Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Baddha Padmasana Came To Me Today!

Well, not perfectly, it was a tenuous connection to the right, lower foot, but still, I was grasping the big toe with my fingers. I have been about an inch away in Baddha Padmasana for several months now. I mean, likely the factor is that I am actually managing to practice first series once a week now (for the last few weeks) so, clearly, if I have some regularity to my practice, the asanas will come.

I sweat like a madwoman this morning. Tim Miller is away in Maya Tulum for teacher training, so Rich McGowan taught and he really is a great teacher. I think I might enjoy his classes more - he is really good at connecting with each person in the room, regardless of whether you are a regular... And I can only manage to be "regular" once a week, not enough to be remembered, really. But anyway, his adjustment are right-on and his "corrections" are quiet but effective. It's not often that he teaches classes I can get to, but I will have to look out for his classes when the schedule permits.

A secondary accomplishment this morning was two handstands via "bunny hop." I have yet to get that to be regular - I may be can achieve it on first/second try about 50% of the time. I want to get that closer to 70-80%, so this morning was an improvement to the %50, and that was midway through a rigorous practice. Yay!

Florida Polls Close in 2 minutes...

It's early, but Clinton is way ahead and McCain is fighting tooth-and-nail with Romney. It'll be really interesting to see what happens. I am more interested in the Republican side this time because the FL Dem delegates don't count due to Florida scheduling earlier than the rules. I am a little concerned that an ass-whipping delivered by Clinton could give her more momentum, since at this point I am backing Obama. With the Republicans, I am hoping Romney wins so that it's not in-the-bag for McCain. It would be good to have that race still open for Super-Tuesday on February 5th.

OK, Gotta run to teach my Level 1.


Friday, January 25, 2008

Rebates, Bikram, and Whatever

So, I was just reading an article on CNN about what people will do with the rebates they will receive from the gov, and the responses are pretty much what I expected. The majority of the people are not going to go out and buy some extra stuff - mostly it will go to savings or paying down debt.

Indirectly, paying down debt or saving may at least ignite a feeling of more "security", spurring them to spend perhaps a little more here and there. But I'm not sure that this additional spending is the level the gov was looking to get with this rebate.

All I can do is let out a big sigh. It feels futile. Most sensible people who read the news about the looming recession and have responsibilities like children and/or a mortgage, etc, will probably not be running out to use their rebate check unless they have oodles of extra disposable income which is unlikely seeing as the people making more than $75,000/yr ($150,000 for a couple) aren't going to be receiving the check (which is kind of bogus, seeing as $150K in NYC and Southern California is hardly a lot of money with you think that we have BIG mortgages). Didn't you just love that run-on sentence? Nice.

Anyway, we are in a recession, no doubt. We can only hope that it isn't too deep and doesn't last too long...

Sweating my Keister Off

So I subjected myself to some Bikram this morning and oddly enough, it felt great. Weird, right? I have been having some shoulder to neck pain from moving stuff (a lot of stuff) at work, and it was still stiff this morning. About an hour or so after finishing up the class I felt much less pain. Now, I'm not going to become one of those crazy Bikram-ites doing two classes a day. It's not going to become my primary form of yoga, but I do see merit to it as a practice.

Basically, I am not yoga snob. I actually enjoy pretty much all yoga, to varying degrees. I haven't found a yoga I didn't like, thus far. Svaroopa was perhaps only "eh" just because, when I took the one class, I was bored to tears after a while and was actually feeling internally claustrophobic (like my inside self was cooped up, it was weird). It was so damn physically still, yet it was not savasana. Besides the points where I was feeling loopy, but I didn't hate it. I would do it again -- perhaps next time trying to focus on breath and just being rather than wishing I was moving more.

Anyway, Sunday morning I am going to attempt to zip on over to the center (I have about 25 minutes to get there and it's a good 14 miles) and take the led first series. I am on a bit of a mission (a small mission) to improve on this whole first series thing. It's frustrating because I know that if I were to be committed to a 4-5 day practice (somehow pulling time out of my ass), I could accomplish like 98% there on the first series in 6 months or so. I am already decent except for jump-throughs and some jump-backs, and things requiring leg-behind head like supta kurmasana (and my lotus needs some work, its close). So, maybe if I can commit to like 2-3 days a week, I'll get closer (maybe taking a year instead of 6 months)...


This part I entitle "Whatever" because I want to say that to myself, but it's a constant struggle. I have a feeling that, this new class I am teaching, that the owners might prefer the new teacher (that just started at the studio) teach it. I am trying to detach from this situation because, really, what can I do except just give it my best? I am not experienced teaching Ashtanga. I have been doing the practice for some time now, weekly for over a year. I know the concepts, but it's not like I have experience. So I am trying not to think about it too much and accept myself. I took it on because I figured I could handle it and the fact is, they needed me to. There were pretty much no other options to put into that slot. Now I am getting this 6th sense/feeling that they wish they could retract it. I don't know. Again, so I'd like to tell myself "whatever," don't worry about it, it doesn't define you, you are a "divine being" (yoga says we are all divine beings).

Peace out. Time to start the weekend.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Female Hormonal Mumbo -Jumbo and Mental Self-Flagellation

Couple things.

First off, (note if you are a dude or dudette, for that matter, who doesn't care to read about female hormonal changes, please skip past this section) I am seeing some changes since x-naying the pill. This might be TMI (too much info), but here goes. The nips are borderline sore - like super-sensitive, like brush past it and almost say "ow". What is that all about? I think I definitely ovulated (possibly more than once) because I had the usual lower-belly minor cramping and new (well, not new, just not seen in years), quite viscous substances exiting the body. The one good thing - that I am not sure but may be attributed to the pill's absence - is a reduced appetite. I don't seem to be scarfing down food as much. I am small, so I should be keeping to around 1400-1500 calories a day. It was pure torture keeping to that last year (I generally failed), but the last couple weeks or so, it's been easier, to the point where I hardly notice. Weird.

End of female nastiness.

Secondly, I am seeing some teaching insecurity creeping back into my psyche. Not ideal. Recently, I started the daunting task of teaching the classes of a newly departed popular teacher (who has 10+ years teaching experience to my 2). The first two weeks went swimmingly, but then this week, numbers dropped significantly. The old teacher is now teaching the same time slots elsewhere, so I am feeling this like "I suckiness" thinking that a chunk of folks have departed to go with the former teacher (which I can't even confirm - for all I know, the rain this week deterred attendance). Detachment, I know, I know. But it's hard! It's hard to tell your mind to "stop it", and "you don't suck", and "there are a bajillion reasons why this week was slow", etc. So I am working on not becoming attached to the outcome. My techniques in teaching have improved - I know they have. So I just have to keep it up and hope that it translates to people liking the class and coming!

Why do we consistently beat ourselves up? Striving for unattainable "perfection" (that is probably not truly perfection, just some "image" we desire ourselves to be. ).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Fourth Decade to Begin in 5 Months (Eeek!)

I just looked at my 401k from the old company and I have lost 8.4% in the last 22 days. It's hard not to get bummed about that. I suppose the only thing I can do is pretend that money doesn't exist and go about my life, but that is a chunk of change, my friends. Thankfully, I didn't put all my eggs into the 401k basket. Yes, I know there are tax benefits and in the long-run it makes sense, but at the moment I am putting a lot more money into our taxed money market. And I am not at all second-guessing it (we are nearly even of liquid cash and 401k reserves - in fact, I think 401k has fallen enough to tip the scales). However, seeing as we are in a "valley", it may be time to BUY while it's cheap, but it's a little hard to look at your near 10% loss, and then decide to throw more money into it. It's counter-intuitive, though it may be a gamble that pays off handsomely. All that crap being said, I am going with status quo. I am not being bolstered by the .75 % rate emergency rate cut. It scares the bejesus out of me, actually, that the Fed had to cut rates so drastically (biggest cut in 24 years). It makes me think we are definitely headed for some form of a recession.

Yuck. That kind of situation does not make for a happy Chacha seeing as I am OCD of the money hoarding variety.

4+ pounds of Fruit

I managed to complete an entire day fruit fast yesterday. In fact, I am still sort of doing it until lunch. I had an airplane package of pretzels this morning and a banana, so I haven't really eaten much but fruit. No, I didn't poop my brains out - in fact, I think it might have neutralized yesterday morning's problem. I am intrigued by the idea of doing a water fast, but I feel like I would pass out at my desk if I went for that. With a recession coming I need to be focused at the office (there goes my fatalistic financial outlook!).

Gym Yoga

My gym yoga teaching may be coming to a close soon which is what I have been wanting for some time now. It's kind of sad, in a way, just because I do have regular folks who attend my classes and I will miss their energies. But with gym teaching comes annoyance, like how last night some dude came in at the end of savasana to get a mat from the back. There was no zen feeling in me at that point. I looked at him, started shaking my head no, yet he still comes in, interrupting savasana (I mean, people are laying on the floor in silence and stillness - don't you get that it's not the time to barge in?). After he left, I apologized to the class and lamented that it is a gym, and sometimes we have to deal with this kind of stuff. After class, one of the dudes that comes to my class fairly regularly came up and asked me if I wanted him to go kick that guys butt, but that it would be hard after the class (seeing as he is relaxed from savasana, I guess, was his point). I complimented him on his arm-balances, since he is one of the few in the class that can do the harder ones, and he said that he only does them with me. I think he was flirting with me, which was hard for me to deal with since he was definitely attractive - that gym-going type of tall guy (ok, he was hot). But seeing as I am married, I can only take it as a compliment that I was perhaps getting shined on :o) Eight years ago I would have flirted right back, yes sir. I guess I am still fairly cute, even if I am approaching the big 3-0.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I Look Upon You, Red Pear, with Disdain

Bush says "Economy needs a shot in the arm".

I say, "Economy needs you, Mr. Bush, to leave office because you suck giant goat balls."

Thank you.

I am back from Pennsylvania - it was a big shindig for L's grandparents' 90th birthdays. The temperature yesterday was criminal. At one point around 10:30am, it was 9. Nine degrees Fahrenheit. Yeah. I'm so over it. I don't miss that cold one little bit. No sir.

As expected, staying at the in-laws was like eating four entire loaves of Wonder white bread. Completely bound up, I tell you. I can't figure out if it's the lack of fiber in the food I was eating, or that the emotional experience of staying with the in-laws makes me constipated. I don't know. All I know is that I now have the REVERSE problem. Fabulous. No, really. Whatever, I am still happy, happy, happy, to be back in Cali. You can't beat it.

I also decided to do a minor "cleanse" today, and do a fruit fast. Vacation eating usually make me feel like a sloth, so I figure I need a kick start. I am imbibing Ginger Yogi Tea which is quite good (on sale too, at Henry's, yay!). We'll see how many hours I last of just eating fruit. Last time I attempted it I made it to about 2pm before I had to eat some crackers. Today, I am allowing bananas into the mix, though they are not ideal in a fruit fast (looking for easily digestible fruits and fruits with more fiber). But I won't make it unless I eat something with substance and bananas have some meatiness. I also have almonds as a backup in case this fruit thing just doesn't cut it. Last time, I was getting lethargic after a while, so I figure, if I have to, almonds won't screw up my fruit fast too much.

And the hubby has MLK day off. What's up with that? Why doesn't everyone have MLK day off?! I don't get it. I have Presidents' Day off but I would much rather have MLK day. There are only a few presidents who have even a single respectable bone in their bodies, so, to me, MLK day is more important to celebrate.

Time to eat more fruit for lunch (this is quickly getting old).

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The First Series - It's a Bitch

So, this morning I got my rear end up early - 5:45am - to go "practice" (some may call it torture) at the Ashtanga Yoga Center with Tim Miller (in case you are wondering who he is, he was the first American certified by Pattabhi Jois to teach Ashtanga - this is a big deal). Fed the dogs, kicked them out, and drove down to the Carlsbad-Encinitas border, which luckily, it only 10-15 minutes south of the office.

I was in for fun this morning - I say that good-naturedly because it was, overall, lots of fun. But. My "peers" were certainly not my peers in this class. Maybe a few of them. It was primary series, a series that I am 80% proficient (my estimate). So, I'm no schmuck at the first series. I haven't mastered it, but I do ok. Well, the group of students this morning also included teachers from the shala, as well as several apprentices. So, I inadvertently waded into a higher echelon. Since we moved to North County about nine months back, I have been to almost every first series on the shala schedule. Sunday morning is almost as "daunting," but it's a large class with all different levels of practice. So, you have a few people to sort of "commiserate" with from across the room. Wednesday evening is quieter - less folks doing drop-backs and kukkutasana. Friday at noon is also quieter, more laid back. I would place this Tuesday morning at the top as far as the scariness of it. He added Samakonasana (I think it's supposed to be a Chinese split - not happening over here) and Hanumanasana (regular split, close, but no cigar) after Prasarita Padottanasana. Lots of people in both splits like it was no problem.

We get to Garba Pindasana and nearly everyone has their arms through their lotus legs and then touching their face. I dream of sticking my hands in between my lotus legs. There was probably only 3 or 4 of us out of 20 that were not in it. Then after that, all those threaded hands people were up in kukkutasana. Right. Then, for fun, Urdhva Kukkutasana! And lots of people were up. I tell you, I was not expecting to be so far down on the totem pole this morning. Now I know. It's probably good because it will push me.

Other asana highlights were Navasana with many people doing handstands in the middle of the room. I didn't look around too much, but it seemed to me nearly everyone was doing handstand either with or without the wall, in between the boats. I got back to Samasthiti early enough to witness some of the wall-less handstands. Maybe one day. And we mustn't forget EIGHT Urdhva Dhanurasanas (back bend). Eight. I did them all (crazy!). I started dropping back at number 5. So, I did 3 drop backs which was cool, all without landing on my head. I was unable to lift myself up, though - I tried twice. The last time, Mr. Miller insisted I try again and he gave me a little lift and up I went. So technically, I did nine back bends.

At the end, since it is Tuesday, he and Rich McGowan whipped out the harmonium and drum, respectively, and there was 5-10 minutes of kirtan. Something about Tuesday morning Hanuman - I didn't catch everything he said, but it also sounded like it was the last time for a while, so I got to sit through and attempt to sing along with my sheet of paper with the verses. I failed miserably, but it was still nice to hear everyone else. Then I had to bolt because I had to get to the office, shower, and start working.

I never really stick around at that studio and chat with the teachers - I always feel kind of awkward, like it's not my place. So I smile and head on out. Perhaps if I drag my butt there and become more "regular" then I will feel more comfortable. For now, I am the new chick, who is eternally almost there with most of the poses, that drops in once in a while.

Monday, January 14, 2008

On this One, I Tell My Subconscious to Bite Me.

I had a baby-shower to attend this weekend up in LA (literally, LA, not a suburb; surprisingly, traffic was not a complete cluster-fuck). The soon-to-be parents of a baby girl are good friends (even if they unknowingly stole my girl baby name which I've had reserved for 3 years! I will still use it, gosh-darn it) - the "Dad" is a former co-worker I've known for nearly 6 years who actually flew all the way to New England from Cali for my wedding. So I was happy to be buying them some stuff for the little one. Anyway, so Friday night I went a-shopping at the local "premium outlets" (which means the prices are not really outlet prices, but anyway) -- Carter's to be specific. Well, the impossibly tiny baby clothes got the better of me because I spent over 100 bucks. This is a little much for me, I tend to be a thrifty person - a saver/penny-pincher, if you will. I bought outfits and onesies for newborn, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months.

Is this my subconscious again telling me something? If so, I am telling it to get a hold of itself because the common-sense part of my brain wants no part of it.

The shower was co-ed, which was of course, a deviation from the norm, but this group of former co-workers of mine have always been a deviation from the norm. And that's why I like them. It was a baby shower complete with snacky-type foods, cake, beer, champagne, vodka, and, if you can believe it, shots. Yes, shots. Their neighbor (who has kids, by the way) insisted on at least one shot, so I obliged with some tequila.

I'd say, at least once an hour, one of them would prod me about when I was going to have a baby. Pretty much every time I hang out with them, they bug me about this. In fact, even other people I know do the same which I brush aside, but it's like, what's the deal? Just because I am almost 30, is this something I am just expected to be doing? That I must start having children NOW. Right away. Let's go. Pop 'em out, already.

I mean, if my subconscious wants a baby and that's why I bought 15 million cute baby outfits, then I'm telling said subconscious to screw off. Or at least screw off for at least another year or two.

Honestly, though I think this spender-bender is more likely related to my other psychosis that I can thank my mother for passing on to me: the propensity to hoard and save cashola. I actually love shopping, and buying for someone else is a good excuse to spend. I tend to feel bad about spending an appreciable amount of money on myself. I wasn't this way in the past (probably less than 4 years ago), but as I get older, and have big bills like a massive mortgage that requires more than one income to pay, I am hoarding more. Not sure if this is good or bad. So I am going chalk up my baby-clothes shopping spree to a release of the internal money-control-freak who felt a strong urge to be generous, and not the bah-humbug that I normally am.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

My Subconcious Has Made A Decision

I've been toying with the idea of quitting the "pill" for some time now, for a variety of reasons. I have been a faithful user for about 9 years, so it's no joke to decide to call it quits. Unable to come to a decision, I've pressed on.

Today, after a routine trip to the ladies room, I looked down at my skivvies and gazed upon what would be called "spotting". I was completely perplexed. I had just finished the monthly rigmarole less than 2 weeks ago, so it couldn't be happening again. Turns out, I have missed 2 consecutive days. I have NEVER done that. In 9 years I have never missed more than one. I might go to my pack one evening and find I missed the evening before, but never have I gone to my pack and seen 2 missed pills! I mean, I've been busy the last couple of days, but come on!

So I am taking this as my inner self telling me it's time to kick the microgestin FE to the curb.

I don't welcome the prospect of heavier flows - Lord knows when I was a teenager it was not pretty (5-7 days, with the requisite cramping). But they make drugs for that like Pamprin, so I think I can deal. I'm a little worried that my acne will get worse, so we'll see how that pans out. I sure hope it doesn't. All I know is that I was off it for a brief 6-month stint after college and I remember feeling good during that time, body-wise. Not that I expect to feel like a 22-year old again, but I think I want to have my normal hormones back. Hopefully I don't turn into a raving emotional lunatic once a month, because at this point, I have a fuzzy recollection of what it's like to not be hormonally controlled. I wasn't a moody period bitch in high school and the 1st half of college, but again that was nearly 10 years ago. A third of my life.

Whatever, if it doesn't work out after a while, I'll hop back on the estrogen-progestin wagon.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

This Could be a Great Party Trick! Ok, Maybe Not

I have had this annoying cold for about 5 days now. It's one of those nagging ones - it never peaked and then receded, it has just existed, hovering, in this state that is just enough to slow me down some and require NyQuil for decent sleep (but not bad enough to stay home). To top it off, it appears to be mingling with my allergies because the inside of my nose itches like all get-up.

So, in search of potential relief, before I went to teach last night's class, I stopped at the nearby health-food store in search of a neti pot. Now, I am the last person you would probably expect to be using a neti pot because I can't handle water up my nose. If I'm going to be swimming laps, I need a nose plug - even the smallest bit of water up my nose hurts. I can't stand it - it's one of the reasons I fear/dread vomiting - that it might project out my nose. The Agony!

Notwithstanding, I crossed the neti-pot line. Teaching yoga with a head full of stuff is not ideal (And tonight I am up for a challenge: teaching two classes back to back, taking over for a very popular teacher, and I am a new teacher to the studio). So, I grew a "sac" and went for it.

Eight ounces warm water and a quarter teaspoon non-iodized salt went into this pot:
I tilted my head, put the pointy-end into my right nostril and began pouring. Now, getting the flow correct is pretty key to this whole process - especially when you have a slighly blocked nasal passage because I initially poured too fast and some came out my mouth. The tilt is also important - incorrect tilting also leads to water out the mouth and down the pipe. I think when my nasal passages are clearer, it'll flow easier. But overall, it wasn't horrible. It was actually ok. And I think I feel an improvement - now, sure, it could be that it's just time passing and I am recovering on my own, but I woke up feeling better this morning and today I've been much clearer in my head. So I am going to conclude with a moderate degree of certainty that this nasal irrigation stuff has merit. I'm going to continue trying this out a couple times a week because if it can improve my ongoing allergy situation and I can take less Claritin, I'm all for it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Headlights Always On

My headlights are always on. Not the ones on my car, the ones on my body. It is a serious problem. At least seriously embarrassing. Take this morning, for example. I was walking to restroom all "la-dee-da", pass a male co-worker, say hi, then look down, hello, headlights. I mean, what can people be thinking when they walk past me? That I am in a persistent state of arousal? It's ridiculous. It's fairly often that I am completely aware of it and am walking around the hallways with my arms crossed, covering my chest (which I'm sure is also a curious way to be walking around when most people let their hands fall by their sides).

I think that 99% of the time it's because I am cold (I am always cold. I don't know what the other 1% can be attributed to). But am I supposed to walk around bundled up like an eskimo all the time? Or wear a padded brassiere? Then I will be walking around with a larger chest area, that'll sure help me feel less self-conscious. Not so much.

I don't know. This smuggling raisins thing is not my cup of tea. Maybe Pasties? That can't be comfortable.

The Cold

So my childhood friend that I've known for 24 years came to visit us from New York last week and do you know what she gave us for Christmas?

A cold.

I had just been touting to co-workers at last Friday's meeting how I don't really get sick, and then 6 hours later, I felt it coming on. She was stuffed up and sniffly all week so I suppose it was just a matter of time. A day or so after my symptoms bubbled up, the hubby come down with it, so we are both down for the count. I am telling you, more sickness runs around the Northeast than here because had she not brought it with her I would not have gotten sick. Ever since I've been out here in California (going on 8 years), I no longer get the yearly cold/flu. Maybe once every two years. There was a point where I went over 2 years without any cold, whatsoever. This past year, however, has been less than ideal; I came down with something back in April after the hullabaloo of selling/buying houses and moving ourselves from Elsinore to Oceanside. Less than a year later I now have another cold. Luckily, it has been a relatively mild cold, perhaps because I am popping Zicam like an addict. I am a walking vessel of Zinc and Vitamin C. My pee has been tinged slightly green for the last 3 days from all the vitamins and minerals I am ingesting.

Either way I am so over it. This doesn't make me want to have kids either (because for sure, the little bugger/s will get me sick, at minimum, annually).

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Caucus, Caucus, Caucus!

Yipee Ki Yi Yay! I am excited. I have been waiting for this day for weeks now.

The Iowa Caucuses.

The beginning of the end for the slow adult running the show in the US of A. I'm surprised it wasn't him who said US Americans because it sure sounds like a Bushism.

Anywho, I find the whole caucus thing really interesting. Apparently, you must be there by 7pm sharp, or no caucus for you. It begins with people going into corners of the room to show support ("vote") for a candidate; the candidates that don't muster at least a 15% vote are thrown out as "not viable". What follows, is a period where the people that voted for the non-viable candidates are persuaded by the supporters of "viable" candidates to join their band wagon. This is amazing to me - that there is actual interaction in a voting event!. It makes we want to caucus! I would be an excellent persuader. I love to debate politics though I avoid it most of the time. Actually I just love to debate (read: argue). The official results are then sent BY MAIL! Not electronically. By mail (though I am sure we will find out the results tonight and you bet your keister I am staying up until at least 11pm if I have must. I know, 11pm - wooo, so late. It is for me, ok, tough guy?)

Over here in Cali, and most other highly populated states, we have a primary with secret ballots. So, I do feel like I'm missing out. But not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin would I move to Iowa just to caucus. Too damn cold and flat.


We decided to see a movie on New Year's Day and apparently so did a lot of the tri-city area here in North County. The movie of choice was Juno. Why not an action or thriller or serious drama?

Because I am a pansy-ass.

I enjoy movies that don't make me scared or sad. A little sad is ok - I don't mind tearing up for Forrest Gump or Stepmom. However, Sobbing? Not my thing. Violence? Absolutely not my thing. It's not that I want to pretend these things don't exist in the world, because I know they do; I simply prefer to keep my mind in a happier state. Movies -- that are by all means, great, well-made movies -- like Deer Hunter, Million Dollar Baby, and Saving Private Ryan leave me emotionally wiped out for several hours, it not more. I am incapable of being able to separate myself from the story. Thus, why I avoid them more and more as I get older.

Anyway, Juno was excellent. I told L it is definitely a movie I'd like to own (not that we don't already own 200 DVDs - along with 400+ CDs. It's a tad excessive). The script was great, the acting was great - it was cute while being edgy. It's hard to be cute and be edgy at the same time. So, if anyone out there is reading this, go see it!

What? Not convinced by my thorough review consisting of only telling you it was "cute and edgy"? Eh, I am too lazy to use my brain to give you more details, so just take my word for it. Especially if you are a wuss like me who doesn't like violent and/or super-sad flicks.

Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers

A good friend of mine gave me a great cookbook with 90+% vegetarian dishes (with a smattering of fish dishes, like maybe 7 out of over 150+). I have to say, it is fabulous. Why? Another great review coming your way. Actually, I might be a little better about this one.

The recipes are simple. I'm not just saying that. They really are. Either they have few ingredients (like 5-6) or they have a little more ingredients but simple preparation. Even my picky-ass mother was all over that cookbook on Christmas Day. I'd be in the middle of getting ready to make one of the dishes only to find my book had been swiped from the counter and in her lap on the couch. That is really all you need to know.

So far, I made 2 dishes - Navajo wtew (which has some kick - sweet potatoes, onion, and peppers in a smokey tomato-chili sauce) and orange almond polenta cake. The cake was good, but would have been better with finely ground polenta instead of the coarse type (it had a bit of a crunchy texture). The Navajo stew was excellent - especially with the suggested yogurt topping to tame the heat a little.

FYI, I wasn't paid by anyone to hawk the above movie and cookbook. I am just passing along my recent good finds :o) Especially with trying to be vegetarian, the cookbook comes in handy for ideas.