Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mothers, cupcakes, yoga booty Part 3

Went to lunch with a Nick and a friend today after the chiropractor. It was beautiful outside, 74 degrees and beautiful whispy clouds across the blue sky. Someday, I'll find or replace my camera cable and be able to show you! It was beautiful yesterday, too, when Nick took me for an impromptu date to the Redondo Boardwalk. We looked at all the houses and discussed their charms and eccentricities. I was so inspired by the summery weather that I really wanted vegetables. I ordered a vegetable thai curry and an awesome salad, full of lots of delightful raw veggies. I ate too many (which is not very many anymore) and my stomach paid me back for it. Lame. I used to love fiber. My chiropractor had a fit that I hadn't received my CT results yet, and he offered to call Monday and try to get them hurried up. I hope it helps, I really want to know what's wrong so that I know what I can do to to feel better: summer Boca burgers are calling my name...

After a conversation with my sister about how much better her boyfriend has been feeling since he started working out, I really got focused on getting Nick back in shape. I love yoga for lots of reasons, but from a practical perspective, it requires very little equipment and is accessable for all levels of fitness. It's also free if you do it at home, which is especially enticing. I've brought this up with Nick before, but we've also had some conversations about the numerous positive "physical" effects of excercise. I guess I must have been convincing: after a year+ of not using his gym membership, Nick popped in one of my instructional DVDs last night and tried it, while I stood by and helped him with his postures. We're actually going to the store in a little while to get him a strap and a block, 2 tools I never use which would be helpful given his current range of motion. We'll also pick up his very own mat. I'm super excited by the prospect of a yoga partner!

Speaking of yoga, the more I do the more I notice that I LOVE my butt more every day. I've done lots of toning-type workouts before, but something about yoga gives women a perfect, feminine derrier. Now, if I could just figure out how to have dainty ankles, I'd be all set.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mothers, cupcakes, yoga booty Part 2

I had to have a contrast CT on my abdomen today. On the bright side, it's not often I feel relieved that I haven't been able to keep food down lately: today I was very grateful, though I will spare the gorey details. I'll be glad to hear the results, so I can figure out what the hell is wrong with me, physically. And once it gets fixed, I am going to go to Red Robin, get a Royal Burger, Boca patty, bacon on the side, and I am going to tear the shit out of that fucker like I haven't eaten in months! Because, well, I really haven't.

I am not super into sweets, but I hold a special place in my heart for cuppys. In my mind, they are perfect, succinct, and usually quite beautiful. Even sad grocery store cuppys are tenderer, moister and more delicious than the gooped up sheet cakes you would find in the same bakery. Sometimes they even have a cool little ring or toy tucked into the icing for decoration! Score!

For Mother's Day, I had most genius idea for dessert: vanilla cupcakes with lavender buttercream. OMG, SQUEEEEEE!

To my palate, lavender = vanilla, only better. It has a subtle richness, as opposed to the sometimes cloying flavor of (fake or heavy-handed) vanilla. They are equally delicate in their profiles, allowing you to discern the quality of your dish, not just the wallop of artificial flavor. In deference to the previous sentence, lavender is also one of those flavors you don't often see synthesized: vanilla, in spite of its ready availability and natural potency, is very often artificial. The smell of the fake stuff makes me ill, both with headache and indignation. Why would a just God allow such an abomination in his Earthly paradise? Is this some kind of sick joke, or punishment for original sin? I could meditate on this premise for days.

I would love to say that my cuppys were an out-and-out triumph, but that was not the case. The cake itself didn't hold together and was a bit dry. It wasn't a low calorie or fat free recipe, and was well reviewed. The frosting was fairly soft and unheapable, which I have heard is common in yolk based French buttercream (the most authentic looking recipe I could find). I didn't mind, since I prefer quality to quantity in the Great Frosting Debate*, and usually wind up scraping most or all of the frosting off of my cupcakes. Bad frosting is not worth eating, and I intend to savor every calorie that goes into my mouth, particularly the sinful ones. I imagine it's sort of like cheating on your spouse, only with your health: it has to be worth the eventual heartache, or it's not worth doing. Some might even say it's never worth doing, and to them I would say: clearly baked goods do not figure into your version of heaven. Boo.

The combination of flavors was AWESOME, as I had suspected. Actually, both the cake and frosting, in spite of their flaws, were quite delicious, Even my mother-in-law had nice things to say about them, which always pleases and surprises me. I opted not to tell anyone what was actually IN the frosting, other than the lavender tisane, since it would only serve to make them unhappy. On the bright side, it was all-natural, something that cannot be said about conventional frosting. And really, there couldn't have been more than a tablespoon of frosting on even the most heavy handed cupcake.

I do, however, have a metric fuck-ton of frosting left over, so I guess I better get my pretty ass into the kitchen and get baking!

*Actually, that sounds like an awesome debate that should totally be had. I want to watch!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mothers, cupcakes, yoga booty Part 1

This last weekend was CRAZY. Friday, my sister and I took in a showing of Frost Nixon at the Paramount. Saturday, Nick and I went to Seattle's Hop Scotch festival with a good friend, and Sunday we spent ferrying between the mom's houses. In between all of this, I managed to prep a dinner for my family's Mother's Day celebration, take Nick to buy a fuscia for his mother (since neither of those boys is capable of agreeing on a damned thing, might I add), shop for pots and plants for the little container garden I'm planning, and make vanilla cupcakes with (I'm told) real French buttercream. Yowza. It's the closest I've come to feeling like super-woman in a long, LOOOOOOONG time.

I may be really off-base here, but my mother-in-law freaks me the fuck out. I could spend hours on all the reasons, but at the moment the primary issue is that she's been so nice to me lately. To me! She's always made it really clear that she didn't care for me, that she did not particularly want her son to marry me, that she was really not pleased to welcome me as a member of her "family." Our relationship has always been strained, at best, open warfare at worst.

A few months ago, she just dropped all of it, and started treating me as if I were actually her daughter-in-law and not just the filthy half-breed her son dragged in. This was very sudden, mind you, and I'm still reeling. Nick and I had a huge fight about this the other day: I don't trust it, because people don't just change overnight. I need to know why. Nick insists that I should just accept her like this, althought she has no history of behaving this way towards anyone, as far as I can tell. Not even her own sons. Nick has somehow reasoned out that she is so frustrated with his older brother, that she has decided to be nice to me. Makes no sense, but I honestly don't even want to discuss it with him any longer.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Unmotivated Day

The dog won't behave, my back hurts, my allergies are acting up, and I have a stomach ache.


There are a million things I should be doing, none of which sound remotely interesting. Even the thought of going back to bed bores me to tears. I have done some laundry and run the dishwasher. It took an hour to convince myself that I should make some lunch, because nothing I can keep down sounds good at all.

Really, I don't have much to complain about: my lovely husband has a good job, with good insurance, which allows me not to work until I feel ready. He earns enough to pay the bills and have a little extra for fun, and he is also able to be home with me a good deal of the time. We eat well: healthy, organic and as local as I can find. My family is pretty supportive, my friends generally understanding. As I said, I have nothing to complain about.

However, I can't shake the feeling that no one really knows how I feel, or even wants to. I hurt, all the time. Simple, everyday tasks are exhausting. I can't remember what it's like to not really need a nap by lunch time. I may elaborate at some later date, but that is not an exaggeration. Taking a bath hurts for hours after, and I dread it. People placate me, but how many healthy people really have any concept of what I go through just to get out of bed in the morning?

Today is one of the bad days. I can feel things flaring up. There are lots of things I know I should be doing, things that may help: the dreaded baths, some yoga, taking a walk. I've only been up for a few hours, and have only done a few smallish tasks in that time, but I can already hardly keep my eyes open. Sometimes I wonder if I like the really, REALLY bad days more: I am in such bad shape that I don't even think about all the things I should be doing, I sleep constantly, and Nick is just the sweetest, all the time. It's more like a dream, and there is always a light at the end of the tunnel: I know that the really awful pain won't last forever. But days like today, they happen a lot. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight.