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Story of my life

August 12, 2010

via frkncngz

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You stay classy, Beyonce

August 11, 2010

I am aware that this is an old video, but I just saw it on a re-run episode of Ellen and cried, a lot, so I figured I’d share it with you guys on the off-chance that you didn’t see it the first time around.

Chelsea is an 11-year old Australian girl with a rare form of Leukemia.

Then, you can watch an interview with Chelsea who talks about the experience.

As if I didn’t already love and worship Be-Be enough.

A circus of heartbreakin’ divas

August 11, 2010

Remember when I told you I signed up for a 5k?

Well, it’s been about two months of training, and I thought I ought to update you guys on my progress. Mainly because it is Wednesday and there’s nothing else exciting to tell you about.

I spent 6 weeks of pre-training under the eagle eyes of Coach Courtney, who had me going to the gym on Fridays and running and going to abs classes and not eating ice cream. It wasn’t fun.

Now I’m under the training program of a one Hal Higdon, whose program looked easy enough from the start but has been tough every single day. Does this running thing get easier? Because, um, running hurts. And it’s hard.

And I am only running like, a mile or two. Not even 26.

My favorite song to run to is a song from the Best of Bootie Mash-ups, “A Circus of Heartbreaking Divas.” Download it here, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to play it on repeat for the duration of your run.

Just peachy

August 11, 2010

Ah, the peach.

This time of year, it’s sort of difficult to get good peaches, unless of course I want to venture to Whole Foods or over to the Harris Teeter. Perhaps, then, I should rephrase that sentence: It is difficult to get good peaches from the Giant.

They’re either hard as a rock, bruised, mealy, or mushy. They’re never the perfectly juicy deliciousness that a peach should be in August.

There is, thankfully, a solution to ensure you get your peach fix: Bake ’em.

Baking peaches releases their juices and turns them into soft and delicate little slivers. And, peaches are one of my favorite fruits to have baked in a dessert, covered in sugar, smothered with whipped cream, or encapsulated in dough. Peaches and the oven just go together.

Here’s the best cobbler recipe I’ve found, and it’s good ol’ Betty’s.

Betty Crocker’s Peach Cobbler

1/2 c. sugar (I use about 1/4 cup since peaches are sweet enough as they are)
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups sliced peaches (about 6)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons firm salted butter
1 c. flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
whipped cream

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, mix sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, lemon juice, and peaches. Heat for about 5 minutes or so, until it’s thick and bubbly. Pour peaches and liquid into an ungreased 2-quart baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in the milk, and form into 4 big spoonfuls and drop over the dish. Sprinkle biscuits with a little sugar.

Bake at 400° for about 25 minutes, until bubbly and the biscuits turn light brown.

Sorbet champagne

August 10, 2010

Two things. Champy and lemon sorbet.

Mix a lot of both.

Drink and enjoy the foamy lemony bubbly goodness.

Spontaneous disappearances

August 10, 2010

I really hate losing things.

I’m not talking about the earring that fell out of your ear because you threw away those dumb plastic backs, or the iPhone that fell out of your pocket (again) in the cab. I’m talking about stuff you swear you had. And then it is gone without a trace.

I once had a biology teacher who told the class one day that he was absolutely certain of the phenomenon of spontaneous displacement. Exactly opposite to the process of spontaneous generation, this theory holds that things can randomly, and spontaneously, disappear. Perhaps they relocate, perhaps they…combust. Either way, finito.

He didn’t preach this to us, per se, but it was one of those things that someone mentions in an off-hand way that sticks with you for years. Like, since 9th grade. And after nearly 10 years of thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that Mr. L is most assuredly right. I have a few examples:

1. You know when you look at a picture of yourself from a few years ago, and you go, “OMG, I loved that shirt! Where the hell did it go?” How do you just…lose clothes? Presumably you aren’t the type of person who runs around topless, discarding articles of clothing left and right while tearing through city blocks. You are a normal person who washes her own clothes and puts them away. The farthest clothes go off the body is from the hamper to the washer to the closet.

How is it possible that I have no clue where so many of my favorite pieces of clothing have gone? How do I just “lose” a shoe?

2. Speaking of spontaneously disappearing clothing, I physically cannot do a load of laundry without losing a sock. Again, the longest journey a sock goes on is from my foot to the hamper to the washer to the dryer. But somehow, the trek is arduous and only one sock of the pair will make it out alive.

3. Hair things and bobby pins. Where the eff do they go? Why do I have to buy new packs of these things every few months?

Too many things on this planet go without explanation. Matter can be neither created nor destroyed? Yeah right.

Call me skeptical.

Incidentally, if you start subscribing to this theory, you’ve got a great excuse for when the container of Supremely Spicy Hummus is mysteriously completely scraped clean even though you just opened it. Or when holy crap where did that burrito bol go?

Spontaneous disappearance. That’s where it went.

The time I wet my tutu

August 9, 2010

I’ve blocked out most of the details of this traumatic event. But it happened, and because I’m a full disclosure kind of girl, it’s time for me to tell you about the time I peed my pants in ballet class. Or, my leotard. And tutu.

For some reason, for a while, my parents kept enrolling me in ballet and tap classes. I’m sure I insisted on this torturous punishment, knowing not at all that I was absolutely inept at all forms of dance. Tap was the worst; at least ballet was fakeable for someone as inflexible and untalented as me. This form of dance was OK, I could sort of do the motions to the dances and I enjoyed wearing the leotards and shoes. Mostly I liked the pretty pink ballet bag I got to carry with its own compartment for ballet shoes and ribbons. It was a girly girl thing. I liked it.

One random day, ballet was held at a different studio than our usual one. One I had never been to before. It wasn’t in the basement of the place three minutes from our house that had two total rooms with bars, it was in a strange, huge studio with many many classrooms, about 20 minutes away. We arrived late. Too late for me to ask anyone where the bathroom was and use it. Just finding the classroom itself had been a feat, as Dad had dropped me off and driven away to go occupy himself otherwise for an hour. It was all I could do to make it to the classroom by warm-ups. Miss Jane, our extremely austere instructor, hated lateness. It was unacceptable. If you were late to class, you couldn’t get in at all. Relieving my full bladder would have to wait.

As we started to get into the meat of the class, practicing the Mr. Sandman dance in earnest, the giant glass of grape juice before class was starting to seem like a very, very bad idea. I know that instead of doing the step ball change and 5th position pliées, I was doing the “I have to pee and I’m going to cross my legs a lot” dance. I got some strange looks from my fellow classmates, and Miss Jane, but I couldn’t leave the class. Even if I did, I had no clue where the bathroom was.

And Miss Jane was so scary.

I made it through a few routines. It was time to audition for the solo part of the dance.

Now, I don’t mean to brag here, but I had been practicing this part that we had learned the week before. It involved a very pre-Pulp Fiction move of dragging the fingers by the eyes, and putting your hands on top of each other in a sleepy pose, while looking adorable. There were a few spins, and a jump at the end in third position.

I totally had this.

A few girls went up before me, but they botched the moves and their acting of the “bring me a dream” line was hardly as enthusiastic as mine. I couldn’t wait to show Miss Jane that I wasn’t a ballet failure.

Three girls left. Good grief I had to pee. OK. Two girls. Yay! MY TURN.

I walked up to the front of the room, in front of Miss Jane and the rest of the class. I took a deep breath as the music started.

“Bum bum bum ba bum bum bum bum….” Finger snaps. Piece of cake.

I went into the first half of the solo and executed everything perfectly. My bladder was really, really letting me know it was full and unhappy but I tried to ignore it, focusing all my attention on the leap at the end.

Leap? Perfect.

Bladder control? Fail.

As sometimes happens to little girls, or so I tell myself, my tiny bladder just couldn’t do it anymore. I should have visited the restroom approximately 38 minutes before this point, but I was both lazy and afraid of Miss Jane. Bladder = exploded. ALL over the place. Through the holes in my tulle tutu. Through the leotard. Everywhere.

Reflected in every single mirror.

Unfortunate. It looked like a race horse had been let into the studio.

Panicked, I tried to find a quick defense. I started to scream to the class “IT’S ONLY WATER. IT’S ONLY WATER!” Why on God’s green Earth I thought it was plausible that a deluge of water spontaneously released itself from somewhere on my person is beyond me. I cannot even rationalize this logic, but as I started to cry and looked at Miss Jane, who was angrily pointing her French finger toward the door, it was all I could repeat. A sad, tutu-wetter’s mantra.

“Only water. Only water! It’s not even pee, it’s just water! No big deal, just water….water water water. Totally normal. Jusssst water…”

I ran down the hall and did not return to class. I’m not really sure what I did instead, because the lesson could not have been more than half over. I wonder if I joined another class, or just hid in the bathroom until it was time for Dad to pick me up. I seem to remember standing under a hand drier for a while, but I know I did not return to Miss Jane’s room in the strange studio, and I’m pretty sure I quit ballet shortly thereafter.

Seriously though guys? I’m able to tell you this horrifying, scarring story, because I didn’t really pee my tutu.

It was only water.