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Showing posts from May, 2010

Bison Burgers: antidote to writers' block and writers' butt

OK, I admit that may be a slight exaggeration. But if you're already grilling burgers this summer, bison is a fabulous alternative to beef. You will notice that as a gourmet meat, it costs more, and it's worth every penny. Mmmm, bison.

I prefer the taste of grass-fed bison to beef. It has a mellow sweetness with a fine texture. It has none of the gristle and fatty bits you get in hamburger. When it's cooked at a lower temperature and for a shorter period of time than beef burgers, the meat stays juicy and flavorful--more flavorful than beef.

Bison meat has much less fat than beef. In fact, bison has less fat than pork, chicken, and most fish. (This greatly reduces your risk of writers' butt.) It also has far higher levels of iron, Omega-3s, and protein. (This is good brain food to combat writers' block or mental fatigue.)

So if you want to be the star of this barbecue season, or if you just want to indulge in meaty goodness and still look hot on the beach, invest …

Disturbing 90s Flashback: Disney's Beauty and the Beast

I grew up on Disney movies and other fairy tale films. The Last Unicorn, The Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Legend, The Neverending Story, and every animated Disney movie from The Little Mermaid on (watched religiously, several times a day) fed my imagination, their lighthearted family fun tempered by my favorite childhood book, an illustrated Favorite Tales from Grimm. As a super-religious child, I even worried that my rabid love of fairy tales bordered on the sin of idolatry. But that's another story.

I'm not about to trash Disney movies and say they're no good. Obviously, they are aesthetic and theatrical masterpieces, and obviously they tap into deep-rooted fantasies that many of us share. Beauty and the Beast, in particular, was incredibly successful and almost universally adored. After The Little Mermaid, Disney made a special effort to make their next heroine, Belle, into a more empowered woman than Ariel, with a more developed leading man than Prince Eric.

In my opin…

Steel Water Bottles

Because, of course, it's important to stay hydrated while writing!

As our home detox continues, we are scrapping our plastic water bottles in favor of Nathan stainless steel. Mr. G bought this bottle in four colors so we can sip in style! And our water is not plastic-flavored. Unlike reusable or disposable plastic bottles, steel containers don't leach chemicals into the water. (If you can taste plastic, you're drinking potentially harmful chemicals.) Even better, these Nathan bottles fit in the car cup holder and in a bicycle bottle cage.

Nail Polish Upgrade, Part II

The UPS man brought my Zoya natural nail polish today! Now I can have a bright, glittery manicure without all the toxins!

The recycling exchange is still going on until June 30.

Smart Convenience Foods

Mr. G and I are working on detoxing our home and our bodies and eating lots of healthy food to optimize our baby-making efforts! Ideally, I would be a successful author who works 100% from home and cooks delicious, wholesome meals every day. Mmmmm, wouldn't that be nice! However, the truth is that most of us writers have to work our day jobs AND spend time on our craft, so... Sometimes there just isn't time to cook, and it's easy to fall into unhealthy eating habits.
So Mr. G and I have become masters at stocking up on quick, convenient foods with a relatively high nutritional value. Here are some of our favorites!
Sweet treats:

100% fruit juice popsicles

smoothies made with unsweetened frozen fruit, fresh fruit, ice, and sometimes yogurt or orange juice

KIND Plus Cranberry Almond Bars

apples with peanut butter
Savory snacks:

Amy's frozen organic burritos

low sodium mixed nuts

Annie Chun's Chinese Chicken Soup

Panera spinach and artichoke soufflets

string cheese

Tasty Bite …

Nail Polish Upgrade

My glamorous friend Esperanzita alerted me to this Zoya nail polish exchange going on until the end of June. Fellow bloggers and writers, look down! How do your nails look against that keyboard today? :)

I've always been a little skeeved out by the incredibly toxic smell of nail polish, with good reason. I like a cute mani-pedi, but certain polish ingredients have been linked to cancer, birth defects, and other toxic effects. But now there's Zoya! This polish is made with fewer harmful chemicals, AND it's won an award for being the most long-lasting polish.

The catch? It's a bit pricey at $7 a bottle. But with this exchange program, you can send in your old nail polish (even if there's nothing but a little crust inside the bottle), and Zoya will take care of the hazardous waste disposal and replace each one with a "free" brand new Zoya polish--you pick the colors. Of course, there is a fee of $3.50 per bottle, and the shipping is on you.

I just got back …

Belly Dance Questions and an Award

This is not an award for my belly dancing, alas! But it is a blog award from RetroKali, The Belly Whisperer, a smart and funny dancer hailing from BFE. Here are her belly dance-related questions and my answers.

1. What is your dance style?
Redneck fusion. My experience with dance began in kindergarten ballet. I did not show much promise, mostly owing to my gangly frame. I quickly decided I was not meant to be a dancer and went on to try martial arts in middle school. Through high school, I was trained in the iki shin do style (island temple way), which is a brutal combination of Korean shorin ryu (pine forest way) and US Special Forces tactics. My mulletted senseis taught me the "crane on a rock" pose from the Karate Kid as well as how to kill someone with a set of car keys and leave no fingerprints. Our katas had traditional names like "No Hi," "Kion Go Dan," and "Screamin' Eagle." I also dabbled in judo and learned to move my hips in such…

Deep waters don't run still.

Here is one of the songs on my playlist as I write Chapter Five: Rammstein's Rosenrot.

Mmm, Rammstein. The chorus goes:

Sie will es und so ist es fein
So war es und so wird es immer sein
Sie will es und so ist es Brauch
Was sie will bekommt sie auch

Tiefe Brunnen muss man graben
wenn man klares Wasser will
Rosenrot oh Rosenrot
Tiefe Wasser sind nicht still
Translated to English:

She wants it and that's fine
So it was and so it will always be
She wants it and that's the custom
Whatever she wants she gets

Deep wells must be dug
if you want clear water
Rose-red, oh Rose-red
Deep waters don't run still
So... Chapter Five is about to take some manic turns. There will be romance, witchcraft, teenage drama, and violent death. Girly hissy fits will transform into forces of nature with dire consequences!

I only want to post one more selection from Chapter Five before moving on.

So I want to know: Does anyone have a preference for which scene? I am thinking of posting either:

a …

Happy May Day!

Did you remember to bathe in the morning dew for everlasting youth?

May Day is an ancient, pre-Christian holiday celebrating the fullness of spring and the fertility of the earth. Right here in Michigan, it's a glorious day for this festival. It's over 70 and sunny. My apple trees have lush foliage already, my strawberries are ripening, peas are growing like crazy, and I've already planted sweet corn. My whole neighborhood is blooming with cherry and crabapple trees, lilacs, tulips, and bleeding hearts.

It's only a few days before my third wedding anniversary, and this time of year always reminds me of my wedding bouquet, full of fragrant blossoms from my mother's and grandmother's gardens--along with some cheats from the florist, because that May was not quite as warm and sunny and blooming as this year's.

It also reminds me that I need to do more research on 10th and 11th century European holidays!

I did not get any writing done today, but I feel OK about…