Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ready, Set, Ween!

Just got the tickets...

Pipeline Cafe , Honolulu , HI
Mon, Mar 10, 2008 08:00 PM

Another Delerious Post-Midnight Conversation

"Goodnight matey I love you."

"I lovumph mooumph too."

"You are my best friend."


"You are my best friend."

(more silence)

"Are you my best friend?"


(silence) "Who is?"

"A dolphin."

"What dolphin?"

"I don't know him yet."

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thanks Nick

Taken from The Fail Blog

A Big Bowl of Satan

Last night I came home in a funky mood. Not funky in a george clinton/james brown kinda way...funky in a little dark raincloud dumping on my head way.

First I found out there is admin problems with my University of Hawaii application. Namely they can't find my transcripts which they had a mere month ago.

Than I went to my math class (i'm taking a "math for educators" prerequisite) at the community college only to discover halfway through the class that I need to go to math therapy. I had a panic that my years of fumbling in math might have left me unable to be the kinda teacher that all my future mini Stephen Hawkings will require to flourish.

Than I drove home grumpily pondering what I was going to make for dinner. To my surprise when I walked into the tree house, the kitchen was lit up and my mister was in there busily hovering over a wok teaming with veggies, cilantro and seitan.

Seitan (also known as buddha's food) is essentially gluten. But tasty, tasty gluten. I'm actually not quite sure how to pronounce it so I spent dinner marveling at how "delicious is satan" and "i'm really impressed by the versatility of satan."

But that big warm bowl of "satan" was the happy bomb that exploded on my otherwise grey tinged day.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I actually had high school teachers

like this...


I'm putting together a personal Imbolc celebration for this Saturday. Imbolc is one of the four principal Celtic holidays and celebrates waxing light…i.e the coming of spring and ties in concepts of healing, sacred fire and inspiration. I'm not overly New Age but enjoy connecting with events that tie visibly into natural periods of the Earth.

My 2008 horoscope includes the following advice and outlooks:

Retrain yourself to look for what is good as opposed to what is lacking in your efforts.

When you start worrying, get out in nature to restore order.

Draw up timelines, set attainable goals and reward yourself generously.

Pick your battles.

Go back to being lovers.

Fertility is amplified.

Consider taking up a musical instrument.

My personal Imbolc time will be to continue to let go of some of my residual 2007 sadness, celebrate creativity and stop fretting. I am secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) a control freak. I'd like to welcome surprises more.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Run Lea Run

Started training this weekend for the "Captain Cook Caper Fun Run." This innocuous sounding (ok, really wussy sounding) run will likely cause me great pain yet hopefully some satisfaction. I'm going for the 10k, the biggest race I've run to date. It's on February 23rd so I have some time.

Training to date:

This Saturday: Legs were deeply questioning what exactly I was subjecting them to

This Sunday: Legs felt mildly optimistic, maybe they'll go along after all

Tonight: Stay tuned

Friday, January 25, 2008

Our Conversation This Morning After I Forgot to Hang Up A Wet Towel

"You are like a betrayal slug because you betray."


"If there was a Council of Animals you'd be the slug. And you'd say I can fly, watch I'm gonna fly right now. Then the other animals would say 'what? you can't fly.' And then you'd forget all about your big promise and say 'oh look, lettuce'.""

"Well what animal would you be?"

"A winged lion."

Trying this tonight, looks simple yet delightful:

Roasted Kale with Sea Salt

4 cups kale
1 Tbsp of quality olive oil
1 tsp of sea salt

Preheat oven to 375f. Wash and trim kale. Toss with oil. Roast five minutes. Turn kale over and roast another 7-10 minutes until kale turns brown and becomes paper thin and brittle. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.

Yesterday made a sprightly dish of chard and garlic gnocchi. The bitter chard went well with the basil, lime and pine nuts I included.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Driving: Kauai Style

Driving through Kauai's east side requires some patience, good music, and ability not to rear end every rental mustang that tries to drive down the shoulder in order to cut into the interminable traffic further down the road.

Thus was the case yesterday as I drove up to Kilauea to pick up my first box of Kauai Farmers Co-op veggies. It was well worth the 45min car ride as I got to listen to Mason Jennings and smile over and over at the line "ain't no rust on the happiness bus" that never fails to make me wiggle my bootie.

I also got to discover there is a veggie in the world that is called tatsai, as far as I can decipher it's a type of brassica, essentially green, leafy and likely able to create health in my body. I love the Christmas morning feel of not knowing what's in the veggie box!

Traffic also reminded me of being in fifth grade when I desperately wanted to be a drummer in the high school band. This meant that I was given an entry level percussion instrument known as the xylophone which I had to lug the mile each day from my bus stop to my house. My brother would walk alongside me quite sympathetically and we would daydream about being picked up by a fluffy cloud that would transport us wherever we needed to go. His would serve lemonade and mine would serve rice crispy treats.

I'd still like one of those clouds...

P.S I know it sounds crazy to even have to mention this, but if you feel like spraying pesticides next to elementary schools is a bad idea, you might want to check this out.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

George Costanza No More!

I have long been made fun of regarding my bulging mess of a wallet. But no more! No. No, more. Check out my sleek and fashionable new way to transport things like my old montana student id, discontinued frequent flier miles card, and two or three pennies.

It's from a great little company called bungalow 360

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We are now a proud CSA family

Nick and I have joined a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program through the Kauai Farmers Co-op. I pick up my first box of locally grown, organic green love tomorrow evening.

If you live on Kauai and want to get involved email:

Benefits of joining a local CSA near you:
1. Provides an easy budget for produce for a set number of weeks a year (or year round if you live with a continuous growing season)

2. Allows for a common-pricing system where producers and consumers discuss and democratically agree to pricing based on the acceptance of the budget

3. Creates a ‘shared risk and reward’ agreement, i.e. you eat what the farmers grow even with the vagaries of seasonal growing. Plus, it's fun to look in your box each week and say things like "ooooh kale" or "ok, so what exactly do I do with tumeric again?"

At the end of the day the result is that you do not pay for x pounds or kilograms of produce, but rather support the budget of the whole farm and receive weekly what is seasonally ripe. This approach eliminates the marketing risks and costs for the farmer in terms of time and peoplepower. It allows farmers to focus on quality care of soils, crops, animals, co-workers—and on serving the customers. There is little to no loss (i.e. waste) in this system, since the producers know in advance who they are growing for and how much to grow, etc.

So take that monocrops!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Tiny Banana vs. Ginormous Avocado

Gonna bake, gonna bake some bread, gonna bake some vegan banana bread...was the simple goal for my very simple Sunday morning.

It turned out ok, but the bananas I used were tiny (see pic and compare it to my two inch teaspoon) although fresh off the tree (er, megaherb as I guess a banana isn't technically a "tree")and I don't think I used enough.

Con: It was very sugary.
Pro: I dusted the top with coconut flakes which were delightful.

8X4 bread pan

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup applesauce
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well (more if tiny)
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk, mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
Coconut flakes

Preheat oven to 350f
Do what you have to in order to "unstickify" your pan

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, spices

Stir together applesauce, sugar, bananas, soy milk, vanilla

Mix wet and dry together. Pour into pan. Bake one hour (although mine was good to go a 45m so check)

Dust with coconut flakes about 25min into baking so they don't burn (don't want to happen to you what happened to me!)

Thanks to my friend Kristen who sourced the original version for this recipe from Post Punk Kitchen.

I am not really a vegan but I have been trying to abstain from using milk, eggs and meat for the month until I can find way to get them from local, sustainable sources. This also goes for fruit/veg.

I did enjoy a few bites of Big Eye Tuna that Nick picked up from a fisherman on the side of the road on Saturday. I felt ok with this because it was pole caught meaning:
1. It was a younger fish with less mercury content
2. It rated as "Good" by the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch

Update: One of the benefits of my job is being gifted fantastic produce from volunteers. Check out this avocado I was given this morning:

Can't wait to smash it on an everything bagel, my favorite lunch!

Also, I have to admit from time to time in the frazzle of a Monday workday, I have a great office view:

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Still Smitten

Followed Jermaine Clement from Eagle Vs Shark, to Flight of the Conchords. Enjoy the clip!

I love him.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Smitten By

Eagle vs Shark

Check out this whimsical flick from another island, New Zealand. It made me laugh, cry, cringe and desperately want an apple.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

First Whale

This just in...I spotted my first whale spout this afternoon from my lanai at work.

Surf Mouth

My sister Bridget after an unfortunate run in with the end of my surfboard at Hanalei Bay. She started reading this blog and asked for some sort of "ode." Well here it is...

It was a lovely late spring day. Two sisters paddled in the flat water unable to catch a ride so contented themselves with basking in the midday sun and contemplating our navels (literally, as we were in bikinis). As we headed into shore my sister pushed her board to me and said, "Carry this in" before dipping her head back in the water like a Baywatch star.

I said, "No, you carry it" and pushed it back just as she raised her her head back up.

There was tooth shrapnel, blood, tears and a bit of resentment. But hey, she looked way tougher.

Feeling grateful today for: Jon Stewart

Feeling perplexed by: what's more exciting than organic products c/o of Starbucks latest announcement

Feeling resigned that I might: become a kooky home schooling parent

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Where art whale?

I thought going back to the mainland for some good blood thickening winter temperatures would have bucked up my weak coconut water blood. But no, I'm still a weenie. I've been back on island four whole days and haven't even gone to the BEACH yet alone stuck a chipped paint toe into the water. This must be rectified because I've yet to see a whale.

The Alaskan humpbacks migrate to these parts for winter to birth their calves and get it on.

My goal this season is to hear their song while snorkeling. I've heard stories of folks surfing or otherwise water recreating who've heard a few kohalas bust a rhyme but so far my ears are virgin to this symphonic event.

Last year Nick and I saw two whales frolicking just off the popular Poipu beach and I lost all inhibition (and he would say shame) and pretending my underwear and bra was a hip swimsuit, dove in to the baby beach and held my head underwater. No dice. But I do think some mothers shrieked "Look away honey" as I got out. What? In Brazil ladies chill in their thongs all the time.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

a NEW new year's resolution, plus feeling heartened and mold combat

Original New Year's Resolution One: Vegan until Jan 31st while I search for the most local, ecofriendly treats to put in our bodies.

NEW New Year's Resolution: NO MORE TABLOID READING, this includes gym and grocery store aisle. It helps keep me intellectually stunted and distracted from the actual issues that face our nation. Namely, our government and corporations contempt for human happiness and wellbeing. (Resolution One still stands too)

Countries in gray have no national health care. Wow, we're in great company.

I've decided I'm trending to be a one issue voter. Give me a candidate with the best health care policy and (sorry Kucinich) the best chance of actually making it happen and that's my guy/girl.

I stayed awake late last night mulling over things I am against. I woke up this morning and drove to work before realizing I need to mull over things that I'm for.

So here we go...
1. I'm for paying taxes that support the sick rather than war

2. I'm for one year paid maternity leave for women because setting children out on a healthy nurtured path in life is about the most important job I can conceive

3. I'm for high quality free universal day care

4. I'm for heavily subsidized university tuition

5. I'm for longer vacations and a shorter (more productive) work week

6. I'm for cabinet posts on climate change, arts and sustainability

Now to downshift from the radical to the more mundane. (I know boooooo, but then again I can't save the world if I can't manage to save my own home)

I'm looking for good, non-toxic cleaning solution suggestions. See, I live in a tree house in a tight tropical valley that gets minimal direct sun. This means we see a lot of greenery, including of the mold variety.

Yesterday morning Nick woke up coughing, and coughing, and coughing and I realized there is something insidious in our home. Last night armed with a mask, gloves and spray bottle of boric acid I found the source. Beneath our innocuous bedroom bookshelf was Battleship Toxic Mold. This black death bubbled away happily during our three week absence and yesterday we had an epic battle. Darth vs. Luke? That had nothing on this. I emerged victorious but would like to switch my weaponry to something a little less questionable.


Monday, January 14, 2008

Olan Mills

Thanks to Claire for sending me the greatest family photos of all time

Who hasn't endured one of these shoots?

Friday, January 11, 2008

How To Not Sleep on Amtrak

Assume the train will be kept well-heated so leave travel blanket at home and check in your heavy coat.

Believe your husband won't try to steal your tiny cardboard pillow issued by a sour woman who bellows "I've been working six days straight so don't give me any grief" as she tosses it at your head

Monday, January 7, 2008

Christmas, Chicago, Skilala and Tatanka

Hard to blog during whirlwind vacation. Currently I'm curled up on an uber comfy brown couch in Bozeman, Montana. The mister is engrossed in Star Wars (The Original). Luke just got his first eyeful of dear old daddy Darth. We're bursting with the Korean meal we just scarfed with our gracious hosts Cherlyn and Paul.

I'll update photos as soon as possible. Highlights include:

1. Being surprised at the Alamo Car Rental in Detroit by my sister Megan who flew stealth from Malawi
2. Discovering that Nick is a surprisingly adept ice skater
3. Christmas Eve with my family where my mom says "Just open one gift" but we really open them all
4. Watching my youngest sister take an Irish Car Bomb at a Chicago bar like a champ
5. Meeting my brother's new lady
6. Getting videotaped by my dad
7. Having our train breakdown out of Wolf Point Montana
8. Nordic Skiing at Boghart Ranch outside Bozeman
9. Getting blasted by nose icing air while downhilling at Big Sky with a heap of college chummies
10. Watching my friend Chris lose half his face on the edge of the pool at Fairmont Hot Springs
11. Shooting deer with Nick and Cherlyn on the "Big Hunter" Video Game at Chico Hot Springs
12. Going to Yellowstone today and having a close up encounter with Tatanka...snorting and grass munching right outside the window. I was ready to go Dances with Wolves Kevin Costner crazy on them.

Viva Montana. When do I get to stay here?