Buying Extra Calories

was followed by this:
and this:
(Emma's pancakes were stuffed with honey and oats and almonds and brown sugar and amazingness.)

Unfortunately, we didn't use the facilities today. I was on a tight schedule (now I'm at work! blogging!) so there wasn't really time to change into workout gear and break a serious sweat and all that. And all I'd had to eat so far was a banana. Breakfast celebrated the days, weeks, months of fitness to come.

I'm excited. Part of me even wants to go back tonight (if I get off work at the restaurant before 8:30) and face my first go with an elliptical in over a year and a half. Part of me thinks that can wait until tomorrow/until I get new sneakers. But I know it has to come soon. Momentum! Building momentum is important. Wish me luck.

A Year of Carlessness

It's been a year and a day since I wrecked "my" car—spinning out from some black ice in the fast lane on I-94, ending up three lanes over and down the hill and smashed into a harmful, helpful tree (at least I didn't end up in the creek!).

I survived, obviously. I survived the crash, which is the important thing. Then I survived the carlessness. The car connected me to my boyfriend, living then in Detroit, endless miles away (okay, like 42). Then the car was gone. But he got a car. I took the train. Sometimes the train even showed up when it was supposed to! (I was unlucky in that my most frequent train-riding coincided with the Norfolk Southern debacle resulting in "up to 90 minute" delays. On top of the already frequent 1-3 hour delays, come on, guys, get with the future. By the time MDOT decided to buy those tracks—at which point I assume they stopped fighting and making people late on purpose constantly—we were together in one city.) Sometimes the train showed up at four a.m. and I was in bed and I don't remember how that affected the weekend anymore—so obviously, we survived.

And my fridge survived, too. I walked to buy all the frequent groceries at the co-op, even though it's more expensive. I even ate peanut-butter pitas for lunch for a few months, and was sort of forced to buy organic. Kroger and Trader Joe's and all the rest became always-communal adventures, which is mostly fine.

My bike, already a frequent companion while in Ann Arbor, rose to new heights. My boyfriend's apartment on the other side of (central) Ann Arbor didn't feel far away. There was no faster way to get from job A to job B, except maybe a moped. Then the rain and snow and ice came, and everything is now half an hour apart on my ever-plodding feet, but it'll be okay. I got a puffy coat with a fur-lined collar as well as fur-trimmed hood (all fake of course), and me and my leggings under my jeans with my wool socks and snow boots and everything else? We regularly walk 60-90 minutes in one day and love hate survive are okay with it partway through most walks. (Remember that time I said I was sick of first person plural? Probably not, that was three-plus years ago. Anyway, this appears false because I was 'we' with my car, and my cats, and friends (girl- and boy-), and now even with my clothes.)
Look at that fur collar and that Fishbowl-glare. It's the best I can do on such short notice.
Like anything else that breaks or you break up with (mainly the latter), you forget what it was like to be together. I don't think about it that much. I'm a girl without a car. I manage, and I also sort of hang onto people and jump at every chance to be a real suburban consumer (not that I really want to be that). I was never the person with an entire backseat of dirty clothes or old books or even just CDs. I had my ice skates and sometimes a sled or winter boots in the trunk, yes, yet I didn't live from my car. I mainly only used it to buy groceries, pick up roommates, and drive to my parents or my boyfriend. It really belonged to my parents, or technically to them but really to me, and so I acted like my parents and I kept it cleanish and called it "the Accord" to all interested parties (i.e. parents, brother).

But the car was part of me. (And ten minutes ago, I knew exactly how; then I forgot.) It wasn't just the hours I spent sweating in it in the hot heat of air-conditionless summers, or the nights I spent singing in it, driving when I should have been sleeping. It wasn't just the relationships it maintained, the road trips, the reluctant goodbyes. Oh, right, of course, the reason Americans Drive Cars and stand in the way of beautiful public transit like that of Germany, which I miss every day—it was the freedom. The freedom and the feeling of power that the freedom granted me. I could work until 11:30 on Friday nights and still wake up with my boyfriend on Saturday morning, even though he was in a different city. You could propose the idea, I could offer the car and probably drive most of the way. I guess I liked performing feats as well as making plans all on my own. Though the distances haven't changed, without my own car, people and places are farther away from me. And that stinks.

But—we all already knew cars were more dangerous than planes or trains or most things we encounter on a day-to-day basis, right? Drew totaled the car he used to (literally) live in, Ali flipped over in her SUV last winter, I crashed my car, Ali hit a deer, Emma only has one actual headlight and one functioning side mirror, and on and on. But I was reading about sunscreen, and then I was reading about the safety of the HPV vaccine (which is safe, duh), and then the bubble for likelihood of dying in a car crash was WAY BIGGER THAN EVERY OTHER DANGER-BUBBLE. (Except cervical cancer, that bubble was also very big and that is why you get vaccinated.)

Trains, people. We need a ton more trains.

Tiny Food

January: The Month of Tininess? Tinyness?

No. But, maybe.

The other day I felt kind of sick, so when I finally got around to eating something for dinner, I got out my smallest nice-looking bowl--a red ramekin--and filled it with leftover mac and cheese. It was lovely. It wasn't actually that small of a portion, though. Smallish, but not crazy if it had been just one pile on a plate with three or four different things, instead of just a clementine. I think. It was really more than a few days ago, I don't remember!

(Here comes the first internet-glimpse of my cooking/eating area!)

When I reheated my leftover Chinese food from the weekend, using two ramekins seemed the most logical. Neither the rice nor the chicken and broccoli would get overcooked while trying to heat the other fully, and it wouldn't let a lot of steam out--important for rice.
And it was cute.
Cute red little ramekins and tasty food make me happy. And are good for portion control, maybe.

Okay, you're right. Time for a better post. Soon!

Desk of Tiny Things

The exhausting process of purchasing and wrapping presents, cleaning and cooking in a house of invalids (this year, both parents), and celebrating Christmas is over. The brief relaxing spell that barely came is gone. The New Year's journey and revelry has passed. All the out-of-town guests are flying back to their homes and universities. I'm back in my bedroom, back to sleeping in my own bed, after those busy itinerant weeks.

Let's the start the year off right with a post about my Desk of Tiny Things, because that is relevant and fascinating.
It is relevant. I finished eating those clementine wedges mere moments ago. Little bit of orange on a little blue plate on a little white desk, next to a little bit of tips. To tell the truth, three dollars is a decent tip-haul at my restaurant, which is not full-service, but in the land of tips, three dollars for one night is tiny.
Rachel gave Emma and me tiny glass creatures for Christmas. Mine is the penguin, a popular choice because I love them. (Ali gave me a festive penguin travel mug.) The alligator or crocodile or whatever has silly warts on his snout to go with his goofy eyes.
Fox fox foxy fox—named by his creator, Emma (the person who named a respectable feline "Table Cat").
He's the best needle-felted Christmas gift I've ever witnessed. Look at that tail.

Time to venture out into the wild world of grocery shopping, but first—happy new year!