as they are basically poison to my body.  Period.

    But...I love chocolate!  And I love milk and cheese and cream and butter!  And pie, and Wasa bread, and yoghurt, and pretty much any kind of cookie that doesn't contain peanut butter, and Nutella, and beer, and on and on, ad nauseum (really!).  And I really really really love coffee (with cream)!  So the question becomes, do I take enough pleasure from all these things to balance out the benefits to my health (which I think is already pretty damn decent, and certainly above average) that I would gain if I gave them all up?

    image source
    Big questions.

     I'm also pretty seriously considering ending my decade-plus stint of veg*nism (the star is there for everything from vegetarianism to straight veganism to my current pescetarianism).  At this point I think it's healthier for my body to start eating real meat again, and my ethics have evolved to the point where my mind agrees with that fact.  The only step left is the last one, to actually start consuming the stuff again.  I think I'm going to wait til Christmas dinner, when Maggie's promised to roast a nice happy farm-raised chicken for me.

    Ok, I think this is a good place to leave all these ramblings.  What do you all think?  Let me know!


    Monday, December 6, 2010

    Money Monday 6/12

    Happy December, everyone!

    It snowed this weekend!  I was at work when it started and it made the whole mind-numbingly boring and exhausting day worth it.  The one employee who was with me at the time and I took turns going outside just to stare up at the sky and grin like idiots.  Nothing really stuck too much in Cary (where I work), but 30 miles north in Durham/Bahama (where I actually reside) can make a lot of difference.  Here's my front yard the next morning, when it was just starting to melt:
    oh em gee snow!
    I know all the Yankees reading this are just going to scoff at how little it is, but it made me insanely happy :D

    This week's questions (original post here):
    1. The most I've spent this last week was on car insurance.  I paid my premium in full a couple of days ago, and it was...more than I'm used to dropping at one time.  A LOT more.  But now I've fully covered for 6 months, so that's a weight off. 
    2. Today I feel oddly excited about money.  Or, more specifically, about the fact that I am planning to (temporarily!!!) throw my budget out the window and have a lot of fun buying gifts for everyone.  I've saved up a really nice chunk by being smart all year, and this is one of the reasons I did that.  Spent most of the down time at work today making lists of what I'm going to get everyone.  So much fun!!! :D
    3. Money can't buy happiness.  One free thing I did this past week was to grin like an idiot while dancing in the falling snow!
    4. I will consider this week a success if I stop eating so much damn chocolate at work.  I can't even blame it on my uterus right now.
    5. My favorite holiday drink is oh man, I couldn't pick just one.  Hot chocolate (real hot chocolate, with bitter cocoa powder and whole milk and honey), with or without peppermint schnapps or raspberry vodka, hot cider (spiced as all get out), fake hot cider (apple cider vinegar, honey  and spices in hot water), teas and tisanes of all varieties...I'm also planning on trying to make glogg this year, in honor of my Viking ancestors!  We'll see how that one goes.

    Right now, though, I'm sipping on one that's probably too weird for most of y'all, but I love it.  Heat up a couple cups of whole milk (I nuked this batch but it's probably better to use a saucepan) till it's very hot, then add one tablespoon of dried dandelion root per cup of milk.  Let it sit for a while (15 minutes?), whisking every now and then until the roots swell and sink to the bottom of the cup.  Heat it up again if necessary, then strain it and add honey to taste (the dandelion makes it a little bitter so this is usually necessary, even if you normally don't sweeten your drinks - I'm looking at you, paleo-ers!  it's just a tad anyways).  Sip slowly and revel.


    Thursday, December 2, 2010

    PAIN. And tea.

    So after a good week of not really working out at all (and spending a lot of time curled up in cars, which is murder on flexibility), I have returned to the fold like a little lost lamb.  And by fold I mean Crossfit and by lamb I mean someone who seriously needs to step it up, because I'm hurting like a bitchmonster now.

    • Colin-style warm-up, which means lots of crawling and grunting and general apish behavior.  I'm kidding about the grunting but not the other stuff.  He just crazy.
    • 150 medicine ball cleans for time.  Which is basically the equivalent of 300 weighted squats.  AND every time we broke momentum doing the cleans, we had to do 5 box jumps (or steps), 5 push-ups and 10 jumpropes.  I did about 50 on the first batch, then broke and was getting between 12 and 20 every other time.
    thorlos ftw

    • Pull-up practice!  I'm pretty solid when using the two weakest bands (red and purple, I think?) together, but kinda give out with anything less helpful than that.  I'm getting better though.  Think I can do it unaided by the new year?
    • WOD: AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) for 15 minutes of 7 deadlifts and 7 box jumps.  I used a 17-inch box because my quads were still pretty frozen from Monday, but tried to up it with a 105lb barbell, about 60% of my max.  Got 9 rounds out of it, which wasn't too shabby.  Also massive shin and knee bruises >>

    Wednesday: I looked at the CF website and saw that the WOD for that day involved about 180 double-under jumpropes with some sprinting.  Now, I'm really not great at those at the best of times, and with two leg-heavy workout from the last two days I just didn't want 180 new welts on my legs from missing the damn rope every time.  So I went to the bootcamp.
    • Warm-up with Colin, hopping around and doing high-knee and butt-kicker jogs
    • Sprints outside.  FSCKING COLD.  We did 6 100-m sprints, with the first two being untimed, everyone starting at once and the last four being timed with people starting in reverse order of finishing.
    • Tabata wallballs.  I made it through the first two rounds (10 reps and 9 reps, respectively, with a 10-lb ball) and then got cramps and couldn't finish.  That kind of sucked.

    Dinner!  Salmon, collard greens from a very Southern friend and avocado all mushed together into a big delicious hash, and also grape tomatoes sauteed in EVOO until they popped.  Not shown: some tinned fishy stuff.  Not sardines, something bigger.  It was delicious, whatever it was.

    This tea is incredible.  Anyone else tried it?  It's mainly peppermint...but also kind of sweet and has almost a chocolatey undertone to it.  Makes me think of hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (which is aMAZing, if anyone wants to try it) but without all that sugar and booze and stuff that is bad for me but so delicious.

    Today's breakfast: I wasn't too hungry, but had some almonds and warm no-sugar apple sauce with cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg just to have something in my stomach to balance those pills.  That's right, I took drugs.  Without them I would not be walking right now, I swear.  I don't really like relying on stuff that treats the symptoms and not the cause, but now I have to get dressed like a normal person and go do errands and chores, so I can't be stumbling around zombie-like scaring people.  So, bring on the meds!  :D

    Lurkers: What is your favorite tea or other comforting hot drink?