Friday, January 8, 2010

Baby It's Cold Outside

So, it's Friday. That means 2 full days of no work, and the freedom to do nothing at all. Being that it's January, and the temperatures here have dipped into single digits, we are hibernating for the winter. Add to that the foot (feet, maybe) of snow we just got, and the prospect of going out on the weekends is nil. My party clothes just aren't built for this kind of weather. Let's look at the numbers, shall we? Six inches of stilletto + 24 inches of snow = 16 inches of cold, wet leg. I hate the cold, but I love to complain about it, so it's for the best that we re-emerge to our social lives and nights out only once the ground thaws.

Staying cozy in weather like this is a must. I cannot survive hibernation without my favorite things, so I present to you:

Simply T's Guide to Staying Roasty Toasty

1. Hot Beverages - R's parents gave us the most awesome Christmas gift ever. They bequeathed upon us... a Keurig Beverage Brewer. Needless to say, our worlds have subsequently been rocked. It has completely revolutionized my coffee drinking (meaning: it's so fun and easy to use that I don't have to go to 7-11 for my coffee anymore! I bet those guys miss me over there.) This machine beams awesomeness from our kitchen counter all the way to our dining room and back. And I love it. Seriously. Go out and buy one right now. (I don't work for Keurig, but just like my MacBook Pro, I love it a lot. A lot.)

2. Scarves - I consider myself a bit of a scarf aficionado. I love scarves. I wear scarves indoors, outdoors, in 70 degree weather, with a fox in a box eating lox. Basically, I feel the need to keep my neck warm, even if I am barefoot and wearing a tank top. Why? I honestly have no idea, but look at this pretty scarf!

3. Fuzzy Blankets - Surely you have heard of the Snuggie by now, unless you have been living under a rock for the last year. I pooh poohed the Snuggie, deeming it silly and cheesy, mainly because the commercials were laughable. And kind of annoying. (PS. - obviously from the same marketing geniuses that produced those excellent Snuggie commercials: The Dreamie. Secretly, but not so secretly, I kind of want one of these. Ok, I really want one. Shut up.)

Well, since the Snuggie was so pedestrian, I decided I was going to seek out the elite of the sleeved blankets. You know Snuggie, but have you heard of Slanket? I almost purchased one of these, but I was not 100% convinced. So, I did a little more research (via Google, the most scientific method of all) and I stumbled upon THE NUDDLE!

Ok, I know it's a bit pricey, but let me tell you. IT. IS. WORTH IT. Originally we bought them in Latte (Mine) and Chocolate (R's), but we (read: R) ruined my Latte nuddle by washing it with rough towels, transferring some of the scruffy terry cloth to my luxuriously soft nuddle. I didn't care, I still used it, but for Christmas R got me a new nuddle in Midnight. Yay!

So, what's so great about this thing? First of all, the material is softer than any cheap fleece you can find on the Snuggie or even the Slanket. It's... furry. I don't know how else to explain it except to say that it is soft and furry. It has arm holes, similar to the snuggie, but without the sleeves so you don't look like a Harry Potter extra while wearing it. But won't your arms get cold, you ask? Why no, because it has a convenient hand pouch in the front!

The best part? Something neither the Snuggie or the Slanket offer.... a foot pouch. Let me rewind that and play it back... a foot pouch. I was sold right then and there.

4. Uggs - I know I hermitize myself for the winter, but I do occasionally need to leave the house. Our dog, A, needs to be walked... on a daily basis even. I hate wet feet and soggy pant legs, so I tuck everything into my Uggs - jeans, sweat pants, zubaz pants (Ok, I don't own a pair, but I kind of wish I did for nostalgia sake. Can you believe they are still selling these?), pajama pants (yes, sometimes I walk our dog in my pajama pants. Don't judge.) Thanks to my Uggs, my feet and pants stay warm and dry!

5. Soup - Isn't soup yummy? All delicious and warm in your belly? I love soup. In fact, I am trying a few new recipes for some soups. Interestingly enough, they both involve the use of tofu. I decided it was time to learn to cook vegetarian meals since I recently (October '09) decided to become vegetarian (I told you, I love me the little animals. If I were a cartoon, I'd totally be Elmira from Tiny Toons.) or rather, pescetarian. I just say vegetarian because it's easier than trying to explain in detail what I will and will not eat.

To sum up: I will not eat - food with a face (save for seafood/fish because I didn't think I could cut out fish and still find things to eat besides PB&J. Also, I'm obsessed with sushi.) and eggs (If you are really curious to know why not eggs, send me a message and I will inform you. It's just too gruesome to share on my happy blog.)

I will eat - dairy products, especially milk and cheese (I can't live without cheese. I don't want to. Plus, R is a bonafide Wisconsin boy, so how could I try to eliminate cheese?), fish/seafood, and obviously grains, bread, pasta, fruits and veggies etc.

An aside: I must say that I feel somewhat hypocritical because I won't eat meat but I still use products made from leather and other goods made from animal by-products. In an ideal world, I'd probably become vegan. However, living with a carnivore, it would be almost impossible for me to sustain that lifestyle. Who knows, maybe some day I will go vegan, but in the mean time I am just trying to do what I can to reduce my impact on animal slaughter.

So, stepping off my soap box, I thought these soups would be some fun recipes to try, and a good chance to expand my vegetarian diet... Since October, my entire diet has consisted of PB&J, Pineapple Pizza, Fried fish filets, and the fish tacos from Azteca De Oro. Yum. But repetitive. I'm a little nervous to try these recipes - Creamy Corn Chowder with a tofu based broth, and Sweet Potato Bisque - again mixed with emulsified tofu. Wish me luck. If you hear loud strings of expletives spewing from my kitchen, don't worry. That's completely normal.

Finally, last but not least:

6. Wii Fit - I mentioned that R and I joined a gym for project "Get un-fat 2010." Well, this weather just doesn't make me very excited to walk 6 blocks to the gym. So, what's the solution? Not eating Cheetos while watching a Jersey Shore marathon, that's for sure... no, it's Wii Fit! I love this thing. I just tried it for the first time a few days ago, and I'm still sore from some of the activities I tried.

I did Wii Fit for 45 minutes, and I tried a little bit of everything. My balance is terrible, so R had a good time laughing at me as I attempted the yoga poses only to take a topple off the Wii Fit balance board (multiple times). Seriously, sometimes I think my life is one really long episode of America's Funniest Home Videos, but only the videos where people get hurt.

The strength exercises really kicked my ass, jackknife, lunges, squats, and worst of all - push ups (and not the Flinstones themed ice cream treat, either... boo). When I was doing boot camp in the mornings back in grad school, I could do 10 full on push ups. And not the girl push ups, either. As of 2 days ago? I can do 3. And not even full push ups, they were halfsies. I knew if I got all the way down, I wasn't coming back up. Anyway, it's a fun, convenient way to work out - and if you work on the strength and cardio sections it's actually a pretty decent workout.

And now that we have successfully segued to the topic of working out, the next part of my post will actually make sense. Earlier today I was browsing the boards, and someone started a topic asking about what kind of music gets people pumped up during a workout. I originally intended on only naming a few choice songs, but I soon found myself scrolling through iTunes, adding more... and more... until I came up with my final list. Behold:

Kanye West "The New Workout Plan" - Ok, I listen to this song while working out for the irony mostly, but it actually is a great song to sweat to.

Cypress Hill - "Rock Superstar" - I just love this song, period. It makes me feel like a bad ass. This afternoon I actually thought to myself, "I wish I was a famous rap star." Yep. True story.

Paramore - "Crushcrushcrush" - There's a part about 2 minutes into the song where the beat gets really solid and the lyrics are "Rock and roll baby, don't you know baby - we're all alone now. I need something to sing about," and that part always pumps me up to work just that much harder.

Fall Out Boy - "Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of This Song So We Wouldn't Be Sued" - Take my advice, 'cus we are bad news! They may be bad news, but they make good music.

Fall Out Boy - "I Don't Care" - Another pop-punk song with a beat perfect for working out.

Fall Out Boy - "This Ain't a Scene, It's An Arms Race" - Arms race? Hell yeah! Check out these guns, baby!

Fall Out Boy (notice a pattern?) - "Dance, Dance" It makes me want to dance dance. And if you can find the Tommie Sunshine remix, even better. Both are great.

Mase - "Breathe, Stretch, Shake" - Because who doesn't want to breathe, stretch, shake while working out?

Fabolous - "It's My Party" - Fun. Sampled from the golden oldie, "It's My Party (And I'll Cry If I Want To)."

Akon - "Smack That" - Funny story: a young child belonging to a friend of a friend of a friend (I don't even remember which friend) didn't know the lyrics to the song, so she sang it "Snack Pack." A delicious Snack Pack is a good post-workout treat, by the way.

Black Eyed Peas - "Pump it" - Should be self explanatory.

DJ Laz - "Move, Shake, Drop Remix" - If this song doesn't make you wanna move, check for a pulse. You might be dead.

Flo Rida - "Right Round" - Another booty shaker.

Jay-Z - "You Can Hate Me Now" - I like to listen to this while imagining a hater and think about how my workout makes me stronger and 10 x more awesome than them, and it just get's me moving...

Ludacris - "Move, Bitch" - A song that gets me rage-motivated, Incredible Hulk style.

Rhianna - "SOS" - Impossible for me to sit still while listening to this song.

Sir Mix-A-Lot - "Baby Got Back" - An old classic, and I have a ghetto booty so it's fitting. Yep, gangly arms from my Dad (Irish) and a ghetto booty from my mom (Puerto Rican). It's an odd combo, but somehow it works. Not to brag or anything, but I'm kind of a big deal.

Bubba Sparxxx - "Miss New Booty" - In the same vein as Sir Mix-A-Lot.

Sean Paul - "Temperature" - Pretty much anything by Sean Paul is good for working out with his Jamaican inspired hip-hop beats.

Florence and The Machine - "Dog Days Are Over" - A song about survival and overcoming obstacles. Just like your workout.

Britney Spears - "Toxic" - I'm not ashamed to admit that I love me some Brit Brit.

Other notable Britney songs that enhance a workout?

"Hit Me Baby One More Time" - Classic. Maybe listen to this song while in a kickboxing class?

"You Drive Me Crazy (Stop Remix)" - My favorite part is Brit calling out, "STOP!" and all the music stops.... and then starts up again, heh.

"Gimme More" - It's Britney, bitch.

"Piece of Me" - Who won't want a piece of you after you are done workin' out that hot bod?

"Womanizer" - Dudes: you can be a womanizer after working out... Femmes: you can get your revenge on the womanizer who did you wrong...

"If You Seek Amy" - Tee hee, if the pre-pubescent in all of us doesn't giggle at the title then you are just a big 'ol C U Next Tuesday!

"Do Something"- Yeah, do something... like bicep curls... BITCH.

and last, but not least...

"Stronger" - Hello!? You will be a lot stronger after working out to this song!

And, I don't work for Britney. I just love her. A lot. Just like my MacBook Pro and Keurig Brewer. And so we continue...

Cascada - "Evacuate The Dance Floor" - Also one of my favorite songs to dance to... and dancing is a workout.

C&C Music Factory - "Everybody Dance Now" - Ha, this song always makes me think of the Simpson's episode (Lard of the Dance) where Lisa is nervous about going to the school dance, and Marge tries to make her feel better by suggesting a dance at the Simpson home: "Every Simpson dance now!" It makes me giggle and I have to bring some humor into my workout, or else I'm one crabby patty.

Christina Aguilera - "Keeps Getting Better" - Because my J-Lo posterior keeps getting better with every lunge and squat.

David Guetta - "Sexy Bitch" - Damn who's a sexy bitch? YOU!

Justin Timberlake - "Sexy Back" - I'm bringing sexy back with this workout, baby (don't forget your receipt)

Gnarls Barkley - "Gone Daddy Gone" - You will run so fast that you will be gone daddy gone...

Ke$ha - "Tik Tok" - I'm talking pedicures on our toes, toes.... Truthfully I'll probably get sick of this song sooner than later, but for now I'm lovin' it like McDonalds...

Lady GaGa -
"Just Dance"
"Love Games"
"Money Honey"
"Summer Boy"
"Beautiful Dirty Rich"
"Bad Romance"

"Telephone" - I love Ms. GaGa almost as much as I love Britney. Something about someone confident enough to never wear pants is just awe inspiring. All things GaGa make for a good workout.

Cobra Starship - "Church of Hot Addiction" - If you have never heard this song, download it now. You'll thank me later.

Cobra Starship - "Good Girls Go Bad" - Good Girls Go Bad makes bad runs go good.

Good Charlotte - "Motivation Proclamation" - Um, it's right in the title.

Daddy Yankee - "La Gasolina" - Not a song about the rise in gasoline prices.... it's Puerto Rican slang for... well I'll let you google that one on your own if you choose. But a really fun song with amazing energy.

Guns 'N Roses - "Welcome to the Jungle" - Gonna bring you to your nanananananana knees, knees!

Jack's Mannequin - "Spinning" - Listen to Jacks Mannequin. Listen to them often. And while you are at it, listen to Something Corporate (predecessor to Jack's). Andrew McMahon is a musical GOD.

Linkin Park - "Bleed It Out" - Another great one to get out some rage...

Muse - Anything by Muse really, but my top Muse song to workout to would have to be:

"Uprising" - You will recognize it, as it is all over ESPN, college and pro sports events around the country. The line "We will be victorious" in the lyrics makes it just THAT kind of song.
"Knights of Cydonia"
"Super Massive Blackhole"
"Stockholm Syndrome"

I like all the songs by Muse, but not all of them are for working out. For a non-workout song, listen to "Sunburn." Best. Song. EVAR.

Panic! At the Disco - "A Fever You Can't Sweat Out" (Album) - The whole album.

Jay-Z and Linkin Park collabo - "Collision Course" - Another good album in its entirety for working out.

The Used is good for those ragey, pissed off workouts. I sound like a rage-a-holic don't I? I'm not, I just take out my daily frustrations with exercise.

Aha - "Take On Me" - Gotta get some 80's jazzercise in there.

Cyndi Lauper - "Girl's just wanna have fun" - Because we do.

Devo -"Whip It"- Into shape! Shape it up! It's not too late!

Kenny Loggins - "Footloose" - Admittedly, I don't know most of the lyrics, but I love fake lip synching to it.

Survivor - "Eye of The Tiger" - Come on, if it can get Rocky motivated, it can motivate you!

N.E.R.D. - "It's Almost Over Now" - I typically listen to this near the end of my workout or when I'm finishing a long run. Something about hearing loud drums and the words "It's almost over now" repeated at full volume in your ear gives me that last little kick at the end.

Madonna - "Four Minutes" - Same as N.E.R.D., I put this song near the end of my workout (typically 4 minutes before the end) and I'm like, "Hell yeah! Only 4 minutes left!" (The song is 3 minutes 12 seconds, but we'll ignore that tiny detail for now.)

My musical taste is eclectic. And extensive. What songs get you pumped like Hans and Franz?

Now for tonight's diary entry:

January 26, 94

Gee it's been 2 months exactly since i've wrote to you. did you miss me? Hee, Hee. Hey, guess what Zachary is becoming more friendly with me! Eeeeek! Eek the cat. (You know how I know I'm old? I remember Eek the Cat.)

That's it. No goodbye or anything. What happened here? Don't worry, they get longer and funnier again real soon. I'm going to expedite our journey by posting the next few shorter entries.


Father Boyle died. (I went to Catholic school from grades 2 through 12. Not sure where I went wrong after that...) I'm so sad. I just can't stand it. (I kinda feel sorry for the kid here.) It's just too shocking. (Actually, in retrospect, not all that shocking. He was very old.) He died of a heart attack in his sleep. It's so tradgic. I'm going to his wake today it's going to be very sad.

(Not much to say here. I was a sensitive kid.)

July 12, 1994

4 days till Alicia's B-day and 14 days till my B-day I'm getting Alicia Mrs. Doubtfire and cheerleader the first and third evil for her birthday she's getting me the Ace of Base Video. (You know how I know I'm old? I lived in a time when Mrs. Doubtfire was a cool movie, Ace of Base was the best music on the planet, and R.L. Stine still scared the crap out of me. Also, First and Third Evil? Why no love for The Second Evil?)

July 13, 1994

None (It ACTUALLY says "none" There is no entry, just the word "none.")

July 14, 1994

None (Hmmmm....)

July 15, 1994

None (This is getting a little weird. What is going on?)

July 16, 1994

None (I believe what happened is that I pre-dated the next several entries with the intention of writing every day. And clearly my good intentions fell short, so I just retroactively wrote "None" on all the entries. I can tell they were done at different times because the dates are written in pencil and the nones are in blue pen. Although, as you will see later, I liked to shake up my writing utensils mid-entry. Just to keep things fresh, ya know?)

That's the end of the brief entries for now. The next few are a doozy. Prepare.

Lator Gators!


In my world I ROCK said...

Scarves I love and also need to keep my neck warm, A MUST... but now I see the word and it reminds me of him. I should have named him something else.
High Five for Veggies. Ive been a vegetarian for 5 years and a half.

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