Monday, February 22, 2010

10 pieces of kibble

On Saturday night, we had our annual Julie’s birthday dinner party. This year the theme was crepes, and it was awesome. So awesome that I forgot to take any pictures.

During the course of the evening a friend and I started talking about aging and weight gain. It so happens that this particular friend, a former dancer, is in stunning shape (although she doesn’t think so). I’ve talked about women, body issues, and my own struggles many times on this site (here and here, for example).

The entire time my friend and I are talking her husband, a veterinarian, is sitting between is. At one point I offer that he go mingle with the others since I can’t imagine that our conversation is very interesting to him. He surprised me by saying that, on the contrary, he’d like to add something. Of course, I'm expecting him to say something about how lovely we both are; how we don’t need to lose any weight, that we’re perfect (and smokin’ hot) just the way we are.

What he says is this: “If a cat eats just 10 extra pieces of kibble a day, they'll gain a pound in one year. That’s 10 percent of their body weight from just 10 extra pieces of kibble a day.”

Point taken.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

42

cupcakes

Yesterday was my birthday. Despite being told by David that 42 is the answer to The Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything, so far it seems to me to be about chocolate (big surprise there!). David and Anna made these amazing cupcakes for me and they've been thoroughly demolished.

Enjoy!

Double-chocolate cupcakes (adapted from Cooks.com)
1.5 c flour
2/3 c sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
1/3 c cocoa powder
1/2 c canola oil
1 c water
1 t vinegar
1 c dark chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients except chips until smooth. Add chips. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting (adapted from Allrecipes.com)
1 8oz package cream cheese
1/4 c butter
2 c powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
food coloring if desired

Cream butter and cream cheese. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add sugar. Add food coloring (Note: a little goes a log way).



Monday, February 8, 2010

Appalled

diesel ad

When I was a young girl, I was obsessed with fashion. I wanted to be a fashion designer when I grew up, and I spent hours poring through Seventeen, Glamour, and Vogue. I had entire walls in my bedroom plastered with pages from these magazines and, like many girls my age, I used these publications as my reference point for how to style my hair, do my makeup, and as my lens into the larger world.

I heard an interesting statistic recently in the documentary “America the Beautiful.” They said that 70% of women and girls feel bad about themselves after just 3 minutes of looking through fashion magazines. I believe it. The magazine pages on my walls as a girl were soon joined by poster-sized pages of meticulously transcribed calorie charts.

A month or two ago I purchased mascara online and was offered a 6-month subscription to Lucky magazine as a “free gift”. Because it's next to impossible for me to say no to something called a free gift, I accepted. It's a useless magazine, dedicated to retail therapy, with no pretense of intellectual content. I could live with that. But when I flipped through the pages of the March issue and saw the above ad, I was appalled. It's hard to render me speechless, but that's just about where I am with this. It's so far off the charts that I don't know what to say. I could boycott Diesel, but I don't wear Diesel. I'm not their target market. And that's the problem, because they would never dare try that crap on adult women. They know we'd be up in arms.

But girls are vulnerable. They're being told in way too many places that being stupid (say, for example, taking digital photos of your crotch, presumably to post online, while being pursued by a lion) is ok. Better than ok, that it's what makes them fun. Obviously capitalizing on the insecurities of young women isn't new, but this is definitely a low point. I understand that these companies are in business to make money, but I don't believe it has to be done this way. In fact, I think it's their responsibility not to do it this way.

Needless to say, I'll be canceling my free gift.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

cherry blossoms

Someone forgot to tell the cherry blossoms that it's still winter!

Monday, February 1, 2010

A trip to the theater

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Yesterday, Anna and I had a theater date. As in, thee-ay-ter. Since I know how much Anna loves all things fancy, I planned a surprise trip to Cacao, a tiny chocolate boutique within The Heathman Hotel. We sipped our chocolate (one kid’s hot chocolate, one chocolate macchiato) in one of the hotel’s elegant sitting areas.

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The chandelier and flower arrangement directly over our heads.

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A tiny chandelier and cast shadows in the restroom.

Afterward, we went across the street to see Oregon Children’s Theatre’s performance of Giggle, Giggle, Quack. The show was great (all the OCT shows we’ve seen have been really high-quality), and the building is fantastic. After the show, many of the kids burned off extra energy climbing on a fantastic chair/sculpture in the theater lobby.

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The theater's central skylight.

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Anna, directly under the skylight in the theater lobby.

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The above-mentioned chair/sculpture.

As usual, I couldn’t resist all the wonderful opportunities to capture shadows and reflections. And I love opportunities to be a tourist in my own town.

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The signage outside The Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, directly across from the theater.

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Part of the theater facade, showing the circular staircase winding up to each floor.

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Chandeliers inside Schnitzer Hall, with reflections from the theater.