Against all odds, Mike got up at 4am last Friday to get to work by 5am for some early-morning work he had to do. I was supposed to stay in bed, but I couldn’t. Mike almost never gets up in the morning before me, so I felt like I was “late”, even though it was only 4am. I ended up getting up as well and a I did a little Wii Zumba before work. I also started a beef stew in the slow cooker. Since Mike has specifically asked me to use my culinary skills on the beef stew so that it always remains similar but still new and interesting, I pulled out the latest root vegetables I got from the CSA. There was a big bag with three rutabaga in it, and I decided that was a good place to start. I cut open one rutabaga… and was overwhelmed with the smell of celery. What in the world? I checked the email from the CSA listing out the produce for this week and realized that it listed both celeriac and rutabaga among the vegetables. Ah! Celeriac. That would explain the celery smell. So in case you’ve ever wondered, celeriac smells like celery but looks like rutabaga. That’s the extent of my celeriac knowledge. I also knew it was still a root vegetable, and I knew that I usually put celery in the beef stew so this time I skipped the celery and chopped up half of a very large head (root? piece?) of celeriac instead. I also chopped up a rutabaga, a couple potatoes also from the CSA, half an onion, several cloves of garlic, and enough baby carrots to fill up the slow cooker to the brim. It seemed to be good, because when I got home from work Mike had eaten a couple of helpings from the slow cooker. Either that or he was just really hungry.
Since I got a head of cabbage, two leeks, and a lot of potatoes in the CSA this week I decided to make up some Irish Colcannon. It seemed like a good idea, but honestly the recipe was pretty flavorless. Granted, I didn’t add butter at the end, and maybe the butter is the saving grace of colcannon. But pretty much it tastes like mashed potatoes with a little bit of a bitter flavor because of the cabbage and the leeks. I have to say that, as much as I wanted to like it since it’s very Irish, I really didn’t care for it. It’s not bad… but for someone who thrives on cumin, coriander, and chili powder, it definitely was lacking spice. Oh well. Live and learn. 🙂
Mike and I were both really tired last week, and I think Mike correctly identified the problem: we were in our third week of P90X and we were at the point where our bodies didn’t have time to heal anymore. This is probably why the fourth week of P90X is a rest week. We are still doing workouts, but they are a lot less strenuous: yoga, stretching, and cardio (i.e. no pull-ups or push-ups). It’s nice. 🙂 Last night we did kickboxing (called Kenpro in P90X for some inexplicable reason), and it was a lot of fun throwing punches and kicks. Mike was amused by how much I got into it. Piper was not. Even when I was throwing kicks and punches near her spot on top of the couch she just lay there lazily with her eyes half open watching me. I took her to the vet yesterday after work, and I think that really wore her out and she was ready for some relaxation!
Can I take just a minute here for a laundry rant? Although I’m glad Mike and I are doing P90X and I’m glad that Mike has found a workout he enjoys, we generate SO MUCH laundry between both of us working out six days a week and both of us going to work five days a week. I mean seriously. Mike has literally twenty or thirty T-shirts and last night he complained that there weren’t any in his drawer. How is that even possible?? I had done laundry three nights earlier! And yet, I find that my workout shorts are the same way… no matter how many pairs I have, I’ve been running out of them and I find them all in the dirty clothes hamper. And don’t even get me started on towels. Since we’re working out more we have been showering more and going through towels like nobody’s business. Plus Mike uses towels to wipe off his face and hands during the workout as he sweats. I am literally shocked at how much laundry we’re going through. This has had unintended side effects. For instance, since I don’t always have time to fold and put away all the laundry during the week, I’ve been piling all clean, dry laundry on my small wooden laundry hanger. This is meant just as a place to hang delicate items that shouldn’t go through the dryer, but currently it has about twenty pounds of clothes sitting on top of it (I’m estimating here… I don’t really have any idea how heavy twenty pounds actually is… and this is despite three weeks of lifting weights with Tony Horton on P90X.). The laundry hanger looks a little askew right now, and I feel like the thin, cheap wood is going to splinter and break one of these days catapulting all of the clean clothes I have carefully balanced on top of it into Piper’s litterbox. Another unintended side effect: it is pretty much impossible for either Mike or me to have a full set of the clothes we want. We may have the jeans we want, but the shirt is in the washer. Or we have the jacket we want, but our only pairs of socks without holes are in the dryer. Or, worse yet, the clothes can’t be found in either our drawers, the washer, or the dryer. That means that the clothes are located somewhere within the bowels of the precariously balanced clothes mound on the top of the wooden laundry hanger. And if the clothes are there, there is no chance of finding them before the weekend when the mound is transferred to the bed for mass folding, primarily because any effort to dislodge even so much as a sock from the pile results in the center of balance of the entire mound shifting and all of the clothes falling down and taking the skinny clothes hanger with it (not that this has ever happened to me personally or anything). All right. Laundry rant over. I just had to get it out there. 🙂
In other interesting news, Seattle made the list of top five cities in which to go trick-or-treating.
Additionally, within Seattle, Mike’s and my Wallingford neighborhood made the list of the best Seattle neighborhoods for trick-or-treating.
Mike and I are planning to go out for Halloween. Last year we ordered Halloween costumes online and unfortunately they didn’t arrive until November 1st. I love online shopping, but it does have its downsides. Having your Halloween costume arrive one day after Halloween is one of them. However, Mike and I made the best of it, went out to a restaurant anyway, and were the only ones (including the wait staff) not in costume. This year, though, we’re all set since we have one-year old unused costumes. Any guesses as to what we’re dressing up as?
As I mentioned, I took Piper to the vet yesterday so she could get her urine rechecked for bacteria. She was NOT a fan! Poor Piper! She didn’t want to come out of the cat carrier when I got her to the vet’s, so she just crouched in the very back of the carrier until I made her come out.
Then, when I was at the front desk paying I set her carrier on the floor and a big lazy yellow garfield-like cat who lives at the cat clinic sauntered up to Piper’s carrier, stared in at her, and mewed loudly. The cat could not possibly have been lazier or less aggressive, but he scared Piper all the same and she shrank even further back in her cat carrier. Poor thing!!
I made sure to give her some crunchy treats after the vet, and that helped her finally relax.
Mike decided to watch Pan’s Labyrinth, some scary movie that he heard of in the context of the Halloween season. He has a friend who had nightmares after seeing the movie, so I flatly refused to watch it despite Mike’s persuasive attempts. I don’t do scary movies. It’s not worth the frightened, sleepless nights afterwards. Just to give some context to the situation, I slept with my bedroom light on for three days after watching The Shining. And I slept with my adjoining bathroom light on for even longer than that. I think my roommate at the time thought I was nuts, but who cared? I had to make sure an out-of-his-mind Jack Nicholson wasn’t waiting at the foot of my bed. I have absolutely no desire to be scared for entertainment. If I want to be entertained I’ll watch a nice, light, comedy. Definitely not a scary movie. However, Mike watched the entire movie, was completely unaffected by it, and said it wasn’t scary at all. This morning he texted me and said that he wanted to report that he had “0 fear, 0 nightmares, and 0 issues sleeping” after having watched the movie. I’m not sure how to gauge his response given that he wasn’t frightened of The Shining, The Sixth Sense, or Donnie Darko (yes, even that movie scared me… there is something extremely frightening about that rabbit). All three of those movies were exceptionally well done, but just too scary to be anything other than insomnia-inducing for me.
This weekend Mike and I went out on Saturday evening and watched Captain Phillips. It’s based on the true story of the capture of a cargo ship by Somalian pirates. It was well done. Tom Hanks did a good job in the lead role, and Barkhad Abdi did a fabulous job as the Somali pirate captain. It was fun watching the movie at the old-school Guild 45th Theatre about a mile from our house. It has a big Marquis sign, only two screens, and a booth outside the theater where you purchase tickets. Fun!
Tonight I’m going to hear the blogger from the No Meat Athlete blog speak about his new book at a vegan cafe in the U-district. He is a hard-core athlete who is a vegan, and I’m curious how he keeps up his stamina and avoids injury while subsisting on a vegan diet. Given my proclivity for injury when marathon training, maybe he’ll have some great tips. I asked Mike if he wanted to go with me to the cafe to hear the speaker, but he’s unsure. I think he suspects everyone there will be rail-thin raw-food-eating vegans, and he’ll be the one asking “Where are the pork chops?”.
It has been very foggy, chilly, and windy in Seattle lately.
I actually kind of like it for a change, but I’m sure it will get old long before summer comes again. The dark evenings will get even worse soon with the switch off of daylight savings time. (I’m still not sure when exactly that is… I thought it was in October, but we’re almost through October and I haven’t been prompted to roll my clocks back, so who knows?)
Mike has continued his cardboard mock-up work to ensure that anything we buy fits in our apartment well. Last week he mocked up a little coffee table that was so true-to-life that we actually started using it to hold the TV remote. Who needs wooden coffee tables when you have a same-size cardboard mock-up? His mock-ups are definitely stepping it up and have even started being functional. 🙂
Last week I realized how much most people are governed by habit. I stood at my bus stop at 7:30am, hopped on the bus while looking something up on my iPhone, and looked up after about ten minutes and realized that the next stop listed for the bus I was on was Woodland Ave. I didn’t know where that was, but I knew that the bus I normally take to work doesn’t have a Woodland Ave stop. Oops. Did I get on the wrong bus? Did I even look at the bus number before I got on it? I craned my neck around looking outside to get my bearings. It was dark, and I wasn’t entirely sure if the highway we were on looked correct or not. I wasn’t upset since I knew I was generally headed south, the way I wanted to go. But I wasn’t sure how far away from work the bus would let me off if I had indeed gotten on the wrong bus. Just then the bus stopped, and I saw a street sign. Galer. Ah, so I was on the right bus. The digital sign at the front of the bus was apparently just wrong or stuck or something. I rode the rest of the way to work relaxed.
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! I heard a rumor there was snow in Michigan this morning! Is it true? There’s no snow projected in Seattle… probably all winter. 🙂
In other news, I got a kick out of this article about spying on penguins to get Discovery channel footage… crazy! 🙂