Valentine’s Day

My coworker was kvetching to me about meeting his wife’s expectations of Valentine’s Day. According to him, she expects a card and flowers.  He thinks it’s silly but he goes along anyway because it makes her happy. I guess that’s how they reached their 30-year anniversary. By celebrating Valentine’s Day.

Ramen Side-by-Side

Last year, I went with my friend to Hanabi and I can only describe her reaction as thoroughly disappointed.  She said I had to try the vegetable ramen at Daikaya. She said it would knock my socks off.

We finally went to Daikaya a few weeks ago and I don’t know if it’s because of the monster appetite I’d worked up earlier from the gym (See?  I DO use my leggings!!  What’s another piddley lil pair of Girlfriend Collective leggings?), but that bowl of ramen knocked my socks clear off.
Here is a picture of it for your viewing pleasure. Well, really for mine because I relive the moment of slurping the rich hot soup.
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I think I know why she likes it better. Daikaya stir fries their vegetables in a searing hot wok to give it a greasy smokey flavor. The soup is really rich too.

The following week, I went back to Hanabi to give it another go. It’s still as oishi as I remembered. Their soup isn’t as greasy and the vegetables are cooked in hot water so they’re blander.
Vegetable Ramen from Hanabi
Of the two, I think I slightly prefer Hanabi.

One of my biggest gripes about ramen (eating out in general) is everything is too dang salty. What is wrong with the chefs in this town? They burn their tastebuds off or something? They add more and more salt!! Hanabi’s ramen is still salty but the salt and grease is much less overpowering. Yes, salt and grease = big flavor but I’d still like to taste the vegetables and ingredients.

Overall I’d eat at either place anytime.

So about that last pair of leggings

My supposedly last-pair-of-leggings arrived last week.  I tried them on and saw right through to my underpants.  Folded them back in the bag, sealed them up and sent them back.

Unfortunately, regardless of the price, reputation of the brand, or country of origin, translucency is a common issue with leggings. I think I’m done with leggings for a while now.

Haircut

I donated my hair last year. Here’s what I thought about it before and after.

Short hair

Before:

    • Donating hair is great and for a good cause. I should do it while I can (as in before my hair turns gray.)
    • It’s easy. I only need to find a participating hair salon that will cut it and send it en masse with other peoples’ donated tresses.
    • Not sure how I feel about short hair. I always have it long enough to tie back at least.
    • I will do this again and again!

After:

  • Donating hair is meh, whatevers. They’ll probably just chuck it anyway (I’ve read that it happens a lot.)
  • It’s a pain in the ass I have to mail in my hair. No salons participate because bullet above.
  • Not being able to tie it up is a minor inconvenience and it’s more effort to tame the bedhead. Other than that I LOVE SHORT HAIR! I feel more stylish.
  • I am undecided about doing this again.  Leaning probably not.

Groundhog Again

This blog is eleven. Today was freezing cold and windy. Temperatures in the low 20s with the wind making it feel even colder. I don’t need no stinkin’ rodent to tell me it’s winter until it’s spring. Though that’s exactly what he said. Six more weeks of winter. I’m glad about it though. Maybe if I dance hard enough, we’ll get a proper snow.

Stretch Goals

I didn’t really set out to have a 2018 resolution, I sort of settled into it.
I got bronchitis two times within the course of three weeks in late December-early January. Just as I was getting over the first run and slowly easing back to the gym, I got knocked down by the second round. That time, I decided to give myself more time to recover and spent a lot of time on the couch watching YouTube and TV shows. I am good at convalescing. Anyway, as I started feeling better, I also got more restless and started just doing easy stretches while watching TV. It felt really good so I’m going to keep doing it. So that’s the “resolution” if it is one at all. Stretch and foam roll more regularly because it feels good. Oh and no more leggings!

Micro Plastics

While I’m on the topic of plastic clothing, I wanted to share something new I learned this weekend. And that is that every time we wash plastic clothing, some of the fibers slough off and end up in our oceans. So cold wash, gentle cycle helps minimize that as does washing the clothes less frequently (makes them last longer too). There’s also a product called GuppyFriend that Patagonia sells ($30) that supposedly catches 99% of the fibers. I don’t have one yet. At any rate, that bit of news killed my activewear shopping rampage. What a bummer.

Before this whole social-media-induced-fitspo-athleisure-wear-that-resurrected-polyester-from-the-80s thing took off, cotton was my workout fabric preference anyway. Who cares if it showed sweat. I’m exercising!! That’s what happens. But then everything became leggings and sweat wicking technology and dri-whatever, which does feel nice. On the other hand, I had always had this thought that plastic on my skin mixed with heat, sweat, and open pores seemed like a bit of a toxic bath. So all this is to say I’m not tossing any of my leggings that I just bought these past few months, but I’m hopping off this bandwagon for now. It was a fun ride. I’ll give the GuppyFriend a try and reassess.

For all those still on board (I don’t blame you! Leggin’s for miles!), I found this company that makes high quality leggings using recycled plastic bottles. Girlfriend Collective. Actually, their site is where I learned about microfiber plastics. Otherwise I was about ready to buy another last pair of leggings!

Ok, for real this time. This is the last pair!

Sometime last year I enthusiastically jumped on the leggings activewear bandwagon. And I have been on a shopping rampage ever since. There’s the capri, the full length, ankle length, high-waisted, solid, patterned, nylon, polyester, seamless on and ON!

By now, I have racked up enough pairs that I can’t even go through them all in a week despite my best efforts to exercise on a semi-consistent schedule. I’m gonna stop though. Seriously. After this next pair that’s arriving from Amazon, I’m fer reals gonna stop. This is the last pair! I can’t keep buying leggings! There’s no room for them! I’ve already dedicated an entire dresser drawer to activewear and they only fit in there because I keep 80% of my workout clothes at work. So I’m a bit late in the resolutions game, but hey we’re still in January (this month is draggin’), and if I have a new year’s resolution, it’s to try to reign in my passionate love affair with plastic clothing.

    However! Since I’ve been racking up experience with leggings, here’s my general thoughts and opinions about them.

  1. Nylon (as opposed to polyester) can be riskier with being see-through (a.k.a – not squat-proof, as in every time you squat, your underpants show)
  2. Dark colored leggings aren’t as fun but if you’re self-conscious in a class, they blend into the crowd. Also they won’t show sweat. Also, you can wear the black ones under a nice tunic and they can double as work-wear.
  3. Patterned leggings hide VPL the best. The busier the better.
  4. A crotch gusset is preferred. I think it helps minimize camel-toe.
  5. Light colored leggings, though pretty, are the most unforgiving in terms of showing imperfections, like VPL and being less squat-proof. I’m not brave enough to sport no-pattern light-colored leggings.
  6. High-waisted leggings hold in the belly better. It can handle a burrito baby, no problem! I’m a fan of high-waisted pants. Mom jeans all the way.
  7. Full length leggings are more versatile year-round. They’re good to have in the winter and they are generally breathable enough to be worn in the summer too. So I’ve been leaning towards full- or ankle-lengths. Capris are still easier in the summer though.
  8. US-made leggings aren’t always the highest quality. Unfortunately. For example, I got a pair of US-made leggings (Phat Buddha) and they pilled after the first wash. I still wear them and they’re very comfortable (seamless), but it speaks to the quality of them. I’m seeing a lot of high-end activewear coming out of Vietnam and other Asian countries.
  9. How I Care for my plastic clothes: Wash minimally. I wear my items a number of times before I wash them and when I do, it’s in cold water, gentle cycle. Hang to dry. This makes them last longer.

There’s nothing like putting on a nice workout outfit to get in the mood to exercise. Even if I’m just doing it in my living room.

“Rice”

Just about the weirdest allergy I have is rice. I’ve eaten it all my life and will continue to eat it. Even though it’s like giving milk to a lactose intolerant. I call it jet fuel. Not sure about the people around me, but mostly I don’t mind it. I’m so used to it because I’ve been eating it all my life and dealing with the consequences. In fact, I thought everyone bloated after eating. But now that I know the cause I do try to limit it. Granted when I’m traveling and Chinese is the only option I have, well, let’s just say I could start a forest fire with my ass.

That’s the long way of saying this is how I came up with my new “rice” which is quinoa, cauliflower, lentils, and oatmeal. It cooks up like a gloopy blob of “rice” and I can have it with just about anything I would have with rice.

Pickled Onions

I have been making this regularly for the past few months. It makes an easy vegetable side dish that goes with everything savory. Noodles, rice, tofu, avocado toast.

Chop up a bag of red onions.
pickled onions

Boil salt, sugar and water. Let it cool. Add apple cider vinegar to the brine. Pour it over the sliced onions. Refrigerate for a couple of days and it’s ready to eat. I keep two jars going all the time. The brine is re-useable, but I top off with more brine each time because I use the brine in salad dressings and for avocado toast.

If I had to guess amounts, maybe 2 tablespoons of sea salt, 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 3 cups of water. And a half cup of ACV. I could be totally off here. Just experiment.