I love this time of year, because I'm defintely a Listmaker and Goalsetter extraordinaire. I suck at follow-through, but that is February's problem. For now, we're in shiny, shiny January, when everyone gets to rise from the ashes of Family Bonding Time into whatever new persona they can cobble together from the tatters they have left.

Isn't it great, having the burden of the holidays behind us? I always feel so free in January.

I have a long term goal: in 3.5 years, I want to be able to do 200 situps, 200 pushups and run 5 miles a day. Why? I was reading a book about a criminal trapped in a witness protection safehouse recently and this was his daily ritual to keep himself in shape and pass the time and it just struck me as a good idea. To get there, I've spent happy hours devising an excruciatingly slow and lazy routine that will very gently take me down the road to fitness in a manner that I imagine will not even cause me to break a sweat, which is exactly how I like my fitness. See, I'm going to start with 5 situps and pushups per day in January, and I'm going to run 233 steps per day, as well. In February and every month thereafter, I'll add to those numbers just a tiny bit, to keep improving in a slow, painless but steady incline culminating in becoming something akin to a super hero in 2017.

I'll also keep to under 1500 net calories a day. I call the whole plan my 5/5/233/1500 diet. If I succeed, you'll have to look for my book with that catchy title. I'm debating whether to add the 30 day plank challenge into the mix. You know, the one that is so popular on Facebook lately-the one that gets you from a 20 second plank to 5 minutes by the end of the month? So then I would be doing the 5/5/20/233/1500 diet. I fear it all starts to sound silly at that point, though.

It's either going to be a masterpiece of behavioral management, or a colossal waste of graph paper. I look forward to posting my results.
I've been listening to frat boy rock a lot. Ever since that youtube video of the parasailer caught in that slow motion fall down a cliff face, all beautifully set to Awolnation's "Sail".... (Don't worry, he survived.) I've been infected with a heretofore uncovered appreciation of loud, driving, repetitive, somewhat ridiculous, gloriously self destructive frat boy/soldier rock. It's the kind of music the army would probably love to play in its commercials if any band would be stupid enough to sign over the rights. I'm listening to one song now, on the treadmill, " they will not control us, we will be victorious ..", (while, oddly, in the background, the music of Blondie's 'call Me' is sampled... Isn't that the love song of a prostitute? I guess. i'll have to check later)

Anyway, it's the season of rebirth and all these anthems are inspiring me to want to jump off some clifts, pull a butch and sundance and go out in a blaze of glory.
So my great friend [livejournal.com profile] discojesus is leaving Boston soon. I just said goodbye to him last night and so now it'll start to sink in, probably getting heavier and heavier every day. Hopefully, I won't go off the deep end the way I did when [livejournal.com profile] injust left town. I am older and wiser now, right? Right. Plus ca change , plus ca meme chose, and all that. I find it hilarious that dj is heading to Palo Alto, the same place injust went. What the fuck are the chances of that? The universe likes to mess with me, I think. Or maybe I'm so dense, I get the same lessons over and over. All. The. Time. ha.

Anyway, I'm not going to brood. I might write more now, though.  It's nice to see a lot of you still on here. I apologize for being a 'long time gone'.

Useful info

Feb. 9th, 2013 10:34 pm


Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

Boston Magazine, released  Top 50 Restaurants of 2012 list.

I've been to only 3 of these so far, and I'm ok with that, although I am a bit intrigued by any restaurant with a name like Tres Gatos.  This is a great list to have for when relatives come to visit, so thanks for posting it, [livejournal.com profile] clevernonsense

80 THOREAU, Concord
AREA FOUR, Kendall Square
BERGAMOT, Somerville
BLUE GINGER, Wellesley
BONDIR, Kendall Square
CATALYST, Kendall Square
CEIA, Newburyport
CLIO, Back Bay
COPPA, South End
CRAIGIE ON MAIN, Central Square
ERBALUCE, Bay Village
GRILL 23, Back Bay
HARVEST, Harvard Square
HELMAND, East Cambridge
HUNGRY MOTHER, Kendall Square
IL CASALE, Belmont
JOURNEYMAN, Somerville
L’ANDANA, Burlington
LA CAMPANIA, Waltham (really?)
LA MORRA, Brookline Village (SO GOOD)
MENTON, Fort Point
NO. 9 PARK, Beacon Hill
O YA, Chinatown
OISHII, South End
OLEANA, Inman Square
RIALTO, Harvard Square
SALTS, Central Square
SCAMPO, Beacon Hill
STRIP-T’S, Watertown
TEN TABLES J.P., Jamaica Plain
TORO, South End
TRADE, Financial District
TRES GATOS, Jamaica Plain
T.W. FOOD, Huron Village
UNI, Back Bay


Oct. 21st, 2012 04:27 pm
Ever have that feeling, while you're listening to music, where you wish you could turn the radio on? Like one song is not enough, you want some more sonic noise with your sonic noise. My new colleague is trying to get me into death metal. It's unlikely, but who knows who I will be in a year after dealing with this guy in my office, 5 feet away, yammering at me day after day.... Yeesh. Heavy Metal Deb. Yeehaw.

Still, even Heavy Metal New Guy is an improvement on my old colleague. Actually, they're pretty similar, really. They both talk to themselves nonstop and interrupt me a million times right after I put on my headphones. I was hoping for a friendly new colleague before he showed up...maybe I should have been hoping for an antisocial one. Hmpft. An antisocial workaholic would really just hit the spot right now, we're so buried under work at work.   In fact, that's why I'm writing in this journal right now...I'm procrastinating working on our clinical database. At home. On a Sunday. Gee, why wouldn't I want to procrastinate?

Funny how in order to sink in the coding, I always have to let my rebellious brain thrash around for about two hours before it will settle down and cooperate. I'm almost there...I have actually logged on to my work computer now...it's only been 1 hour 15 minutes since I sat down to do this...

I was just looking up wiki articles about old Radiohead songs. You know, as one does. Did you know that they were sued for Creep? It was too similar to a Hollies song, apparently (they lost the lawsuit). They also rarely play it live anymore, sady; they are so sick of it, I guess. The last time they played it was in 2009, according to the probably incorrect authors of its wiki page. 

Man, I used to go around saying that I didn't like Radiohead. I can be such an idiot. That guy's voice is addictive.

-10 years behind the times Deb

We had a cooking club tonight and it was my turn to plan. Everything went wrong: the quiche took a freakin hour and a half to cook, the cake took almost as long at a different temperature, I all of the sudden couldn't face the 'massaged kale salad I had planned out beforehand...,

In the end, though, everything was fine. We ate at 10pm, no one got angry, no scenes, tears or pulling of hair. Brian and I didn't fall into our usual nervous bickering. We were all pretty mellow and it stayed that way all night. My heart wasn't totally in it at the beginning, but it definitely was by the end.

We made: mushroom quiche, a kale stir fry and Romanian apple walnut cake.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


Jul. 25th, 2012 06:50 pm
I bought a shirt recently at Marshall's and every time I wear it I literally get three or four compliments. This Never Happens to me. So it occurred to me today that I should go online, look up the manufacturer and buy a few more in different colors. So I go online, don't find anything like my shirt and then I come across this. Apparently, the people who make this shirt went bankrupt in March.


Bit frustrating, eh?  Still, I much appreciated spending only 20 dollars on it at Marshall's than the 70+ dollars it would have cost at the real store.
There's kind of an alarming thing happening at work lately. Today, my IT colleague and her boss came by to have a meeting with MY boss that no one mentioned to me beforehand. That was odd enough, but I figured that probably my colleague was getting promoted again or something. (My colleague works half for her boss and half for my boss...long story.) But then, just at the end of their meeting, MY boss sends me a meeting invite for tomorrow...at 4:30. By myself.

That's kind of alarming, don't you think? 4:30 on a Friday?

I'm trying not to think about it. Maybe it's something completely benign. When I was talking to each person today, no one gave me any pitiful glances or anything...everyone SEEMED happy. Maybe I'm getting promoted. Or changing bosses. Or something.

Ugh.  I guess I'll know by this time tomorrow.

Ok, this blog has a stupid name (veganbarbie?!), but this lady is my new heroine. Check out how much exercise she gets every day! And all the protein and fiber she eats (from vegan sources)!  This might become my New Thing. haha, don't worry I won't bore you with the details. Well, too much. Hopefully. ;)
I went to a Qigong class today. I can't tell you how overjoyed I am to find another one. I used to be involved with a free qigong  group that met at Harvard University. We would meet every Saturday to sit in chairs and listen to Dr Yan Xin walk us through part of the "9 step child longevity" series. And when I say we listened to him, I mean we listened to his voice on a tape player  (literally, a cassette TAPE player). It was one of the weirdest things I've ever done, but I loved it. I went pretty regularly for about a year. I took my friend Stass there once, but mostly it was this odd thing I did that I couldn't even find the words to describe to other people. If I told you that we sat in chairs, in a particular posture and practiced breathing and visualization techniques, you'd just think, How boring! I used to get so euphoric, though. I'd come out of there drenched in sweat and exhausted and my mind would be blown wide open with bliss and peace, I loved it so much. The only reason I stopped going was that the organizers wanted us to bring in some more people and 1) I've never been able to convince anyone to do anything, much less to come breathe with me in the middle of their Saturday (except Stass, who lived too far away to go regularly) and 2) the whole thing started feeling a bit too cult-y. A year later I recanted my disavowal of cults and went crawling back, but they had left Harvard. I finally found them again at MIT, and I went a few times, but it wasn't the same. For one thing, almost everyone talked in Mandarin except me.

So now I've found a new, English speaking Class at Karma studios in Harvard Square. $15 every time I go (ouch) but the teacher is an adorable Vietnamese man who is wonderfully humble and patient. Class tonight nearly killed me, though. I literally almost fainted about 6 times during the first half of class when we were building up chi. I had to bend over several times to let blood get to my brain because I kept almost passing out and once I even sat down abruptly because I could see the tide of blackness coming up ( always a precursor to fainting with me) . And we were just standing still! (in my certain pose with slightly bent legs).The breathing exercises and the posture immediately got me so hot I was drenched in sweat. I  think the qigong people would say I had trouble because I have major blockages in my arteries or chi or brain. Somewhere, obviously. The teacher thought I might have hypertension, although my blood pressure has always tested as normal in a doctor's office. Whatever it is, I'm sure it's something serious. I feel like I found this class at just the right time.

Weirdly enough, the second half of class didn't bother me at all, and that was the more active half. We learned something called the "8 piece brocade". (Similar to this: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5941928815527121512).  They are used by soldiers to build determination and strength,


May. 30th, 2012 05:35 pm

I spent the last two hours of work today driving a zipcar around to our affiliate buildings and picking up equipment. Not too strenuous and it was fun to drive an Audi for the first time. Everywhere we went, we were helping people out, too, so they were ridiculously happy to see us. I do like that aspect of my job. We have to do some bizarre things as I.T. people, sometimes, but I like the Knight in Shining Armor aspect of it. Suits my ginormous ego, I guess.

In other news, do you use MOG? If so, look for DangerMouse's playlist, Plants and Animals. (You can use MOG for free for awhile until you're good and addicted and are willing to spend the $10 a month :)).

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


May. 30th, 2012 01:14 pm

I had my first deep tissue massage recently. It was educational, super painful and it completely cured the back pain I've been living with for the last month. Just sayin. If you've got back pain go to Massage Envy (next to the Trader Joes by the BU bridge) and ask for Mari. Tell her you like it rough. :) Ok, "deep", whatever.

Of course, if you don't live near Boston, it could get complicated...

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


May. 30th, 2012 01:07 pm

I did a google search of my Lj name and my real last name the other day. Sure enough, they are linked. Goddamn you, PiPL site. Do I need to change my Lj name? I'm debating that, which means delving into my LJ past again-an operation always fraught with danger...the nostalgia, the optimism... all the love...can be overwhelming. Not necessarily in a bad way, unless it's, IDK, important to keep acting as an upright, productive member of society or something. I was up til 2am last night, reading. Now, I'm feeling it and barely alive. Listening to some crazy good and sad music (MGMT) and wishing I could take a nap on this grass in a park in the middle of Boston. Oh man, so good. Unless it is only a few stolen moments of intense beauty in an otherwise aggravating and cluttered day, which it is.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

I got to visit New York this week! Last year, my dad got suckered into some Hilton timeshare thing. He loves to go to those "get a free ski vacation if you just listen to this sales pitch" things, but in the last few years, his resistance to the sales pitch part of the deal seems to have been waning. When we were kids, Dad and Mom were experts at leading the sales people on and then ultimately disappointing them, while the five kids happily hit the slopes for free. He's running out of time to use all of his "points" this year, so he's been begging me and my siblings to use them. It's pretty sweet, I must admit. As long as we go at unpopular times, we can get a free night or two in any city with a Hilton. This hotel we stayed at in New York was super lush: they had a free breakfast bar, a gym and a free happy hour at night. Our room also had the most comfortable bed we've ever slept on.

We took a MegaBus there on Wednesday, which was pretty easy, except that our driver got pulled over by the police, so that took awhile to clear up. But overall, it was a simple journey. I love that they have wifi on the busses!

What did we do in New York? The first day, we had just enough time walk to the southern tip of Manhattan, look at helicopters landing for awhile, buy a $5 margarita on the pier and get half price tickets to Peter and the Starcatcher. (Fun musical, by the way. Very witty and fast paced. If you love pirate Renaissance Faires then you'll enjoy it.)

Thursday was our most fun day: we spent the morning at the Met and the Natural History museums, had lunch at the Shake Shack (famous for its hamburgers, a lure to which I cheerfully succumbed to, despite my wannabe vegan status). We wandered all over Central Square, racking up the exercise points, and had a really delicious tea at Alice's Tea Cup. After that, we went back to the hotel for free cocktails and rested a bit, then we split up. I wanted to see a lecture on Passive Houses and Bri wanted to go to a Haunted House, so we agreed to meet later in time for dinner. My lecture was awesome. (Check out this news report...we got to watch a movie on this topic and then there were a bunch of architects that got on stage to answer questions.) It's pretty exciting stuff. Check out this quote from Sane Energy:

"Passive House is an exciting new tool to change our energy future. If buildings were built or retrofitted to Passive House standards, we’d be using 80-90% LESS energy than we do now to heat and cool them. This is not only possible, it’s already happening: Passive House is now the building standard in Europe, and 34 projects have started here in NYC. If we can save that much energy, there’s clearly no need for new pipelines, or for a continued reliance on fossil fuels. This is a game changer."

Anyway, in the middle of the lecture, Brian got bored of his Haunted House early (I win!) and came to collect me. Since they are going to be putting the whole 3 hour conference online eventually, I didn't mind leaving. We went to a food truck festival in midtown. It was pretty packed and expensive so we both just got a quick snack: I got a small arancini and Bri got a couple of fried chicken legs. Then we wandered the streets like lost souls looking for a suitable bar to hang out at until our Improv Comedy show started. (We never seem to plan our restaurants out ahead of time. We had this same problem in Rome.) We eventually found a neat neighborhood restaurant called Tappo's. We chose it based on the fact that a dog was casually tied up in the entrance doorway-it seemed like a good sign.   They are mildly famous for their thin crust pizza and I can attest that the mushroom (Shroomtown) pizza, in particular, was extremely delicious. They have advanced salads there, too, not just the usual boring kind.

Then we went to the weirdest improv comedy show I've ever seen. I call it Andy Kaufman-esque, because it seemed like they were deliberately keeping the action on that quiet, anxious time when no one can figure out what to say. I thought they were just having a bad night, but certain clues made me think the whole thing had a structure. There was a big finale at the end that was clearly planned out ahead of time, for example. Also, in the end, they made a point of thanking their "director" in a way that made me think the arc was highly thought out and stylized. I found it mildly interesting and Bri loved it, of course (he's taken a ton of Improv classes and is fascinated by the process). It's funny, at the beginning they asked the audience for "a subject" and they got "marmalade". Then they proceeded not to mention marmalade at all (that I can remember). Hmmpf.

Friday, we just had enough time to go in search of the famous New York bagels (ended up at Ess-a-bagel) and then we had to pack, check out and find the bus pick up point.  Then we had a long, boring 6 hour journey back to Boston...but at least our driver didn't get pulled over by the police.

Next time: Bri wants to do all the touristy things we've never done, like visit the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building, and I want to try out the bike paths there, to see what it's like biking in New York city.


May. 10th, 2012 08:46 am

For some reason, Bri and I have both been waking up at 5:30am for the last few days. He goes to sleep early, but I'm usually reading til midnight. Oddly, though, I haven't been tired at all. I keep checking for dark circles under my eyes, but, nope I'm fine. I wish i could credit the juice fast, but I've been off that since I went to Virginia in April.

What I really love is having 2 and a half awesome hours to myself before I even have to get ready to leave for work. It feels like I'm on vacation and I want it to keep going. I hope the sleep debt doesn't clobber me.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

I'm back on the juice diet, after a week off when I went to VA to visit my family. I'm going to take it a little more moderately this time. I find it easy to drink fruit and vegetable drinks for breakfast and lunch, but at dinner time, it can be rough. So I'm going to just eat a vegan meal for dinner. It's not a difficult way to live, except when someone invites me to lunch at work or when I have a houseguest. Then it can get a little sad, but if the person is amenable to eating outside, I join them with my glass jar and straw, so it's bearable. I miss all the birthday lunches, though. I think I might start making an exception for those... I'm not one to withstand suffering for very long. :) Man, I wish restaurants around here were as cool as Life Alive in Cambridge. I could eat every meal there for a month and probably not get tired of it.
I'm reading a trilogy by Robert Sawyer called Www:Wake, Watch and Wonder. If you ever want to read a feel good book about the future where everything turns out alright, I highly recommend it.  It'll help you keep some hope.

Juice fast

Mar. 14th, 2012 08:54 pm

Did you folks see the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead? If you did, you'll appreciate the fact that I'm juicing and will understand when I say I hope to be able to stay on it as long as Joe did. I've been on it for a week so far. I'm still figuring things out, and occasionally I find myself too hungry so I eat some, nuts or bananas or some clear broth vegetable soup, But I'm learning.

Hear are some notes from the last week, from emails to my friend Stass (I'll get the pictures in here later.)

March 8 -
"I'm doing it! First day done- nothing but juice all day! i told everyone and their mother about it at work. i have to set the stage for saying no to food gifts and invitations out to eat, etc. Not hungry at all. Had some stomach cramping and some allergy symptoms, though ( rash on my face). Luckily, I'm done with the honeydew and cantaloupe...I think that might have been the problem. Or maybe some pesticide. Probably should only buy organic. Oof, so expensive, though.

March 9 -
I feel great. I kept to my juicing tonight even though alex and brian were eating chinese food right next to me. And chocolate chip cookies! :)

Cooking club is tomorrow and i think i'll make an exception for that or everybody's feelings will get hurt. They are going to serve us "savory cakes". For dinner! Wonder what the effect of going from juicing right into eating THAT will be. This might be the last time i make this kind of exception. Maybe I'll arrived armed with juice and just do a tasting of the cakes.

Today i didn't have time to make enough juice so i supplemented it with two Naked juices from the convenience store. Also, two bananas. I'm trying to keep the calories over 1,000 and as close to 1200 as possible. It's hard because i'm never hungry. I love this about eating raw food, it shuts off most of my cravings and constant low level backgound false hunger. I really wasn't even that tempted by the chinese food.

My stomach cramps are mostly gone, even though i ate more spinach today. Don't know what that weirdness was yesterday. My rash is gone, too.

Weirdly, i seemed to lose 10 pounds in the first day, but I was wearing clothing both times and that is hard to get right. Still, lost at least 5. Went from 201 to 191, according to the wii.

They say the 2nd day is the worst, but today was easy for me. Maybe it will hit tomorrow. I had to go buy more vegetables today!"

March 10-
This one is a bit too lemony, but it's bearable. Next time i want to experiment with some garlic and cayenne- it almost tastes like gazpacho, but not quite there yet.

March 11-

This one is great:
6 carrots
4 apples
Small piece of ginger

(peel everything if it's not organic)

I went to cooking club last night and ate 9 savory mini muffins and a bowl of vegan roasted vegetable soup. It was all pretty delicious. Bri wrote up our blog post, but we need to get the pictures in there before it is posted. Then i'll send you a link. They apparently tease me a lot about the juice diet...haven't seen it yet. [link: http://deepspacesupper.blogspot.com/ ]

March 12-
Like my new glasses? I bought a bunch of these guys with tops to make the juice easy to transport. This one is a bok choy, celery, orange, apple, lime juice. Quite good and not sweet at all, which after 5 days is a good thing. I'm still going strong, although I do snack on bananas and nuts if I get too hungry. I heard that sort of thing is necessary for the first few weeks until I get more aware of exactly how much juice I need to drink to avoid hunger. Yesterday was bad. I was too lazy to get stuff ready in the morning so I bought 3 Naked drinks, instead. Those are not the same at all. I was a little faint-y yesterday at work which was not fun and then I had a regular fruit smoothie for dinner. That wasn't a good idea...I woke up this morning nauseous and tired after a night of bad sleep. One green drink this morning solved all my problems ( this is my 2nd one of the day here). I feel good again and I'm going to head into work after I finish 3 or 4 of these things

March 13-
I cracked tonight and had some lettuce sandwiches:hummous, red pepper, mushroom, red onion. It was delicious. I also had some lightly salted nuts...either the protein or the salt seemed to help. I was a little nauseous at trader joes tonight, but now i'm ok. Just tired. No fruit drink tonight. I think i'll be asleep before 9.

March 14-
Today, i made a butternut squash juice. You have to admit, that's pretty hardcore. :) Who knew you could get juice from a raw butternut squash? I mixed it with two apples and some cinamon, and it was really good. Then, for lunch, I had another simple juice: 8 carrots and some ginger.
I felt absolutely great til 5, when I got that faint-y feeling. Looking back, I realize now, I didn't have enough calories. I really need 4 16oz drinks before dinner time. I panicked again and ate about a half cup of (lightly salted) nuts and a cup of mediterranean chickpea salad (that I picked up from TJs for just these sorts of emergencies) and went to sleep for an hour and a half. I woke up feeling still kind of weak. Bri announced he was going out jogging, and he picked me up some kale and sweet potato soup from Whole Foods. Now, I'm feeling pretty good.

I am trying to do research on this weakness reaction to juice fasting. It seems like half the people say it is a normal thing and disappears in the first two weeks of a juice fast and the other half think it's a sign that I'm not getting enough nutrition and should seek medical care. I think I'm going to continue fasting but I'll eat fruits, nuts and vegetables occasionally when I feel I need it. A lot of people juice fast for breakfast and lunch and then eat a big salad or something similar for dinner. That seems to be what I am morphing into. The problem is, that gives rise to cravings and those are hard to fight day after day. I'm hoping after two weeks or so, I'll be able to just juice.

Anyway, I bought some cute mason jars with lids and now it's easy to measure my juices out. I know I need to pack 4 of them for work tomorrow. One nice thing is that since lunch is so easy now, I have lots of time to go for a walk. I'm looking forward to that tomorrow.



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