Resolution Check-In

With 6 months down and 6 months to go in 2008, it’s time for a resolution check-in:

1. Read two books for pleasure each month.

14 books so far, including one adorable childrens’ book that bizarrely made it to our New Bookshelf at work, so I’m actually ahead of schedule.  And no, this doesn’t include any of my textbooks, finished or otherwise.

2. See 12 movies in the theatre.

So far we’ve seen There Will Be Blood, Atonement, Michael Clayton, Indiana Jones & the Crystal Skull, Iron Man, and WALL-E, so I guess I’m right on track here, too.  WALL-E and Michael Clayton were the best, in very different ways.

3. Take a trip west of the Mississippi (and also west of Iowa).

Not yet, but we’ve confirmed that we’ll be spending Christmas in Carlsbad.  Also, I’m presenting at conferences in Denver and Monterey.  This one will definitely happen.

4. Go to Bonnaroo or Coachella.


5. Put $5,000 in savings by the end of the year (sub item: and leave it there).

No comment.  Paying tuition has killed me this semester.

6. Finish Couch to 5K and run a 5K.

Check!  I ran the Kelley Cares 5K in early June, and plan to run more in the fall.  I’d like to do a 10K next year.

7. Continue weight training and do an unassisted pull up.

Less successful on this one.  I took a lot of time off from lifting this spring due to shoulder and knee problems.

8. Finish my CAS.

I’m on target to defend my thesis in the fall, however I’m going to be one credit hour short of finishing unless I take another class.  If that’s all that I have left at the end of the year, I’m fine with it.

9. Get published.

So far this year I have 3 accepted conference proposals (all co-written), 1 accepted (and award winning?) co-written virtual poster, and 3-4 conference and journal submissions outstanding.  Not bad!

10. Find a church.

We’ve been sporadically attending services at Del Ray United Methodist Church, which we both really like.  We found it when we went there with my family on Easter.

11. Reconsider therapy and/or medication.

I tried therapy with the GW staff counselor person, but I mainly found her annoying and “let’s fix it”-y.  I did go back on medication, though, and it seems to be doing a lot to even me out.  I go back this week for a six month evaluation.

12. Beat SB at Zooloretto or Alhambra.

I won at Zooloretto in January, but have been soundly defeated in almost every other game since then.  Between Shane and our friend Kevin, I just don’t stand a chance.

13. Finish 2007’s Bond-watching resolution.

We’ve watched two Bond movies this week, and have now made it to the ill-fated George Lazenby era.  15 to go!


Eating and growing locally: week nine


Local meal #5

Our OLS meal for the week was salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and carrots from the farmers’ market, a Meritage from Rappahannock Cellars (67 mi.), and local pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce from local seconds tomatoes, ground buffalo, and herbs from our garden.  The spaghetti sauce was a big disappointment, but we froze a jar of it, which will be excellent later in the year reconstituted with some goat cheese.

Making Spaghetti Sauce

Tuesday night was a different story.

Day 332 - 6/24/08

We got a big hunk of prosciutto from Cheesetique for 99c, so I cubed about half of it, then sauteed it with local onion, garlic scapes, and peas, then tossed it all together with local aged cheddar and non-local macaroni.  So, so, so, so good.   I also roasted little local carrots with some maple syrup – they were like candy.  Too bad SB wasn’t feeling well and couldn’t enjoy it when it was hot.  😦

Our farmers’ market haul this week: pork sausage, ground pork, a little poussin, eggs, chocolate milk, squash blossoms, tomatoes, nectarines, onions, dinner rolls, carrots, green beans, and garlic.  Very exciting!


  • Our tomatoes look sad and droopy, so yesterday we bought a big just of Terracycle and are hoping they’ll perk up with the introduction of quality worm poop.
  • I thinned the lettuce again, resulting in big salads for both of us.
  • We have OMG peppers growing!  I’m trying to resist the urge to pick them small so that they have a chance to turn red.
  • We have kept basil alive for two months.  This is kind of a big deal.

Things I’m loving about the internet these days

  1. The influx of my library school friends on Good Reads. I get a daily digest of things that my friends are reading, or want to read, or have liked/hated enough to write witty and useful reviews. Many days I just skim, but some days there are real gems, and that makes me so happy.
  2. Farm to Philly, which served as my introduction to the One Local Summer challenge. Each week the blogger, along with regional coordinators, post links to dozens and dozens of participants’ blogs, where they’ve shared their exiting meals. Clicking through these links has also given me new, fun, inspirational things to read.
  3. Book Mooch, recommended by Karins, which has helped me clear off an entire shelf of my bookcase, while at the same time letting me pick up books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while. Financially the cost-benefit analysis doesn’t really work out, but I’m confident it will over time. I figure that I’m getting books that I want, giving books that I don’t want to people who DO want them, and earning a lot of Book Mooch points that I will cash in over time – and the money that I’m spending on shipping is money that I would otherwise spend on books anyway.
  4. I noticed recently that I’ve stopped making friends through the internet. That makes me sad, and so I think I’ve been seeking out opportunities to make friends by being more active in commenting. Whether or not this results in friends, we’ll see. Either way, I enjoy fostering the sense of connection and interest.
  5. Remember the Milk has kept me organized for the last couple of months. It’s fantastic. I’m a compulsive list maker, so being able to do all of that online, from the privacy of my inbox, and then have the lists available wherever is sooo helpful. I’m sure everyone else figured all of this out years ago, but I’m a new convert, and damned excited about it, too.
  6. I’m totally making this number up, but I think somewhere around 85% of my friends from Champaign are blogging or Twittering or Flickring or Facebooking or using some other form of internet technology to regularly update the world on their lives, their research, and their adventures. While just reading is a really passive way to feel connected, I do still feel very connected – and up to date! – on my friends’ lives, even if we don’t get to talk regularly. I’m very thankful for this.

Flickr meme from Kimberly at Music & Cats:

Mosaic Meme

Here’s how it works:

* Type your answers to each of the questions below into Flickr Search
* Using only the first page, pick an image
* Copy and paste each of the URLs into the mosaic maker


1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.

1. Maria Elizabeth Winblad (1895-1987) and Otto Perry Winblad (1902-1977) circa 1905-1910 possibly at Wayne Street in Jersey City, New Jersey, 2. Meant To Be Dinner: Cheese Board, 3. Day 100/366: A Well Lit Memory Lane, 4. Handmade Postcard – Cyan, Blue Green, Green, 5. Day 130/366: Ralph Fiennes, Rendered in Chalk, 6. My coffee loves me too, 7. Morocco. Alone in the sahara desert., 8. German Chocolate Cake!, 9. i like you because you are a good person to like, 10. sub urban love, 11. 247/365 Silly IS Sexy, 12. Brixton tube

By the numbers: May 2008

Look! I can use Google to make charts and graphs!

Am I sure how we spent $428.43 on groceries and other household-y stuff last month? Not really. I mean, we have the numbers, but I’m not sure what they mean, exactly. There were a few splurges on alcohol, lots of cheese and meats for a fancy picnic, and things like that which put us over our budget for the month. On the whole, though, I think we’re coming out about the same as we were previously – we’re just buying better things, and eating better meals at home. Last night I was trying to remember exactly what it was that we ate prior to two months ago. I think a lot more frozen things.

Eating and growing locally: week eight

I missed the farmers’ market so much when we were at Bonnaroo.  It seems like a weird thing to miss, but that’s what I got.  After two months of doing most of our shopping at the market or individual stores, going to the grocery store just seems weird.


Day 326 - 6/18/08


Local meal #4
Pork and Broccoli Stir-fry

  • Pork from Cibola Farms, sliced to 1/4″ thickness
  • Broccoli from the FB market, roughly cut up
  • A whole head of green garlic from the Courthouse market, roughly chopped
  • Soy sauce and peanut oil (non-local)

Combine the pork, garlic, and enough soy sauce to marinate in a bowl.  Set aside.  Heat some oil in your wok or non-stick skillet.  Saute the broccoli stems until soft-ish, then add the pork, garlic, and soy sauce.  If you have other veggies, great.  I was going to include zucchini, but there wasn’t enough room.  Saute until everything’s delicious and tender – I think I left it all in too long, but I was waiting for SB to get home.  It was delicious nonetheless.  It would be fantastic on top of rice, but rice doesn’t grow in the DC metro area, so that’ll have to wait for a non-local meal.

Bonus local meal!

Grilled Zucchini Salad – bonus meal!

  • One small eight-ball zucchini, sliced about 1/4″ thick (but any summer squash will work)
  • Fresh tomato, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Mixed greens
  • Olive oil (non-local) for drizzling, salt & pepper to taste

Using our trusty grill pan, I dry-grilled the slices of zucchini quickly until tender, then tossed them on top of the tomato and other salad fixings.  One eight-ball zucchini made enough for two salads, or for me to have a salad AND a bowl of yummy zucchini.  Drizzle with a little olive oil before serving to really bring out the buttery awesomeness of the zucchini.


Day 320 - 6/12/08

We’re back from nearly a week away at Bonnaroo – well, four days at the festival, and two days in transit with hilarious dudes and our trusty Richard Simmons. Over the course of the festival, I slept on the ground, ate awesome samosas, and saw a whole lot of fabulous music:

Some highlights:

  • MIA’s last show ever was flat-out insane, especially immediately following !!!. I danced my ass off and was sweat on by a variety of people.
  • Managed to catch the only MGMT song that I really love.
  • Soul-fun with Sharon Jones in the hot-hot sun.
  • Somehow almost every band that I saw had at least 5 people on stage. Broken Social Scene was no exception.
  • Aimee Mann playing “Save Me” and “How Am I Different”. Mark said that was the only time all weekend that he got goosebumps.
  • Iron & Wine was magical. I cried like a baby. So did Shane, a little.

I’ll be posting more photos over the next few days, but in the interim I’ve also created a post-Roo muxtape to capture the highlights. I’m so glad that we went.

Eating and growing locally: week seven (late)

Not a whole lot to report this week as we were gone to Bonnaroo from Wednesday through Monday.  Our pet sitter kindly took care of our garden in our absence.  We have tomatoes growing on the vine, but both the parsley and cilantro are definitely gone.  Time to dig ’em up and plant something new!  Lots of lettuce, beans getting taller, and one little strawberry.  Nom nom nom.

In addition to our OLS meal,  we had some failed zucchini pancakes, awesome awesome bison burgers, and munched on local peas and cherries in the car while waiting in line outside the ‘Roo festival grounds.  While the food we had at Roo was fantastic, we’re both glad to be home and back to eating good things – well, in theory at least.

One Local Summer meal #3

I was totally brain-dead after work last night but, knowing that we’d be out of town for a few days for Bonnaroo, I managed to pull together our all-local meal anyway. Let’s call it “eggs in a nest”.

Local meal #3: total improvWhat I really wanted was zucchini pancakes, but lacking local flour, that was out of the question. Instead, I shredded 1 zucchini, 1 beet, and a bunch of garlic scapes, tossed them with some egg (in an attempt to bind the pancakes, which failed), and made a brightly-colored hash. I tossed it all around with some butter, salt, and pepper until everything was tender and flavorful, then threw in a handful of chopped herbs from our garden (parsley, basil, and chives). butter tracksNext, I wiped out the pan, melted some butter, and scrambled a few eggs, including one giant one that had a double yolk. We’ve definitely had double yolk eggs before – but I can’t remember ever having an egg that was clearly a different size than the rest, thus predicting the double yolk. Some of the eggs had straw still stuck to them. I love it!
Scrambled eggs! When all put together, it was incredibly flavorful and delicious, and we’d definitely make it again.
Local meal #3 We washed it down with a hefeweizen from Blue & Gray Brewing Co.
Local beer!
Shane approves! Mina did, too.

Shane approves!