Monday, July 12, 2010

Vegetable Dilemma

Recently, we've decided to make a less half assed effort towards healthy eating/lifestyle. Heck, I'm in my mid 30's, time is running out for me to "be all that I can be." At least physically. Which, being as shallow as I am, is something I really want to work on. For me, this effort entailed making the monetary commitment to eating more vegetables by joining a CSA, Tierra Miguel. For $25/week for 10 weeks, I make a 10 minute trip to the local drop off and pick up my box of biodynamically grown veggies. So far this has meant a ridiculous amount of squash. Literally pounds of squash in each box. In particular, a fancy yuppy squash called costata romanesca which looks and tastes very much like the lowly zucchini. Only supposedly better. So far we've stuffed it, sauteed it, casseroled it, but there's only so much I can do with squash. While trying my best to be a conscientious, educated individual who has read the Omnivore's Dilemma, I suppose the spiritual rewards of eating locally and biodynamically grown seasonal squash should put a shit eating grin on my face while stuffing it with said vegetable. But truthfully, I pray to mother earth that this week's box be devoid of anything resembling a squash. Amen.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Back in the Saddle

A few things happened in my biking life the latter half of last year 1. a stupid wreck resulting in an ugly injury to my knee 2. The Station Fire. The first happened during an otherwise fun trip to Mammoth. Having a great first run down, I got a little too confident and speedy, resulting in a dumb wreck with a really horrific looking knee. The second was the real horror show. I'm only one out of hundreds of bikers who watched their favorite trails go up in smoke in one of the biggest fires in recent LA history. Rest in peace El P. The result of these two events were a winter of very little biking and loss of confidence in my riding.

Well, I am pleased to report that I am back in the saddle. After a bike trip to Tahoe, I rediscovered the fun I have with technical trails, and that it IS worth it to tackle technical obstacles, lest I be stuck in a rut forever. I'm hoping to dedicate at least 3 days week to riding so that by the beginning of August, I'll be ready for my trip to Whistler!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Sharp End

Although I've been climbing for a long time, I never had the desire to be on the sharp end of the rope until the last few years. It took me a long time to become comfortable with the idea and risks involved with leading, but I think what has motivated me the most to make the transition is moving out west and seeing all the beautiful routes and possibilities. I wish that I could say that after making that decision to lead climb, I've been committed to climbing and making time for it. Recently, I've been discouraged because it seems that I've been pulled away by other hobbies, lack of time, work, and other responsibilities. For me, time away from the rock saps my confidence, setting me back not just physically, but actually more so mentally. But having spent the last two days on the rocks in Holcomb Valley, my climbing spirit is again revitalized. I'm getting my nerves under control and onsighting comfortably. It's a strange, but also proud feeling to be the rope gun occasionally :)

Some of my climbing goals have been pushed back, but they are still on my tick list and I know I'll get to them. Here are some of the things I hope to accomplish:
1. East Face of Whitney
2. winter ascent of Whitney
3. summit Rainier
4. summit Grand Tetons - Full Exum Route

And by saying accomplish, I plan on leading at least some of the pitches on each route. Hopefully half?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A new day

I woke up this morning excited that just a few hours later, our country would be blessed with a new President. That finally the last 8 years can begin to fade and we can head in a new direction. I found President Obama's inaugural address to be moving, beautiful, and hopeful. But I was also reminded this morning of how big our problems are.

Leaving work this morning, I saw a family of five - father, mother, and three very young children - walking down our street. The father was going through all of the recycling bins, looking for bottles and cans to redeem. His face was strained and lined. His family was very young - the children looked less than 5 years old, two were being pushed in their stroller and the third holding her mother's hand. Seeing individual people looking through the garbage cans for redeemables is not uncommon. But seeing a man doing so with his children out at 7 AM made me wonder if this family has the luxury of shelter? If they would be able to collect enough bottles for dinner tonight?

Thinking about this family and President Obama's speech, I know that the President's call for each of us to contribute something to the community is one that I'm going to do my best to answer. Hopefully we'll all be able to come up with some ideas of how to better our community - I'm still trying to figure out what I'll do. But perhaps you can help me with some good ideas!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Reminder: Why LA is good

Every now and then, I get a little reminder why LA is a city where so many people flock to. These reminders are good, because they help me to appreciate the great things about living here rather than focusing on negative things like: traffic, silicon, traffic, smog, traffic, people in film industry, you know what I mean.

Last year, one of the moments was walking with dog along the coast in Big Sur in November, watching the tides roll in, listening to the gulls. Or thinking about all the great daytrips I've made to Santa Ynez/Santa Barbara wine country. And some of those moments happen in LA. Like earlier this week, snowshoeing in Angeles National Forest in beautiful morning sun. Then returning home to relax in the 70degree sunny afternoon. And then getting on my mountainbike the next day, and being able to bike all through winter. Yeah, people think I'm crazy to live here, but I think it's a good kind of crazy.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Time really goes by quickly. First it's Thanksgiving and next thing you know it's the middle of December and you've purchased ZERO gifts for your loved ones. The end of last week the boyfriend and I stopped by our favorite neighborhood bike shop. Where one of our buddies asked if we were Christmas shopping - because, you know it's 2 weeks before Christmas. It took some time for that to sink in - which is why I'm still not completely finished with my shopping. But I'm proud to say that I have only two more things on my list to purchase and then I'm DONE!

This year I actually broke my rule of internet shopping only. I made quite a dent by going to UniqueLA over the weekend. It was a crafts fair featuring all handmade goods, many by local people. Unlike other more rustic crafts/street fairs I've been to, this one was very LA in location. The top floor of the California Marketplace which is a very tall building in downtown. There were over 200 vendors selling everything from funky T shirts to tiny insects portraits to hip melamine dinnerware. Lots of fun and unique items in a wide price range. I was especially excited to see a backpacking buddy doing so well in her new business of creating portraits, drawings, as well as felt animal hats and wristbands. Go Kat! Aside from Kat's creations, I was most excited by the Sweet Meats booth. Here, there was an entire butcher's shop of cuts of meat. Except all the meat is realistically rendered stuffed fabric. So instead of getting a stuffed teddy bear give me what I really want, a stuffed T Bone steak. Along the same lines is I Heart Guts. Basically all the major organs as well as glands (pineal gland anyone?) from the human body, rendered in a cute stuffed animal form. My favorite is the testicle, with the epididymus resembling a little Elvis hairdo. Unfortunately it isn't pictured on the site, but trust me, it's cute! The mammary glands, unfortunately, are not so charming in appearance.

Now, just two more items, ship the presents, and I'm done!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Book Repository Cooties

Most my friends know me to be a bibliophile. Lacking the funds and erudition to build a library of leather bound first editions, I'm a bibliophile in the way of a happy hog at a trough. I love consuming books, and more is good. Forget those ancient hand bound tomes with exquisitely illustrated plates - give me my mass produced, pulpy fiction for a quick escape, please. Unfortunately, with ever diminishing bookspace, a desire to be "green," as well as diminishing funds, I've recently decided to attempt to use the public library.

As a child, the public library was where I loved to spend my summers - peacefully quiet, cool AC, racks upon racks of undiscovered stories and people. I'd stumble home with a pile 8 or 10 books every few days. Over the years, I've slowly grown disused to utilizing the library for pleasure. I think college and grad school stained the library with stressful memories of long nights, lots of hard work, very little pleasure. (I probably needed a better, hotter, study partner). Additionally, the thought of reading a publically owned item in my bed (and I admit, worse places) gave me the creeps. How many other people have read this book in who knows where? What if the previous patrons had children in the house who sneezed or slobbered on the books?

I am proud to say, that after going to the library this Monday - I've come to peace with the cooties aspect. The cooties I get from just going to the library, and the cooties from actually bringing home and reading the books. And so far, it's made my habits of reading a book a day much much more affordable.