Thursday, July 29, 2010

Adventures of a Pescatarian

Let it be established that I love food. If you're new to this blog, understanding that basic fact will provide insight into the majority of my ramblings. And if you've been reading for some time and haven't picked up on professional help.

I have a colleague this summer that recently decided to be a pescatarian. And when he told me this I laughed in his face. Rude? Perhaps. But when food is the focal point of your existence, anything that limits your edible options is equivalent to starvation, dieting, depression, self-destruction, etc. You get the idea. He kindly explained his dietary choice, and I had/have a few problems with it. #1) There is no set spelling for the term. I've now found it in multiple dictionaries, spelled both with an "a" in pescAtarian, and with an "e", pescEtarian. How can anyone respect a trend that has such clear factions within its followers? #2) Did I mention how I feel about food???

So...I decided to try it. Dizzying logic, I know. Some called the radical move "solidarity." For me, it was much more---a full-fledged embrace of an alternative lifestyle: dietary restriction. At a round-table discussion on the subject, (yes I will make our break spot sound that legitimate) a few colleagues, in turn, laughed at me for coining it thus, due to what they deem my alternative lifestlye: religion. Fair enough. Although all this time I'd thought virginity and sobriety were the norm...
Ironies aside, I was a committed pescatarian for a work-week. (Lest anyone, pescatarian and Mormon alike, find themselves offended at this point, best to get it over it. All laughter was in fact good-natured).


Day 1: This is my idea of hell. I want a salad WITH chicken on it, and that's bad for me?!?! I don't think I've ever craved chicken in my life. Until this moment. Absolute hell. Wait...I can still have sugar. Suppose it could be worse---I could be a pescatarian on a diet.

Day 2: Need food. Quick. Subway? Oh, fantastic. Let's order the Veggie DELIGHT?!?! There's a first. Foot long so I can save half for dinner. Ugh. Doomed to hunger for an entire week. What have I become...

Day 3: Enough. Going to a fabulous DC restaurant to eat more fish than could possible be good for me. BONUS: restaurant has an Office quote on the wall. Does it get higher class???

Day 4: I'm rocking this game. Bless short-term commitments. Another foot-long Veggie Delight? Bring it on.

Day 5: Let's wrap up this nonsense with a little grandeur--FRENCH! Mussels and more mussels and SALMON! I love my life. I love food. Even as a PESC(A/E)TARIAN!!!

CONCLUSION: Stephanie finds it in herself to love and respect pescatarianism. It doesn't hurt to eat healthier. And she still loves meat. And the third-person. And sugar. And food.

Monday, July 19, 2010

If you had to pick one word to describe me what would it be? Think carefully. But not too carefully. This isn't a pageant and I will not be offering prizes or scoring your descriptions. Although that sounds like a great idea as I'm typing it...

Overwhelmed with adjectives but think you have an answer?'re wrong. You may have picked a brilliant word, something you felt flawlessly described me. But you don't know me. (Inflect previous statement with appropriate attitude). Actually, you might. And I hope you do if you're reading this. And maybe your word was actually correct. Retract every statement I've made thus far. You know me. Your word was entirely accurate--assuming it was positive---BUT in about 25 more days you'll want to rethink your word choice. Why???

Because I am shredding. Not a term to throw around lightly. And I just dropped it into the public arena of the internet. Bold, I know. But so is my newfound commitment to exercise videos. About a month ago I made several key power purchases. Really, they'd be better termed as investments than purchases, but no need to get into that at the moment. Especially given that my investments are safely sitting in Houston, TX. Apparently I have too many addresses on Amazon to actually keep them straight.

"But Stephanie," you ask, "how is it then that you're shredding?" Eloquently worded and wisely posed. ANSWER: a little illegal activity can get you a long way. DISCLAIMER: I don't actually subscribe to illegal activity and should any government official happen across this post, my behaviors should in no way inhibit my travels to Russia. Sincerely, me.

I'm now on Day 5 of Jillian's 30-day shred. That's right, Day 5. In case the repetition didn't clue you in, this is a big deal. You see, I don't do fitness. Love running, tennis, hiking, yoga---activity in general. But a fitness regiment? Nope. Jillian actually says it best: "Fitness is not very important to me." The End. Ok...maybe she follows it up with: "Being healthy is very important to me and fitness is a means to do that." First, I'm going to make a bold statement and say that fitness is actually very important to her. And there's actually no second. Just wanted to take a moment to call her out on her bluff. POINT: I once served my time dieting, spending hours in the gym, etc. But those were the days when I was walking around stage in a bathing suit. Adequate fitness motivation. Now I prefer my intermittent gym-going, lots of desserts, and the occasional obsession with exercise videos.

The challenge is in the 30-days. A fitness routine. A commitment. The reward? Ridiculous windmill and hip roll stretches every day AND my new one-word description:


And maybe I'm secretly filming an infomercial.

You could be...somewhere

Monday, July 12, 2010

Happy Thoughts from the Weekend


*A Thursday-night, pre-weekend outing to MAMMA MIA! Beautiful summer weather, a picnic on the grass, and my dear Dana. What could make it better? ANSWER: A spontaneous dance party! The middle-aged women next to us couldn't resist ABBA, and the rest of the crowd couldn't resist the middle-aged women. Amazing.

*Chocolate Milk

*Opening night. Exhilarating! I hope I never get over the excitement of an opening. There's something magical about the process and preparation giving way to performance. Hundreds of hours, finances, and forces culminate in a moment of creation. Art in action.

*My friend, the Poet, safeguarding me from my love of sweets and the adult brownies.

*Gary and Elaine. This link led to laughter. And subsequent tears due to said laughter. Good thing I wasn't in rehearsal at the time. Oh wait...

*2 of my favorite country songs---yes the phase continues---in 1 commute to work: Watch the Wind Blow By AND Bless the Broken Road.

*IASIP. Even the acronym makes me laugh. Happily I have a friend who's also just discovering Sunny's hilarity. Shared laughter is best.

*Pretzel M&M's. We ate an entire bag sitting in the cafe of the American History Museum, while deciding where to go to dinner. And while seeing the museum was lovely, I have to say the chatting with friends in the cafe was probably the highlight.

*Fried bacon-wrapped dates. Just try wrapping your mind around that goodness. I now have a favorite tapas restaurant in DC. Perhaps not a wide basis for comparison, but a favorite nonetheless.

*Baby Mama. "Congratulations. I'm going to reward you with five minutes of uninterrupted eye contact." And PAM.

*Dolcezza: Best. Gelato. Ever. Period. For those of you who'll be visiting, it IS on the itinerary. And if you weren't planning on a visit..rethink that decision. Or live in jealousy.

*Witnessing and aiding in the sweetest surprise summer has seen. LMB flew in for the Maestro's second performance of Turco, and while it was thrilling just to see her, watching their reunion at Clyde's was priceless.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Monday, July 5, 2010

A Capitol Fourth

93 degrees and I'm sitting on the steps of the Capitol in full sunlight. Melted Milanos, exceptionally gummy worms, and a Texas flag bag. Should I ration my water or try to drink it all before it boils? Or maybe just dump it over my head... Wishing I hadn't left the pool party and BBQ so readily. POPSICLES! Wonder if my tongue's still colored. The sacrifices I make for once-in-a-lifetime. I better at least lose some of my running tan. Bless these 4th of July fashion statements. I love that anything goes in the spirit of patriotism. YES America!

Concert's underway. Get it Gladys! A little Archuleta action---what's up with the speaking voice? Happy to hear the NSO! Should really try and see them playing a different program while I'm here. The stroller in front of me is filled with at least 15 water bottles. And the family doesn't have a child? Weird. Lang Lang really knows how to work it. Can't even begin to imagine how amazing it would have been to hear Horowitz play this. But since I am, I'm going to imagine I'm in his living room. And he'll probably want to play a few other things for me as well and then secretly transfer his skills to my fingers. Since we're imagining, all dialogue might as well be in Russian, me speaking fluently of course.

And Lang Lang's done. I honestly have no idea who Darius Rucker is. Weirdly enough, I just started into a country music phase this week. But idea. I recognize Reba! Don't know the first song but I like the lyrics. Looking them up when I get home. Did I really eat all those MIlanos already? "If I'm not the one thing you can't stand to lose." Try to remember that for later. The fireworks started! No one even saw it coming! With a God Bless America sing-a-long. Somebody better have appreciated that amazing rendition I just did. This is amazing. Seriously amazing! How does anyone ever get over fireworks? Add that to the list of things that make me revert to my 5-year old self. I think I love going to that place a little too often. The candy addiction should probably stop. A LIVE CANNON! 1812 Overture with the NSO and fireworks is great, but there are actual cannon shots being fired. Bonus! We did cannons in Tosca...with a synthesizer. Real is better. I think I might have found my new instrument. Playing the cannon's would give me a fierce rap! I can't help but laugh. For no reason whatsoever. Strange habit of mine. It's like I can't contain all the wonder and amazement. This is me. This is my life. But that's all in my head. And the occasionally inappropriate laughter isn't. But seriously! How can life ever seem ordinary when there are FIREWORKS?!?

HAPPY 4th of JULY!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Everyone always wants new things. Everybody likes new inventions, new technology. People will never be replaced by machines. In the end, life and business are about human connections. And computers are about trying to murder you in a lake. And to me, the choice is easy. ~Michael Scott

I returned my GPS. Yes, that very power purchase which was discussed at length with both family and friends. As much as it pains me to say it, Serena and I weren't meant to be. My first days in Virginia were riddled with fear, doubt and unfamiliarity. Which direction am I heading? Where's the sun? Will I ever rediscover civilization beyond these trees??? There may have even been a time or two when I ashamedly sat on the roadside, waiting for my BB to conjure up some magical path of directions.

Clearly I was not in the right frame of mind for a GPS purchase. (This might not seem logical to some. No apology.)

I needed Serena. She coaxed me through turns, gently guiding me to bear right, graciously sharing street names, even informing me of problematic traffic. And I hated her for it. With everyone direction she taunted me, laughing inwardly at my dependence, daring me to turn against her will---so she could immediately "re-route" me, lest I forget who was really in charge. Our low point came on a late night drive home. I was enjoying the silence of the morning hours, the lack of traffic, and an invaluable moment of solitude. She couldn't take it. Rather than see me peaceful and calm, happily functioning on my own, she decided to YELL at me, interrupting calm and replacing it with a shocking scare. I mean, who expects to hear a voice in their car when no one's sitting next to them?! Seriously...

I think she could feel something awry in our relations. That's when the freezing began. In her childish way, she decided to start throwing temper tantrums, determined to retain my attention. "Maybe when she types in a search, I'll freeze! That'll show her!" or "What if I stop working as she's driving home from hiking in the middle of nowhere? Take that!" She was probably even using foul language in her inner dialogue.

And I was over it. Over the dependency, over the behavioral problems, over the abuse. She had to go. And she did.

Do I regret our time spent together? No. Well...maybe a little. Like any 2-week stand, this held it's excitement and had moments of glory---effective directions, a quick commute, successful discoveries. But ultimately, it wasn't a balanced partnership. My independence and creativity were being stifled at literally every turn and I found myself losing the ability to think and make decisions on my own. (PLEASE watch that Office clip!)

So here I am, a free woman. A survivor. A free-thinker. An independent.

With my Blackberry.

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