Monday, January 31, 2011

Excellent Suggestion

DJ Spinderella suggested that I make the elliptical more entertaining by bringing my step-dog along. Great suggestion Kelly.

My bum hurts

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend.

In my quest to enjoy winter sports, I went snow boarding for the first time ever.

While I wish I could say that I looked like this:

In actuality, I looked much more like this:

My first trip down the hill, I fell literally every 3 to 5 feet. I was convinced that I would never, ever figure it out, and I was just somehow physically unable to snowboard. I worked harder that first time down the hill than the whole day skiing last week. Getting up on a slope with your feet strapped to a slippery piece of wood is really hard work. Finally, about 90% of the way down, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. My body, mind and snowboard finally started communicating with each other. I made it at least 25 feet before I fell down. Miraculous!

After I made it down, I needed a break, so I hung out in the sun while my better snowboarding companions did a couple more runs. I must not have put on enough sunscreen, because I definitely have some raccoon eyes/hot dog nose right now. My next few runs, my body really started to figure out what it was supposed to do. Snowboarding is actually fun when you are not falling every few feet!

I ended up having a great time, and feeling pretty confident on my board. Honestly, by the end of the day, I felt more comfortable on the snowboard than I ever have on skis, despite having skied several times.

I also had quite a few delicious beers and large glasses of wine this weekend, and between that and the numerous butt bruises I collected snowboarding, I spent Sunday sitting on the couch watching movies and planning for the zombie apocalypse.

How was your weekend? What skill would you bring to your rag tag group of survivors in the zombie apocalypse?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Free food and mixing up my work out

Work has such a different feel when most of the office is gone. Last week, all the senior staff (ie bosses) were gone for half the week. Party in the office! Today, other than me, all of the younger staff is gone. Party in the office! Just kidding. Though the executive director did take me out for lunch. Got some delicious tomato basil soup from my favorite soup place, and even resisted the urge to bread bowl it up. Which was difficult. I ended up spending the whole time talking about my thesis project that I did before I came to work for the Alliance, which was fine because I can talk about that topic forever. Seriously. Ask me about the environmental impacts of nanotechnology, and I will tell you way, way more than you would ever want to know.

I know a strong core is important for just about everything, but I get so bored doing core workouts. Partly that's my own fault for doing the same things over and over, but I am so sick of planks and the few other things that I do. Does anybody have any good suggestions of core exercises that I can do and vary my repertoire?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's hard to be like Lady Gaga when it's cold out.

Bad news: The Grocery Outlet stopped selling my favorite giant bag of organic frozen broccoli. I knew I should have stocked up.

Good news: My puffy coat has finally arrived!

I am so excited about this coat. I have been freezing in my inappropriate jacket. It's been so cold I've even had to temporarily give up on my Lady Gaga-inspired, pants-free revolution. But not now! Now I throw on my puffy jacket, my giant sunglasses, and my Sorels and I am ready to go! I am the Lady Gaga of South Lake Tahoe.
Just kidding. I'll wear tights under my coat. Fleece lined ones.

Bad news: I think the cold caught up with me, and I was feeling pretty beat after work, so I skipped my workout.

Good news: I think it was the right decision because I'm feeling a lot better, and ready to tackle spin tonight. Maybe even some weights, as it's been about a week since I've lifted.

Bad news: Things are ramping up at work, and I'm starting to get swamped.

Good news: We hired an intern! Yay for free labor!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Raise your hand if you sent out a Save the Date email for an event to 1,400 people with the wrong event date on it.


Oh, well. At least I'd sent it to my boss to proofread first, and she'd missed it too, so I can't get in too much trouble.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sick. And a recipe.

Someone breathed his germs all over me this weekend, and now I feel like I have a cold coming on. Despite a valiant effort during undergrad to fight off illness with the disinfecting power of vodka and dancing, I now realize that this method doesn’t really work.

Now I usually try to beat back oncoming illness with lots of water, vitamin C (Placebo? Probably. But I love oranges, so whatever), hot beverages like tea or hot water with ginger, lemon juice, and honey, and, most importantly, soup.

I have a couple of go-to recipes that I usually make, but I didn’t have all of the necessary ingredients. After spin today, I was in no sort of mood to go to the grocery store, so I just threw this one together from stuff I found in my pantry. It turned out pretty good, so I thought that I should document my soup recipe.


1.5 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp garlic paste (you can also use minced garlic)

2 small onions

3 medium carrots

2 cans diced tomatoes

1 can black beans

1 can kidney beans

Salt, pepper, oregano, and chili powder to taste

Add the olive oil and garlic (The garlic measurement is pretty much an estimation. I just kind of plopped it in there.) to a pot (I used 4 quart) over medium heat. While the olive oil heats up, chop the carrots and onions into chunks and add to pot. Add a teaspoon of water and put on the lid. Let the veggies cook until you can easily stick a fork through the carrots, stirring every few minutes. When the veggies are cooked, add the beans and tomatoes (including the liquids), 2 cans of water, and the spices to taste. Turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil. Once the soup is boiling, turn it down to where the soup is simmering. Let it simmer at least 20 minutes, up to an hour if you have time.

Voila! Delicious soup. Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition facts (1 serving = ~2 cups):

194 calories, 3.2 g fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 200 mg sodium, 15 g fiber, 8.4 g protein

Sunday, January 23, 2011

This is the face I'm making

Dan headed back to Santa Barbara, back to the land of sunshine, beaches, and really cheap avocados. I'm a little jealous. And kind of sore from skiing.

My workout routine usually gets kind of thrown off when I have visitors. I got a spin class and a twenty minute run and some weights in on Thursday before Dan got here, but Friday was a double whammy of laying around and imbibing a few beers with people visiting that I knew from grad school. Skiing was super fun, but I'm not sure how much of a cardio boost it was. Seriously. I skied sooooo sloooowly.

After we went skiing, we stopped at the Burger Lounge. If you are ever in South Lake Tahoe, go eat at this place! Amazing veggie burgers, and the omnivores present seemed to like there meat burgers. We also ordered an order of cheese fries to split. Holy cow, it was the most cheese I've ever seen on one dish. Piles and piles and piles of delicious melty cheddar goodness on hand cut fries. But I cannot overestimate the amount of cheese there was. We asked the cook and he told us "only 7 ounces." Seven ounces?! That's almost a half pound. We ate and ate, and it didn't even seem to make a dent in the amount left. Never ending cheese fries. I took them home and ate some later, and there were still about a bazillion cheese fries left. I finally admitted defeat and threw them away, where they took up half my garbage can.

I decided that instead of wallowing when Dan left, I would hit the gym for an endorphin boost (and possibly counteract some cheese fries). I ran for 30 minutes (my "long" run for the week), rode the stationary bike for 25 minutes, and did the elliptical for 25 minutes. I stretched for a long time (my hip flexors are really really sore from skiing) and did some planks.

I'm really glad that I started weight lifting again this winter. I haven't done it regularly for awhile, and I'm definitely getting stronger. While it's always nice seeing definition in my arms and legs, I absolutely love feeling stronger. I hadn't gone skiing in years, (and really only a few times ever) but it felt so much easier this time, and I really think that it's because my legs are so much stronger than the last time I went. I felt like I had so much more control over my legs and what they were doing. Hopefully, this will carry over into mountain biking next season. Which isn't coming until July.


I need to learn to love a winter sport.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Now that I live at Lake Taco, I should probably learn to ski.

One of my very favorite people came to visit me in Lake Taco. Please note his shifty eyes and physics nerd t-shirt.

It's very pretty here.

I recently moved from the beach:
To the mountains. There's a lot of snow in these mountains.

So, while I'd rather be doing this:

There is just too much snow. While I have a really special snow outfit, I don't exactly have any real snow sport skillz.
But I'm determined to learn. Note the helmet. Safety first. Even when you're just cruising down the green routes while tiny children zoom past you.

Now I'm going to cuddle on the couch, watch Dexter, and eat cookies.

Friday, January 21, 2011

An Open Letter

Dear Lady Downstairs with the Impractical Car,
I know that since it's really cold out, it must suck to go outside at 4 in the morning to have a cigarette. However, we live in a non-smoking building. That means you are not allowed to smoke indoors. Because, when you do smoke indoors, all of the smoke filters right into my bedroom. And I don't want to wake up at 4 am because my bedroom is filled with cigarette smoke, and have to open my window. Because it's cold. And if one of us has to be cold, I think that it's only fair that the person who chooses to smoke should be the cold one.
The Girl Upstairs who Tries to Walk Quietly

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Read this blog!

This post made me laugh so hard. Also, good advice. Also, all of her posts make me laugh really hard.

Note to self: be more organized

Since this fine specimen of humanity is coming to visit me, and I happen to have two free lift tickets to Sierra-at-Tahoe, I'm taking tomorrow off work to go skiing.


However, that means that I have to finish my section of the mid-year report today. Have I worked on it? Not very much. How not very much? Well, I couldn't find my notes on which sections I'm supposed to do. Ooops.
I searched all over my desk. I looked in my filing cabinets. I looked in that wire stand up paper separator thing that I haphazardly shove papers in. It's nowhere to be found! Mind, I only have a vague idea in my head what the notes actually look like. I start to worry that maybe I recycled it. This is not the end of the world, as I have yet to actually recycle any of the paper in my recycling box.

After exhausting all other options, I sorted through the whole box of recycling. As I said, I have yet to remove any of the paper in the two months I've been at work. It was kind of a nice little time capsule of my time at the Alliance. But, alas, no notes.

I give the the file cabinet a fourth and final shot. What? What's this? My notes! Right in the file folder they're supposed to be in.

Well, I'm glad that my recycling box is now well organized.

Work out:
- 30 minutes on the elliptical. I got so bored! I wanted to do some kind of cardio that used my arms, since I was supposed to be swimming, but I really did not enjoy the elliptical, and I had a really hard time getting/keeping my heart rate up. Does anyone have any tips to make the elliptical more fun/a better cardio work out?
- 20 minutes on the spin bike. I didn't wear my clipless shoes and it really made a difference.
- Lower back work. I need a stronger core!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lazy Weekend

65 minutes spin.
26 minutes run.
15 minutes of stair machine (ugh. definitely not my favorite thing)
Did arm/abs weights

Nothing like spending 3 hours at the gym after taking a break from working out. Though I did walk up and down a flight of stairs about 50 times carrying chili to the microwave while I was volunteering.

The film festival was awesome, but watching environmental films for three days does get a little depressing. I also ran into a friend from high school at the festival. Small world. (Really small when you consider the town I'm from has a population of 500, and we were nearly 900 miles away.)

Here's my favorite short of the festival:

I also loved this one, but I don't exactly know how this was wild or scenic:

I did not hit on Yvon Choinard, but I did run into him. Literally. With my shoulder.

I also won two free lift tickets to Sierra-at-Tahoe! Perfect timing because Dan's coming on Thursday. Yay!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sometimes I get to do fun things for work.

Today, I'm leaving to go to Nevada City for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival! The Sierra Nevada Alliance puts on an "On Tour" version of the film fest in South Lake Tahoe every year, and it's the first event I get to do. We're going to go scout films, and it should be really fun. Yvon Chouinard is going to be there!

Of course, because we are a small-budget non-profit, and we only get one free pass to the film fest, I have to volunteer in exchange for my film sessions. I get to work 6 hour shifts in the concession stand. Woo hoo!

I took Wednesday off working out to see Black Swan. It's great. Go see it. Not with your parents. I returned to Push with a vengeance yesterday. I finally remembered to
bring my clipless shoes to spin. They really made a difference, and my knees were less sore afterwards. I think they helped with my foot/leg position. Also, I am a little bit in love with my spin instructor. I did some run/uphill walk intervals on the treadmill. I don't absolutely hate the treadmill nearly as much as I used to, and I think the secret is that I need to vary the speed quite often, or I get super bored.

I also went to yoga. This is the first time I've been to a Thursday class, and, while it was good, the instructor is a little too "fill your hands up with rose colored energy from your heart chakra" for my taste. Oh, well. Cheapo yoga students can't be choosers.

Have a great weekend everyone! I know I am. I'm going to try to hit on Yvon Chouinard.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I recently moved to the Wilderness for work. I understood that moving to the Wilderness from a Major Metropolitan Area would necessitate some sacrifices. No Trader Joe's? Fine! I save so much money shopping at the Grocery Outlet. Unreliable cellphone service? Bring it on! I can ignore my parents' calls and blame it on the spotty network. No public transit? Great! Now I'm a real, car-owning American. Bear encounters? Sure! Bears are cute, plus carrying bear spray makes me formidable to both bears and potential human attackers.

But...But...But I was not prepared for the radio stations to think Creed was acceptable music to play.

Workout today: 24 minutes of running, 20 minutes spinning and lifting.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Post workout nutrition

Sometimes after a nice, hard workout (spin class and doing back and leg weights) you need some good healthy food.

That's why I chose to drink granny apple Woodchuck Hard Cider. It has APPLES. It has to be healthy. Besides, I saw two other people from my spin class checking out the fine wine and beer that the Gross Out has to offer. I totally love the Grocery Outlet. My friends and I always called the one in Bellingham the BGO (like Bellingham Grocery Outlet), and I can't not call any and all Grocery Outlets BGO. That's confusing as this one should actually be called SLTGO (slut go?).

I also tried out Amy's Indian Palak Paneer. It's pretty decent for microwave Indian food.

This has been a good week for working out, I've been sticking pretty well to my goals, and I even went to yoga on Wednesday, which was awesome. I haven't actually gone swimming since beginning my "triathlon training", though. Ooops! It's really hard to convince myself to go swimming when it's 8 degrees out.

In other news, I'm working on event planning for an environmental film festival for work, which is totally awesome, and much more fun than the envelope stuffing and money logging I have been doing. Though watching environmental films over and over can get a little depressing. I don't want to see any more oil covered pelicans or giant garbage islands!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm spun

I used to go to spinning class at Western; I absolutely loved it, aside from the instructor's weird taste in spinning music. (Note: Dave Matthew's Band is absolutely not good work out music.)

I have now attended two spinning classes at my new gym, Push. Wowzers. It's a very different experience. 1. No DMB. 2. Much harder. 3. More than half the class wears clipless shoes. I didn't even know they made clipless pedals for spin bikes. 4. Way, way harder.

My goal for the next month is to go to two spin classes a week. I really like the instructor of the class that I went to last night and on Thursday, but I may switch it up to check out the other instructors. Another goal is to go to yoga at least once a week.

My two main hurdles in mountain biking are core strength and fear. I need more core strength to be able to stand up on the bike for longer periods of time, which I hope the spinning (lots of standing) and yoga will address. Aside from doing lots of riding (difficult with three feet of snow), I think that increasing my strength will help me have more control over the bike, and, therefore, decrease my fear. Additionally, I plan to do lots of visualization. It may sound cheesy, but it's totally worked for me in the past. I close my eyes and imagine a tough section of trail that I've crashed or had to walk around. Then I picture myself doing it perfectly. Repeat 5 - 10 times. I try to do it a couple of times per day. Honestly, it's really worked for me in past athletic ventures (shot putting, free throws, volleyball serves, etc.)

In other news, this song is the perfect spinning song. Go Flo Rida!

After spin class yesterday, I met my friends Katie and Karen at the bar to watch the Orange Bowl. Katie went to undergrad at V-Tech, and she made me an honorary Hokie for the night. Sadly, V-Tech lost to Stanford, but we did decide to become Monday night regulars at the Brewery. We also made a new (very drunk) BFF named Leyna. She was a font of information about all sorts of things: the best flavor of vodka (bubblegum), how to avoid a hangover when you are over 30 (start early, end early), best place to ski in Tahoe (Sierra-at-Tahoe), and wedding planning (elope). She and her equally hilarious husband also had created several new dance moves that they demonstrated for us.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

101 Life Goals.

So one of my 101* life goals is to visit all of the national parks in the US. There are 58 in the US. I've so far been to 6 (North Cascades, Yosemite, Channel Islands, Redwoods, Grand Teton and Yellowstone). I'm 10.34% of the way there! My goal this year is to double that number and also go back to Yosemite.

1. Head to Yosemite in the winter. I want to go to the west side of the park when it's not super crowded and do some cross country skiing.

2. Do my best Bono impersonation in Joshua Tree. Also, Joshua Trees sometimes look likevelociraptors, which is awesome.

3. Use the skills I gained from George "Pinky" Nelson in Astronomy at Death Valley, one of the places with the darkest night skies in the US.

4. Visit another park in California. Which one? Maybe King's Canyon or Sequoia. They're close. Or Lassen Volcanic NP. It has volcanoes and one of my favorite dogs is named Lassen.

5. Either Rainier or Olympic. Though I have drank my fair share of Rainier Beer and a decent amount of Olympia, I have been to neither of these hometown national parks.

6. Finally, visit one in a state I've never been to. Great Smoky Mountians? Acadia? Grand Canyon? Who knows.

Anyway, I wouldn't call these goals a New Year's Resolution, per se. I'm still working on that. I'm convinced that it's totally reasonable to come up with a New Year's resolution pretty much any time up until about mid-March.

*I actually haven't fully made my list of 101 life goals. I think I have like 42, but 101 is a catchier title.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 20111111111!

Happy New Year everyone! This is how my 2011 started, snow:

Oh, hey! It's my new car under all that snow. Sidenote: yes, that is a Camaro parked next to me, and yes, she does live here and drive it in all the snow. Today, she got stuck in our driveway and had to get pulled out by a weird man in a truck wearing a non-ironic trucker hat. Not a tow truck, just some kindly gent in coveralls and Chevy from the 70's. Not that all men in coveralls who drive trucks from the 70's are creepy. My dad has a truck from the 70's and has been known to sport some (extremely warm) Carhartt coveralls.

Oh hey there giant ice wands.

Oh hey there Lakeview Ave! Way to not get plowed today.

My New Year's 2011 is significantly snowier than New Year's 2010, what with not being in Santa Barbara this year.

I am not a huge fan of the big New Year's Eve celebration. I think they are always over hyped
and anti-climactic. New Year's Eve usually ranges from meh to horrible, and this episode of How I Met Your Mother nearly perfectly encompasses and expresses how I feel about New Year's Eve. It's not quite perfect because, if Jason Segel (my imaginary husband) were anywhere in my vicinity, it would be a perfect moment. No matter what was happening. Even if puppies were exploding, and I was forced to eat canned green beans.

This year, I was awake, but only because I was engrossed in an episode of Nip/Tuck. ( I know, I know, Nip/Tuck is terrible, but I'm watching old episodes on Netflix, and I'm only halfway through season 2, and it is common internet knowledge that it didn't get bad until season 4.) Last year, I slept through the ringing in the new year. The year before that, I was snowed in at my parents house watching HIMYM on dvd. But not the New Year's episode. That would have been ironic. Maybe. I don't know. I'm confused on the true definition of irony because I listened to too much Alanis growing up. (Just kidding. I absolutely know the true definition of irony and that would not have been ironic. Ironic would have been if I had been watching it in a limo and uncomfortable shoes and a tight dress while all I wanted was to be on the couch in yoga pants eating a block of cheese.)

Anyway, the point of all this, is to wish everyone a happy 2011.