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March 18, 2010

The Day I Sucked at Food

Not only is today St. Patrick's Day, it's my dear beloved lover boy's birthday. You know how much I cherish and respect birthdays. Today was all about making it the best day EVAH for him. I skipped my lunch so I could get done with work earlier to get home and start making this the best day. EVAH. We started off with a stop at Pix, of course, for a celebratory birthday beer float with a sparkler in it for him and a cheese plate for me.

Next, we took the bus downtown with plans to get some yummy dinner in advance of the Hitchcock play we'd gotten tickets for. We ended up at a nice brewpub a few blocks from the playhouse. I'm trying to be all healthy and shiz, so I decided to go with the porcini-crusted rock fish despite its hefty price tag. I was expecting a nice fish fillet with a big side of healthy roasted fennel. Instead, what came back was a monochrome pile of butter-soaked, salty potatoes and a tiny piece of fish.

All my eye caught on the menu was the "roasted fennel" and "porcini mushroom." I totally missed the "potato gratin" and "pale ale butter." That was my bad.

But what happened later in the night was just plain terrible. After the play we followed the sound of a bagpipe to find what we hoped would be a lively Irish pub where he could have a nightcap and I could find something to fill my tummy and make up for the mediocre fish dish. I was pleased to see that Blitz served breakfast all day and settled on a nice, healthy bowl of granola with "fresh fruit" and "seasonal berries," advertised like so:


The bartender was initially confused when I asked her for "granola and water," thinking it was an exotic mixed drink, but eventually we got things straightened out... or so I thought. Imagine my surprise when the waitress brought this to my table:


That would be a broken-up Nature Valley granola bar with a tiny pitcher of half-and-half and a side of tater tots. TATER TOTS. Your eyes do not deceive you. When I asked the bartender why it didn't come with fresh fruit, she told me I had to order that extra. So what's included on the menu is "extra," but tater tots are granola's natural companion? TATER TOTS? These weren't even good tots. They were the kind that left that film of ick in your mouth.

Tater tots. I swear to leprechauns.

March 8, 2010

Two off my Portland Bucket List

In a many-splendored town like Portland, there are more quirky and wonderful things to do than could ever be done. I started making a list of things to accomplish when I first moved here, from the outlandish (getting married at Voodoo Doughnuts) to the things I will throw a hissy fit if I don't accomplish in the next six months (if I don't go berry picking on the Fruit Loop by my birthday there will be hell to pay).

This glorious, sunny, bird-chirping, flower-blooming weekend gifted me with two things I can cross off my list.

The first something was the Beer Float at that pastry shop I can't quit, Pix Patisserie. From the first time I laid eyes on it on the menu I was intrigued. It just makes sense. If a root beer float can work, why not beer? Though the thought of Lance Armstrong's disapproving gaze kept me from ordering one, it didn't stop me from making a buddy get one and then letting me have sips.

World, I have tasted a beer float, and it was good. There's something about chocolate stout and mocha ice cream that just works.

The second item now crossed off my list is the Kennedy School Soaking Pool. There are these brilliant folks here named the McMenamins who took a number of dilapidated buildings like power stations, danky brewpubs, and schools and renovated them into movie theaters, restaurants, and hotels.

The Kennedy School, conveniently located near me, is most intriguing to me because it was always my dream in life to have a sleepover at my elementary school. I just loved school that much. Though I doubt we'll ever rent a hotel room here--our real rooms being so close and all-- the next best thing was to hang out in the outdoor, heated, saltwater soaking pool under the stars.

March 3, 2010

Tinkle Pirate

Alternative title: H20mgI'veneverhadtopeethismuchinmylife

One of the things I like about tracking my calories on Livestrong.com is that it has an incredible incentive for drinking enough water during the day. With every 8 ounces your glass fills up a bit more, and then--get this, guys--your virtual water cup will spillith over and it's as if Lance Armstrong himself is wishing you a hearty "Congratulations!" It feels like what I imagine winning a bronze medal in short track speed skating relay would: frenzied, euphoric, and delirious.

I must have been moderately to severely dehydrated for my entire life because ingesting the recommended 64 ounces has sent me to the little girls' room four times more often than usual. I'm starting to wear a track in the carpet at the office separating my desk from the bathroom. Seriously. I've never in my life relieved myself as often as I have in the past three days, and I don't care that that's an overshare.

March 1, 2010

Working on my fitness... for real this time

There was about a two week period last June when I got really serious about my health. I joined a real gym (sorry Curves) and started my patented Don't Eat Crap diet. I was working out four times a week and, well, not eating crap. I don't put much stock in the scale (ours will say I'm one weight before I take a shower and after I'm toweled off it will say I've gained 12 pounds), but I definitely trimmed up during that two weeks.

Then my birthday arrived and brought with it my extremely generous aunt and uncle, who treated me to all sorts of culinary delights. My Don't Eat Crap diet became the Why Wouldn't I Eat Crap? I Work Out diet. Lately, what with Valentine's Day and Boeuf and my sister being in town, it morphed into the I'm Going to Eat All the Crap I Want and Not Work Out So There diet.

But no more, dear readers. This time I'm going to make a concerted effort to be disciplined. I created an account on Livestrong.com to track my calories, with the goal of losing one pound per week for the next eight weeks to put me at the weight my drivers license says I am. I started yesterday and thought I was being so good-- two slices of toast for breakfast; a protein shake for a post-workout lunch; a salad with avocado, olive oil and rice vinegar for a snack; an apple turnover for a post-snack snack; and a serving of my orzo with roasted vegetables and feta for dinner.

But by the end of the day I only had 60 calories to spare! And did you know that one tbs of olive oil is 120 calories and 13.5 grams of fat?? I go crazy with olive oil! I liberally splash it on everything with abandon!

Despite that meltdown, I don't intend to become a crazed calorie counter. I'm thinking of this more like a learning experiment to see what change I can effect in myself during the next two months. I've been inspired by the likes of Sarah (whose posts spurred me to join a gym in the first place) to think I can make a big difference by treating myself well.