Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Workout fashion tip

Fashion and fitness in one post:

A few weeks ago in bellydance class I spotted a woman wearing a great top, which turned out to be a sports bra. I bought one, and love it. It not only feels great, it looks great.

So when I saw the same bra — Moving Comfort's Fiona bra — getting raves on the blog I had to mention it. It's for C, D, and DD cups, and it comes in black as well as white. In the black, it looks more like a crop top than a bra!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Survival in the blogosphere

I just checked the links on the the blogroll (at right) and was horrified to see how many quite substantive blogs have gone dark. One was a health blog that tried to make money selling ads; one was a personal blog that a young woman worked on as she lost weight, got fit, got married, and became a regional fashion authority on plus-size clothing and crafts. Two food blogs vanished, and so did the Pike/Pine fashion site.

I miss you all! I think I'm feeling "survivor guilt."

Dreaming of a Goth Christmas?

Will someone on your Christmas list be hanging up an artfully torn black lace stocking this year? If so, you'll need something more than licorice whips to fill it.

You'll want to check out the "Haunted Holidays" sale at Mourning Market, "Seattle's premier dark-themed market" Sunday, Dec. 13, noon to 6 p.m., at Club Motor, 1950 1st Avenue in Seattle.

Vendors include Gargoyles Statuary, Diamond Tattoo, Studs & Spikes, Seattle Sinner, Poodies Pet Palace, and Good Times Printing. The event is described as "all ages" so the only thing in danger of coming away bruised is your wallet.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Taking the "ugh" out of your UGGs

UGGs are those squat suede shearling-lined boots from Australia that people wear apres-ski (and Hollywood starlets wear with mini-skirts in July).

They last fairly well, except that the latex-backed shearling insoles can get pretty grungy and, if washed, never have the same spring and support. This year I spiffed up my four-year-old UGGs with new official UGG insoles. Fabulous! I even got an extra pair of the insoles for the faux-UGGs I picked up for $14 at Costco last year. With the structured insoles, they immediately felt like real UGGs.

Next restoration task: Get plain shearling replacement insoles for my Merrell slippers. With Merrell, the structure is in the shoe itself, and any flat shearling insole will work.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


You'll find all the Thanksgiving information here. Happy Turkey Day!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Advanced style (do it yourself)

I've been looking for a retailer that carries mid-price, fairly aggressive fashion for women over 50.

Instead, I find a lot of dorky tailored and embroidered denim, relentlessly cheerful prints and patterns in ugly barn red (like this ghastly acryllic sweater from Clearwater Creek), and shiny, flimsy stretchy knits (Chico's Travelers line). Most of it matches and coordinates, making it the kiss of death now that everyone under 40 is wearing "nothing matches" outfits.

My solution is to buy plain, natural fiber stuff from Eddie Bauer and Gap (they offer petite sizes and a variety of pant lengths) and mix it in with designer and vintage pieces I pick up at consignment shops and Seattle-area artisan seamstresses. I also look at Sundance catalog for ideas, though their clothes are not designed for short women.

I used to buy a lot from J. Jill. They're known for incorporating up-to-the minute details (gathers, trims, buttons, raw seams, etc.) into classic styles, and they keep the pieces professional (no plunging V-necks, sheer fabrics, etc.). J. Jill is also known for using 50+ models with gray hair — a few years back, their iconic lead model was Cindy Joseph, profiled here in the new Experience Life magazine. Unfortunately for me, for the past few seasons J. Jill has been making much of their clothing in cream, beige, and pastels — a palette that just doesn't work for my hair color and skin tone.

If you think the stores are slim pickings in terms of trendy "grown up" fashion, the websites for fashion for women over 40 or 50 are ghastly. Google the terms "fashion" and "older women" and you'll find appallingly designed websites with pink backgrounds filled with patronizing "articles" that counsel you to dress in classic, dark colors, and cover up everything that might offend younger people (that would be your arms, legs, neck, feet, torso and "lank, thinning" hair). Think "burka."

So I was thrilled to find Ari Seth Cohen's blog Advanced Style. It's filled with photos of women and men from their 50s into their 90s wearing high fashion. Some of the women are sporting very colorful, eclectic vintage clothes; others are wearing more of the European natural-fiber look that I admire. You'll see colorful knits, fabulous boots, sharp vests, and all sort of inspiring fashion items.

I'm going to be 55 next month. I hope I look as good as this or this at 60! (And check out this inspiring fashionista in the leather skirt. She's is 82!)

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I can't let a month go by without a blog post (well, I nearly did).

I just shed a couple of low-return business projects in the hopes of being able to cope with growing workloads from two high-return clients. A third high-return client promptly appeared — with a project that will require me to appear on site twice a week. The "site" is a traditional government office building in Olympia.

This led me to check my wardrobe. I've been wearing jeans and cords for the past three years, and this isn't a jeans-type job.

Fortunately, I found four skirts, three pair of pants, and tons of tops, sweaters, and jackets that look sufficiently professional and aren't too terribly out of date. Interestingly, they're all either black, green, brown, grey, or red. (No wonder I like fall, and hate dressing for spring.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I never liked diets

And here's one I really can't handle: The Great American Apparel Diet.

The women who put together this blog have vowed not to buy any new clothes (excluding things like underwear) for a year. I'll be curious to see how this turns out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Walk with me

This article in Shine quotes a Rutgers researcher who explains why couples who exercise together are also more connected. (The comments readers have on the article shed light on why couples who don't exercise together might get disconnected!)

I go to belly dancing and power yoga classes on my own, but once a week the Scholarly Gentleman and I take an Iyengar yoga class together.

How much does this help our relationship? Not sure. But I have noticed that it helps us come home from class and prepare and enjoy a much healthier dinner than we would usually eat. Last night I stir fried garlic, a hot pepper, ginger, carrots, zucchini, cabbage, and tofu with a mushroom broth sauce. This is a Szechuan recipe I learned from a New Haven restaurant and martial arts center many years ago. We put the stir-fry on brown rice, and it was delicious.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The holidays are coming: Cookies!

Was it really three years ago that I wrote about cookie decorating for Joe Kissell's Geeky Gourmet site? Since then, I've discovered I don't really like cookies that much. But I was glad that I finally cracked the mystery of how to get them perfectly decorated.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Flow yoga

Susan Powter stopped teaching her Fremont yoga class last month, so I've been back to belly dancing at Visionary Dance studios, taking the Power Belly class (belly dancing with a special weight belt) on Thursday evenings. I'm also doing Iyengar yoga at Taj Yoga at the Crown Hill Community Center on Mondays.

But I really miss the Ashtanga and Vinyasa styles of yoga that Susan was doing with us because they provide a tougher workout.

If you've read this blog much, you know that one of the biggest barriers to exercise for me is getting comfortable in a new class environment. A new studio. Strange classmates. A new teacher, with new terminology.

But somehow I got myself over to the Power Flow Yoga class at 11:30 a.m. at Ballard Health Club. Outstanding! The instructor, Carl, teaches the Baron Baptiste type of power vinyasa flow yoga; I'd read Baptiste's book, but had never done one of the classes. I found it to be completely do-able, and I hope to become a regular on Sundays. I encountered a couple of new poses, including The Fish.

And I liked the studio at the Ballard Health Club. It's underground, has a great sound system, and they dim the lights, and it's very easy to forget the rest of the world and focus on the, the practice. Susan used to have us work out to rock and hip hop, which I loved. Carl uses Nick Drake-style indie pop tunes, and that was a pleasant surprise.

Ballard Health Club offers several yoga classes including Power Yoga Wednesday evenings, Saturday mornings, and Sunday afternoons and Carl's Power Flow Yoga on Sundays (late morning). The club also has a variety of payment options, including memberships, drop-in, etc., this some of the most affordable yoga in town.


I have a love/hate relationship with the grapevine. It came with the house, and every other year, it has lots of grapes. They're Candice (also Canadice and Candace) grapes — a red grape that makes a wildly colored pink grape juice.

The vines get pruned every January or February. This year I was sure I'd pruned too harshly — all the way back to old wood — but there are certainly plenty of grapes now. Go figure.

The vine is trained to a high arbor, so harvesting the grapes involves climbing a fairly large ladder and plunging my head and arms into a jungle of grape leaves. Once a cluster of grapes is clipped, it then needs to be lowered through the tangle of vines, grapes, leaves, and arbor structure to a basket. This results in a hail of grapes, with about 3/4 actually making it into the basket.

One year I was snipping away at the grapes when I realized a pair of eyes were staring at me from the grape leaves — one of the cats had clambered up into the arbor to "help" me.

I harvested about half of the grape crop this past weekend, and have been giving grapes to the neighbors.

Candice grapes are supposedly a fairly unusual variety, but I saw some Candice vines for sale in the garden shop at the Ballard Market last week. This is your chance to embark on a love/hate relationship with a grapevine. Don't miss out.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Suddenly, it's all about sandwiches

It must be the economy, but suddenly it seems like every time I go out to eat, it's sandwiches. A meal for well under $10:

Royal Grinders in downtown Fremont (next to the statue of Lenin). Their grinders are like a New Haven toasted grinder (especially if you ask them to leave off their rich sauce and just sprinkle on olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano). $7.29 for a grinder and a soda — and these are big sandwiches.

Rizzo's French Dip on 15th NW in Ballard. As you'll see when you read the Yelp reviews, this place is something out of a short story. All they serve is lots of beef on a baguette, dipped in beef bouillon. $6 gets you a plain sandwich; there's also an option to add cheese.

RoRo Barbecue on Stone Way. Beef brisket and pork, most of it on sandwich rolls. Several types of sauces, including North Carolina vinegar style. A choice of about a dozen sides, including fresh succotash (with edamame instead of limas); a (non-creamy) cole slaw; corn muffin; and baked beans. Friendly, sassy service. About $8-$9 for a sandwich with two sides.

The Monkey Bridge on Market St. in Ballard. I have been disappointed with their main dishes, but you can't miss with their rich, juicy take on the traditional Vietnamese sandwich. Choice of chicken, beef, pork, ham and egg, or tofu on a baguette with mayonnaise, onion, cucumber, cilantro, pickled carrot, and daikon. About $5.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A healthy dose of reality

The Independent has the best commentary I've seen yet on the healthcare debate. Excerpts:

The political climate around healthcare:
It has best been summarised by the comedian Bill Maher: "The Democrats have moved to the right, and the Republicans have moved to a mental hospital."

Right-wing cluelessness:
Last week, one of the Republicans sent to disrupt a healthcare town hall started a fight and was injured – and then complained he had no health insurance. I didn't laugh; I wanted to weep.

Liberal conciliation:
As Arianna Huffington put it, "It is as though, at the height of the civil rights movement, you thought you had to bring together Martin Luther King and George Wallace and make them agree. It's not how change happens."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

And it still won't chop parsley

When I lived in Italy in the early 1980s I had a little electric Moulinex trita prezzemolo (parsley chopper). It gave out in the 1990s, and I replaced it with a Black & Decker food chopper. The Black & Decker died recently (on a batch of pine nuts), and I've been dithering about whether to get the current Black & Decker or try the mini Cuisinart or a small Kitchenaid.

After spending a half hour this afternoon making pesto with a mortar and pestle, I decided it was indeed time to get another electric chopper!

Cook's Illustrated recommends the Kitchenaid or Cuisinart, as do the rankings on However, the reviews on Amazon made me uneasy.

Cook's Illustrated rated the choppers primarily on their ability to chop herbs, nuts and cheese. But Cook's Illustrated didn't take into account a factor that kept turning up in the Amazon reviews.

While both the Kitchenaid and Cuisinart mini-choppers had plenty of top (4 or 5) ratings, they both had a significant number of "1" ratings as well. People either loved them or hated them. But reading the negative reviews, I discovered that the disgruntled purchasers had no disagreement with the choppers' ability to chop food. What they were complaining about instead was durability — or lack of it. Apparently a significant percentage of both machines break shortly after purchase. Reviewers described at length both mechanical and electronic failures.

A few of the Cuisinart nay-sayers mentioned that they'd purchased the Kitchenaid instead, so I ordered the Kitchenaid KFC3100OB. It was cheaper than flying back to Italy — though I do plan to get a trita prezzemolo next time I'm there. Because, as Cook's Illustrated noted, neither the Kitchenaid or the Cuisinart do a very good job chopping parsley.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Setting sail

We tried the much bally-hooed Portage Bay Cafe (the new Ballard location) for breakfast this morning and I came away...puzzled.

Here's my Yelp review.

Bottom line: The place, the food, and the service were boring and bland. I much prefer the character of the 14 Carrot Cafe, Dish, Vera's (or, on the weekend, Hattie's Hat or the Lockspot).

But I'm told that the lines for Portage Bay are out the door on weekends, so Ballard obviously needed more breakfast spots.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is exercise the cure?

We've all heard about the how exercising keeps you healthy. But now Jorg Bleck's written a book about research on the ways that exercise helps people recover from illness.

Healing through Exercise: Scientifically-Proven Ways to Prevent and Overcome Illness and Lengthen Your Life (whew!) is reviewed extensively by Jesse Kornbluth on the Head Butler site. Jesse says the message is a kinder, gentler version of the "get off your but and get moving" theme we heard in Younger Next Year.

I'm intrigued, because I'm sold on exercise but have been discouraged because I don't like to do my usual yoga routine if I have a bad cold or a migraine. Apparently Bleck's philosophy is more to the effect of "don't worry about pumping iron. Just go take a walk."

Which, by the way, I think I'll go do.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Sanity meets dieting at The Diet Blog

While I don't like the concept of "dieting" I have to say that one of the best blogs about people, eating, and food is The Diet Blog. It's written not by industry types touting a particular diet but by writers with real interest in researching and explaining issues around eating, exercise, and weight — sometimes, but not always, in terms of their own experiences.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Smile when you eat that

And take a picture.

The blog This Is Why You're Fat is a collection of photos (cheesy, oily, sugary — you get the idea) of the kind of food that explains the research results I blogged about last week.

Fat (on people) is a touchy subject. Somehow the fat is much funnier in its original, non-ingested state. I love this picture of french fry shaped donuts with raspberry jelly and Bavarian cream dipping sauces. If the dip had been cinnamon sugar I'd have been forced to take the temptation more seriously!

The This Is Why You're Fat people just got a book deal and are inviting photo submissions. I think it would be hard to top the deep-fried guacamole.

I have an evil fantasy of asking Susan Powter to review the book!

(Thanks to Eric Pratum for Tweeting about this site.)

Friday, May 15, 2009

Food for thought, preferably at home

An Australian study presented at the 2009 European Congress on Obesity was about neither Australia nor Europe. It was about America, and it said that Americans are fat because they eat too much.

Analysis of data on American food consumption from 1970 to 2002, correlated with increases in weight, found that the new obesity epidemic among American children was pretty much entirely explained by increased calorie intake, with decreased physical activity level playing a less significant role than previously thought.

The role of over-eating among American adults accounted for most of the increase in adult obesity; a lower level physical activity (documented in many earlier studies) was a secondary factor.

A spokesman for the American College of Cardiology, reacting to the Australian study, put a lot of the blame on eating out, saying that people eat significantly more — as much as 500 calories more — when eating out than when eating at home.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's not easy being green

Relax. I'm not about to add my voice to the "we just discovered the environment and act like we invented it" bandwagon.

When I talk about green, I'm talking, like Kermit, about skin color.

My story starts with a fence.

I was on the fence. It was close to midnight. The fence was on the ground. So was I. It had fallen over. And, not seeing it in there the dark when I went out to chase down my recalcitrant cat, I fell over it.

I don't remember tripping. I was running across my patio and the next thing I knew I was flat on the ground — well, on the fence — sobbing for help.

No one heard me.

Somehow, I got into the house, grabbed a towel in the bathroom, filled the towel with ice cubes, put the towel over my face, and used my other hand to punch numbers on my iPhone (it was flat on the coffee table) to call Tom. When he answered, I was able to say that it wasn't life threatening, but I'd fallen and it was messy. Fortunately, Tom is used to emergencies (he does safety for large community events) and he said "I'll be right there."

I lay face down on the kitchen floor, face in the ice, and waited.

By the time Tom arrived, my teeth were chattering from all the adrenaline. He looked at my face, said I'd be all right, and talked me into looking at myself in the mirror. What I saw wasn't reassuring, and I opted to go to the emergency room.

The folks at the ER took me in immediately and by the time they sent me off for a CAT scan, I'd relaxed enough to be as puzzled as everyone else was about how I'd managed to smash my nose without injuring any other part of my body. There was a tiny scrape on one hand, but it wasn't even bleeding. The conclusion was that my body had decided it was doing yoga and had somehow caught itself and lowered itself to the ground. My nose, unfortunately, hit a piece of the fence. And the bone at the tip was broken.

They sent me home with prescriptions for pain killers, which I didn't fill. I took a bath, iced my nose, swalled my usual Ibuprofen, and went to bed. When I got up in the morning I felt fine.

Until I looked in the mirror. That was pretty horrible; I'll spare you the description.

I had been very much looking forward to going to a formal event Thursday evening, and it seemed unlikely I'd be able to attend. But on Wednesday — by which time I resembled a dark purple racoon — Tom suggested that I alter one of my Steampunk hats so that there would be a double veil in the front. I took a heavy veil from one hat, doubled it over, and pinned it on to a more subtle hat.

Thus began the adventure of the mysterious veiled woman.

The event we were attending was the opening of the Seattle Erotic Art Festival. The invitation had suggested formal wear and costuming, so I was sure I'd blend right in. But it turned out that most of the other outfits were all about definition or exposure. My veil (worn with a plain black evening top, black chiffon pants, and very high heels) was just the opposite. And turned out to be a real attention-getter; people literally stopped and stared. Particularly when the women hand-feeding guests chocolate-dipped jalapeno peppers had to lift the veil to feed me.

I won't be able to employ the veil this coming Wednesday, when I am supposed to be filmed for a video on small businesses owners. So it was off to a local salon yesterday to find out what they could do for me in terms of makeup. The makeup artists raised their eyebrows — by this time, the purple smudges looked like football player's anti-glare makeup — and dove for the concealer. What they came up with was great and allowed me to walk down the street without getting alarmed looks, or having to explain to people that I'd been in an accident.

This morning the purple smudges were smaller, but now the skin around my eyes is turning pond-scum green! (Yes, everyone has given me arnica, and maybe that's working.)

I continue to be grateful for the luck and the yoga that prevented damage to things like kneecaps, wrists, and cheekbones. The offending fence has been safely sidelined, and the cat seems suitably sorry.

The experience of feeling fine and "just like myself" while looking both hideous and misfortunate — and seeing those readings in other people's eyes — is certainly food for thought. I'd been working on some mystery fiction with a female protagonist, a detective, who suffered facial disfiguration and has to overcome a fear of going out in public in order to take on an investigation for a dying friend. I think I can bring a great deal more to that story now.

And I may do some writing about — and experimenting with — being veiled.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Joolwe is a girl's best friend

Joolwe is actually a website,, with a very clever marketing strategy. And some attractive silver earrings. Like the Athena Citrine earrings shown here.

Joolwe recently interviewed a number of bloggers about their approach to buying and wearing jewelry. I was one of the folks they talked with; you'll find the interview here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Food, Fitness, Fashion — and Firearms?

Some of you know I've been having a wonderful time playing around with Steampunk fashion and am looking forward to attending Steamcon in Seattle this fall.

I found myself fascinated by this accessory from Muddy Mountain Pottery — a Raku pottery ray gun with a glass element and clockwork innards.

"Menacing, with delicate precision," is what the artists call it. It's intended for display, but wouldn't it be great with a Firefly-esque Desert Nomad Steampunk costume?

The artists think they got the name Heinlein Hand Howitzer from Denvention Fan Guest of Honor Tom Whitmore, who visited their booth at the WorldCon.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Making exercise less of a pain

Kinesiology professor Robert Motl, a former competitive bicyclist, is studying the effect of caffeine on people doing vigorous physical exercise.

His results indicate that "caffeine reduces pain reliably, consistently during cycling, across different intensities, across different people, different characteristics."

Does this reduction in pain result in improved performance? I, personally, don't care. Reduction in pain, for me, would increase my enjoyment of exercise and my willingness to do it for 90-minute periods three times a week. I'm going to grab a shot of espresso before my Trailer Park Yoga class tonight and will report the results. Something tells me I'll be wide awake!

(Yes, the Trailer Park Yoga classes with Susan are starting up again, and will be available for the next few months on a drop-in basis. The location is in Fremont. Please contact me for details if you'd like to attend, or check out one class as a guest.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Yet more on Seattle teahouses

Pacific Northwest Seasons has a review of the tea house on NW 85th St., Zendog Studio. It's a "photography studio-art gallery-frame shop-teahouse" that does tea ceremonies.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Seattle Tea Houses

Tea Time Chatter reviews a new tea house at Crossroads Mall in Bellevue. Has anyone tried the tea house in Crown Hill on NW 85th St.?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Spicy (not sweet) chai

The super-sweet chai (made from a syrup mix) served at most coffee houses is a real disappointment for me -- so much sugar and cream that it's more like warm ice cream than a refreshing drink. On the other hand, most spiced chais sold in tea bag form are boring.

Of course, there's a complex, spicy chai made right here in Ballard: Morning Glory chai. If you have the time to deal with the complicated and time-consuming brewing, you'll find it's delicious. But I don't always have time to boil a bag of spices for several minutes, strain that mixture, and then add the loose-leaf tea to brew.

Last week, at an Asian grocery in Naples, Florida, I came across a peppery, complex chai in easy-to-use tea bag form. Even with plain white sugar and skim milk it was fabulous. It's Mighty Leaf's "Bombay Chai Black Tea," Indian black tea leaves blended with pepper, orange, cinnamon, caradmom, and clove.

The Mighty Leaf chai was so good that my mother asked me to leave the box with her in Florida. Fortunately, I'm pretty sure I've spotted Mighty Leaf boxes at some of the grocery stores in Seattle (QFC? The Ballard Market?).

Friday, January 16, 2009

The persistence of oatmeal

When I was a child, breakfast was pretty predictable: On weekdays, Cheerios or cornflakes with fruit ands skim milk (summer) and oatmeal, cream of wheat, or grits with butter (winter). Saturdays it was eggs, bacon, and toast. Sundays it was blueberry pancakes with maple syrup (at my father's request).

When I went off to college, of course, this all changed. Dining hall scrambled eggs were so tasteless that often leftover Chinese food was the better choice. When I lived in New York and then in Italy, breakfast was usually a croissant or brioche. There was a long phase of bagels with cream cheese when I worked at newspapers. When I moved to Seattle, cinnamon rolls were the big thing. Along the way I encountered people who ate donuts and sugary cereals (ugh) for breakfast. And spent one year in a household where we often had firm tofu, topped with shaved bonito and soy sauce.

Now I notice that I have defaulted to the breakfast routine of my childhood, with cold cereal/hot cereal most days, and eggs or maybe even pancakes if I go out to breakfast with friends on the weekends.

I wonder if, when they teach us what to eat for breakfast, our parents realize that decades years later, we'll find ourselves reverting to that menu. No matter what weird stuff we've eaten for 20 or 30 years in between.

Of course, by that time many of our parents will be long gone and never know that their teachings eventually took hold. My mother, however, is still around and able to see (and comment on) what I eat for breakfast when I go to visit her.

She's 90; I wonder if oatmeal is the reason why?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Avant garde Jazz — the apple

At the renowned Berkeley Bowl whole foods grocery store last week I encountered the Jazz apple. A cross between the Gale and the Braeburn that has out-scored both in tastings, it's a rich, crispy apple bursting with flavor. It was grown Washington state, but I had to go to California to find it. Go figure.

According got the website, (yes, this is an apple with it's own website) it's available in Washington state November through April and New Zealand (where it was developed) June through August.

In good health

It's been my custom for the past several years to write on the holiday cards I send out "Best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year." Why the addition of "healthy" to the usual holiday greeting? Not sure. Perhaps it's because I had a mysterious, debilitating illness that trashed my life for five years in my 30s. (It turned out to be interstitial cystitis, and treatable, once diagnosed.) Or perhaps because on the East Coast I sometimes bought coats from Jewish manufacturers with labels that said "Wear in good health."

Anyway, I don't make New Year's resolutions, but I do write down a few priorities. This year, the whiteboard outside my office says:

1. Eat healthy food.
2. Exercise three times a week.
3. Earn $$$.
4. Do creative things.
5. Have fun with people.

They're in that order for a reason. It's hard for me to work long hours, sustain creative projects, or truly enjoy myself, if I'm not healthy. I know people who manage it, but I'm not one of them.

And, yes, I know that simply eating healthy food and exercising won't guarantee good health; it'll just tip the odds in my favor. Genetics, and fate, are also important factors.

Those if you who know me can guess why I'm thinking and writing about health this week, can't you?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The no-potato baked potato

I discovered that if you steam cauliflower (with some sliced leeks, if you like) you can then treat it like a baked potato, sprinkling it with grated cheddar, chopped scallions, and bacon bits. Yum!

Friday, January 9, 2009

"Serious Eats" is serious fun

While researching duck-fat fries, I came across the website Serious Eats. They have, among other things, recipes for Girl Scout Cookies.