Friday, May 29, 2009

Adult oatmeal

Perfect for dessert after a long twilight race/ride:

1/4 cup of raisins
1/4 cup red wine
1 packet oatmeal of your choice (I like cinnamon)
water and/or milk

Place raisins in a small container (tupperware, gladware, etc.). Fill with red wine. Let sit for 12-24 hours.

When ready to make oatmeal, boil water. Drain raisins, or simply spoon them out of the container with the wine (and drink the wine).

Add oatmeal and raisins to a bowl, cover with boiling water. Let sit for 2-3 minutes or until thick.


The one where Shane races with the boys

Last night's race report.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Almost allergen-free chocolate chip cookies

1/2 cup vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
1/3 cup natural salted peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 1/2 cups gluten free baking mix
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, mix together Earth Balance, peanut butter, and sugars until well blended.

While still holding the mixer, add egg.

Pour in the vanilla, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add baking mix, 1/2 cup at a time. Do not overmix.

Switch to a rubber spatula and mix in the chocolate chips.

Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The one where things go wrong in the morning

I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go. I got up early this morning, a feat since I was emersed in a book last night and couldn't turn the lights out until much later than the 11pm that I "went to bed." I had my good breakfast of peanut butter toast to prepare me for the intervals I was about to do. I had some coffee, kept the reading around the internet to a minimum, and donned a kit, sunscreen, and HR monitor.

Then I remembered that I needed to lube my chain, as it had been grumbling in the back for quite some time. After dropping a significant amount of lube on the chain and cogs while backpedaling, I started to shift. I shifted some more. Then my shifter broke. It started to make a weird, not quite the click of switching gears noise, and I realized that the chain was stuck in my 40-12. So I looked at the shifter, and the cable just came out. And now, twenty minutes later, I'm sitting here in my chamois writing in my blog, waiting for Mod Squad to open instead of riding my bike.

On the plus side, since Mod Squad doesn't open until 10, I probably should just work from home until after lunch, which means that I can just sit here on the couch doing my research rather than showering and getting dressed and dragging myself all the way down to 68th St. Alternatively, I could do fixed gear intervals, but that doesn't sound very fun, even in the park.

What exactly, may you ask, is it that I do? Well, I tell people that I do a lot of Googling. Which is true, to a certain extent. As a research assistant, my job is to gather as much information as possible, mostly through help from Google. But it's a little bit more complicated than that. I am researching free and open source software policy in Iceland for a project with the Software Freedom Law Center. So I am attempting to find very specific information that I'm not sure actually exists. I rely a lot on European Union and Nordic Council data.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is that I am going to Iceland in June. And I will be in the Arctic for the summer solstice. Yes!

Spring Quinoa

I made this for my vegan feast today. I like it because the ingredients have some depth, and it has a lot of protein for those meatless friends of mine. Quinoa has 9g of protein per serving--the most of any grain. It is also colorful: red, green, and yellow; and has enough flavor to stand up to a red wine.

Spring Quinoa

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup red quinoa
1/2 cup white quinoa
2 cups water or broth
5-8 spears asparagus
1/2 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
4 artichoke hearts
cayenne pepper, to taste
salt, to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan.
2. Add garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes.
3. Add quinoa, sautee in oil for about 1 minute.
4. Add water and spices. Bring to a boil over high heat.
5. Bring heat down to medium and cook quinoa with pot covered until water has disappeared (about 15 minutes)
6. When water is almost gone, stir in cut asparagus, chickpeas, and artichoke hearts.
7. Serve warm.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dancing with myself

I am standing in my room, dancing around in an outfit that my mother probably wouldn't approve of, when it hits me--I think I am living out my dream. The semester ended for me last Wednesday. On Friday, I moved across Morningside Park (Harlem, the horror! j/k) to my new apartment with my friend Liz. Yesterday, I finally finished decorating. I've got a whole closet to myself (half of it devoted to my shoes), a full bed with no dip in the middle, every shelf in the place filled with books, and posters of my favorite works of art up on the walls. I am standing in front of the mirror, dressed like a total hipster in tattered jeans and a tank top that shows my bra straps (it's a cami today). Behind me I can see my board of theater tickets and extended line of restaurant cards. Then, of course, there is Peter up on the wall, staring me down like he's Elvis or something.

Anyway, enough with the narcissism. This stuff is all great, but it only serves to remind me of how little of the city that I have actually seen. I've been looking up dance to go see tonight all morning, and am rather miffed that the first day that I have in a VERY LONG TIME to go hang out in the city is a Monday, when the majority of the city is dark. Oh well, I guess that just means more time for me at MoMA and the Guggenheim.

Now I am watching the cat attempt to figure out how many pairs of boots that I have at the bottom of my closet. I hope cats can count above 10...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Nothing to Say. Nowhere to go. Except not.

Moving. Moving , moving, moving. Eh. I hate when I open my blog because I really want to write in it, then I figure out that I have nothing to say.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A little insane

I am reviewing for my CC final and realizing how much I love this class. Why am I not a philosophy major??

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thinking about things other than my French exam

The New York Times' Op-Ed page is probably my favorite page in the paper. Except for the crossword, of course (but only on Mondays through Wednesdays. Thursday and Friday are just demoralizing). That's now turned into the opinion blogs, which occasionally have something worthwhile to say. I came accross a letter to a graduate this morning, by Timothy Egan, a former Times writer. I may not be graduating, but I sure appreciated the pick-me-up.

At times, your life will have moments, days, even weeks of despair. Trust me: there is no bout of blues that a rich Bolognese sauce, filling every cubic inch of kitchen air, cannot cure.

And that brings me to: Take risks. I don’t mean ski the double diamond runs, ask for a card in blackjack with 15 showing and the dealer holding a king, or hit a high note in a karaoke bar, while sober. That goes without saying.

Fear of failure can be a motivator or an inhibitor. The latter is crippling, and ultimately leads to a life of missed opportunities. That’s why Teddy Roosevelt’s most famous dictum, sadly wasted on the French during a speech at the Sorbonne, was praise for the person “who comes up short again and again,” praise for the man “who fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Ever since I got to Columbia I fell like I have been underperforming. Perhaps not underperforming, but it is certainly more difficult to go above and beyond when everyone is that person. I equate average-ness with failure. Certainly it's not failure outright, but I tend to judge myself by my own standards, rather than other people's, so when I don't meet my own expectations, I feel that I have failed.

This gives me hope, though. Hope that if I keep trying, setting my expectations much higher than I can ever hope to achieve, then someday I might find myself somewhere completely unexpected. I think the bigger failure is living a life full of regrets.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What? Media on the internet? What?

For a Mass Media paper that I am writing, I tried to recycle some information (not plagerize, but build upon) that I wrote last year, first semester, for my writing class. I don't know if I have gotten that much better at research, or if there has been that much shift in culture in 18 months, but it is completely outdated. This is slightly disturbing to me.

I now feel like life is kind of like a bike race (shocker). It's barrelling along, and if you aren't solidly in the draft, you're going to be off the back like a shot, your ass royally dropped and chasing for the next eternity. Kinda scary. But also kind of cool when you look to your side and see how GD fast you are going.

Yes, I used kinda and kind of in the same sentence. Blogs are for copy errors.