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Inherited

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

Next week, my mom is moving to Kansas City.  While this is definitely a good decision for her, selfishly, it’s hard on my heart.  I moved to Colorado to be closer to my parents, and starting next week, neither of them will live here anymore.  This brings up all sorts of questions and emotions for me, but I’ve learned enough to know that none of these need to be discussed in a public forum.

Sorry, voyeurs.

Instead, let’s talk about the things that I have inherited from her house in the move.

The most important thing is Kodi the 3-legged dog.  Yes, our little raisin-eyed tripod, the Toad, now lives with Becca and Greebs and me on Hooker Street.  My days of zero responsibility are now a thing of the past, as Becca and I are constantly shuffling dog duties (not to be confused with dog doodies – although, yes, sad to say that those are being shuffled, too).

She is adorable as always, though – and even though I’m now much more tethered to home, and even though she doesn’t really fit into my active lifestyle (she can walk about a quarter of a mile before she’s spent), it’s nice to have someone who’s always happy to see me.

We’ve also laid claim to some killer patio furniture.  Last week, I told my friend Kelli that it was made of cast iron.  “You mean wrought iron,” she stated more than asked.  I was like, “Yeah.”

Now, we don’t exactly live on a picturesque block.  We have a dirty weed yard, and some local dogs peed on my basil and mint plants until they were dead.  The next-door neighbor’s mutt killed a skunk in their front yard, and the carcass rotted in the hot sun for two weeks.  I’m not sure if mere patio furniture is going to, I don’t know, redeem the neighborhood – but it’s sure as hell going to try.

Come over.  I’ll mix you a ghetto cocktail.

Finally, all of the things that have hidden in Mom’s pantry?  For years?  And years?  Mine.

If you know me at all, you know that I cannot waste food.  I just can’t do it.  If food dies, I die.  It’s this deep, fundamental part of my soul.  You think I’m kidding – but I assure you, I kid thee not.  I’m the girl who packs a food box in her suitcase on long trips, just sick at the thought of leaving food behind to rot in the fridge – a waste of my money, a waste of someone’s labor, a waste of, I don’t know, a cow.

I will avenge your death, cow.

Anyway, I now have more canned goods, spices, and non-perishables than I know what to do with.  Apple butter?  Kidney beans?  Chicken stock?  Red chile marmalade?  Canned meat?  Jars of chutney?  Two gigantic canisters of Pam?  If you have ideas for how I can put this stuff to good use, do tell.

“So All May Eat”

Friday, May 20th, 2011

Last month, I attended TedxMileHigh, which was monumentally perspective shifting.  If you ever have a chance to go to a TED conference, go go go.

One of the speakers was Libby Birky, co-founder of the SAME Café, Denver’s first pay-what-you-can restaurant.  Ever since hearing about it, I’d been wanting to check it out – so yesterday, my co-worker Gina and I dropped in for lunch.

Driven by the desire to see everyone treated with dignity, regardless of their ability to pay, the SAME Café encourages patrons to leave a donation that seems fair to them, or to exchange an hour of work for their meal.  Their menu changes daily, based on whatever organic ingredients are in season.  The food is fresh and made from scratch, and the customers range from professionals to the homeless.  Everyone eats together in the same room.  It’s a beautiful concept, and the food was delicious (homemade pizza crust?  YES).

If you live in Denver, consider supporting the SAME Café.  It’s on the north side of Colfax (or “the Fax,” as I like to call it) between Race and Vine.  You’ll eat well, and you just might have a conversation about broccoli salad with a man whose life looks very, very different from your own.

Holy môlé

Monday, March 14th, 2011

The LÄRABAR weekend has come and gone – and all I can say is that I want to go back to the land of palm trees and free samples.

It was amazing.  Basically the greatest ever.

Want to hear one of the (many) LÄRABAR songs we sang (many times)?  Here you go.

We spent the morning in the sunshine, right by the entrance to the convention center, welcoming 56,000 attendees with songs about LÄRABAR.  In the afternoon, we moved inside to the brand booth (one of 3,000), and in between sets, would run around like (free range) chickens with our (happy, healthy) heads cut off, eating as many natural food samples as we could.  Some were amazing, some just needed some gluten or meat or something.

Here were a few of my favorite finds:
Alexia: Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
Svelte: Cappuccino protein drink
Redwood Hill Farm: Smoked Goat Milk Cheddar Cheese

And of course, when it comes to LÄRABAR, I am a humongous fan of:
Blueberry Muffin
Cashew Cookie
Cherry Pie

The highlight of the weekend was singing LÄRABAR songs to Lara herself.  The other highlight was meeting David, the inventor of Cocoa Môlé (I am his biggest fan).  The other highlight was being within arm’s reach of Fabio. The other highlight was when Matt, suddenly possessed with the theme of “natural foods,” accidentally said that our return flight was routed through “Las Vegan.”

The LÄRABAR team was a dream to work with, and I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity (and the new friends).  This will go down as one of those big surprise gifts in my life – something I never could have planned, but am so glad that it happened.

Secret project: revealed

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

A few times, I’ve mentioned the fact that I’ve been working on a secret project.

And each time, I’ve thought, “I’ll tell everyone what I’m doing soon” – but it just hasn’t happened.  I’ve written about things like Zumba and ants and Tom Hanks as Animals instead – because I just couldn’t help it (and really, who could blame me?)

So months have gone by, working on this secret project, and now it’s happening TOMORROW, and I still haven’t even told you what it is.

Well.  Okay then.  It’s time.

Remember when I wrote a little song about LÄRABAR?  And they rewarded me by sending me bajillions of Cocoa Môlé?  Well.

It turns out that LÄRABAR is based in Denver.

And it turns out that they’re really, really nice people – and they like ME, too.

So they asked me if I could come up with some more songs about the brand, to which I replied, “Holy môlé” – and then a resounding yes.

Some fast and furious writing has taken place, and tomorrow, I’m flying to Southern California to perform these LÄRABAR songs at Natural Products Expo West.  Need proof?  Here’s the poster:

I know.  I KNOW.  It’s so fun.

Oh, and you might be wondering who this “Matt Whitman” is.  Well, in addition to being my co-writer for these songs (and they truly would not have gotten written without him), he’s a Louisiana redneck who shoots squirrels and cooks them in gumbo.  He’s also a farmer who knows how to grow vegetables.

All I’m saying is that when the world ends, I want him on my team – because when the LÄRABARs run out, this guy will keep people alive.

More to come…

“Thirty-five boxes can’t be wasted”

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

Just when you were starting to forget it, I’m bringing up the song again.

In response to my video, Lärabar sent me the most wonderful package containing, among other goodies, 4 boxes of Cocoa Môlé.  That’s 64 bars – I’LL NEVER GO MÔLÉ-LESS AGAIN!

I love Lärabar.

The [weekend]

Monday, August 16th, 2010

What did I [climb]: Pike’s Peak – all by myself, and SO FAST.  Seriously, I hope this doesn’t come off as all braggy-face of me, but I scampered up the entire mountain, and barely broke a sweat.

Sir Edmund Hillary?  How about Sir ANNIE PARSONS.

What did I [burn]: the backs of my calves.  Why does this always happen?  Why doesn’t the sun wrap around to my shins, too, bathing all 360 degrees of my legs in that horrible blazing Vitamin D?  It’s a mystery, and that’s why so is mankind.  [If you get that joke, you win.]

What did I [buy]: two new pairs of Toms.  I couldn’t decide, so I bought both.  Let’s hear it for happy feet – and shoes for kids!



What did I [hear]:
the golden, dulcet voice of Jonatha Brooke – live.  Oh sweet Moses, y’all.  Do you know about this woman?  KNOW ABOUT HER.  Her “Ten Cent Wings” album is something special – trust me (and really, trust Duane, who originally spread the good news).

What did I [make]: jalapeño hummus.  My new food processor is changing my life.

What did I [feel]: so sad, and so happy.  These days, I’m feeling both, and more than ever – like the spectrum is growing, like my capacity for the extremes keeps increasing.  I wonder if this will continue as I get older – until one day, the sad and the happy will stretch out from my heart in opposite directions, hugging the globe and meeting in Madagascar.

I have a million little pieces glued together for my heart.

I don’t know that that’s a bad thing.

You know how sometimes…

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

– your hair just needs to be cut?  Immediately?  Because all of a sudden, and without warning, you are Morticia?

– you wear the black racerback tank with the rainbow graphic eagle on the front?  Because it’s so awesome?

– you eat breakfast at an oatmeal cart?  Because this is Portland?

– you hear a song that changes your life?  Because it gives you the words and the framework to deal with what you couldn’t deal with before?  And it’s called “Closer to the Moon” by Alli Rogers?

– you write a blog in a format that gives the illusion that we’re all on the same page, when really, we’re probably not?  Because not everyone can own a black racerback tank with a rainbow graphic eagle on the front?

She sushis

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Check out what I made!

She’s a beaut.

I’ve always wanted to learn how to roll my own sushi, and being in Portland – a city of the aquatic variety – last night was my chance.  My friend and co-worker Molly took me to a place called Hipcooks, where we spent three hours learning the basics of sushi-making.  In the process, I snuck more scraps of raw fish than humanly possible.

No, truly – I defied the laws of science.  Someone give me a badge.

Will I ever make sushi in the privacy of my own home?  I don’t know – can sushi be made in a food processor?  Then probably not.

But I can now check #25 off my list!

All the things I didn’t say

Friday, April 2nd, 2010

Monday
I saw Patty Griffin on Monday night with Rachel, the cutest date ever.  We walked the mile and a half downtown to the theater, which made us feel very city-like.

But I’ll be honest: after all of my anticipation and excitement, I was kind of disappointed in the show.  The set list consisted almost entirely of her new album, “Downtown Church,” which is not my favorite, and the only “extra” songs she did were “Heavenly Day” and “Up to the Mountain.”

Patty.  Where was “Moses”?  Where was “Trapeze”?  Where was “Goodbye,” the song that I wanted to hear more than anything?  Where were “Long Ride Home,” and “Icicles,” and “Top of the World,” and “Burgundy Shoes,” and “Peter Pan”?  I wanted to WEEP, Patty!  I was ready to cry – fully prepared – anxiously anticipating some emotional catharsis… but I wound up relatively unmoved.

Sigh.  There’s always next time.  And, as Patty sings, “Everybody needs a little forgiveness.”

Tuesday
Have you ever done MeetUp.com?  Sketchy, right?  Well, “sketchy” has never stopped me.  I read about a running group on MeetUp.com, and ran with them for the first time on Tuesday night.

You know that scary moment where you walk up to a group of people, and you’re all alone, and no one really says hi, but that’s probably because none of THEM know each other either, and everyone feels equally awkward, so you all try to mask it by stretching and fidgeting with your iPods and looking at the sky?  It was… uncomfortable.  But then we ran 5.2 miles, and went for beers afterward.  I brought my A-game, and talked to every stranger within earshot.

Maybe I’ll go again.

Wednesday
On Wednesday night, I cooked a gourmet meal.  No, seriously.  This could have gone for $27 a plate at a restaurant.  Mediterranean salmon on a bed of wilted spinach featuring kalamata olives and golden raisins, topped with a balsamic and honey glaze.

I KNOW.

My friend Jenn from high school came over, and we drank a bottle of wine and dined like Greek goddesses.

Thursday
I went to the most ghetto Wal-Mart in the history of mankind.  I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to make it out without being shot in the face – or at least contracting a staph infection.

Friday
Ah, yes.  Friday.  This is today.  Good Friday.

Mom is finishing her fifth and final round of chemo with the Ifex and Adria drugs – something that no one has completed at this cancer center before, because she is the Valedictorian of Cancer Ass-Kicking, really – and will be unhooked from the pumps tomorrow.

I’m so proud of her.

Burning Daylight Foods

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

One night last fall, I came home to find a package from my friend Dani.  I opened it up, and – SCORE! – homemade granola!  Belying my civilized charade, I promptly ripped open the bag and poured it directly into my mouth.  Yes, like a savage.

Except it was not granola.  It was oatmeal.

Shocking.

But you know what?  I didn’t even mind that it was dry oatmeal coating my mouth – because it was THAT GOOD.  Or, at least, it was better than pouring dry Quaker Oats directly into my mouth – one hundred times better than pouring Target’s Market Pantry oatmeal into my mouth!  In fact, if I were ever to pour dry oatmeal into my mouth again, I would hope for oatmeal like Dani’s.

This is all to say that Dani and her family make some DELICIOUS cereal – whole grain and hearty and healthy.  And this is your lucky day – because Burning Daylight Foods is putting together an Easter basket full of scrumptious breakfast goodies, and YOU could win it!

All you need to do is leave a comment saying something – anything – about breakfast.  It could be something like, “I love Corn Flakes,” or “i can haz eggz?” or “I stole the Nun Bun.”

Comments will close tomorrow at 5pm Denver time – or, you know, whenever I remember to close them.  And then, using high-tech means, a winner will be chosen.

It could be you!  Seriously, this is the easiest contest ever.  It’s like taking candy from a baby – except the candy is cereal, and the baby is a cowgirl in southern California.