Sunday, January 31

I'm Not From Around Here

I’m certainly not in the south anymore. Well, some people may consider me in the south, but the 6”-7” of snow we got Friday and Saturday and I beg to differ.

That’s right, kids and kittens. This little transplanted Georgia Peach is currently living through her first snow-induced state of emergency. And you know what? It’s not that bad, minus the part about be limited to campus and the area immediately around campus. But I’m managing nicely.

(I feel like the little kid from "A Christmas Story")

Yesterday, Roomie-Dearest, Westchester, Mr. Jackson, Frenchie* and a handful of other people and I put on as many layers as we could find and ventured out into the snow for a few hours of frolicking. When the cold became too much, Westchester, Frenchie and I returned to our warm rooms to strip off our soaking clothes and defrost. I defrosted with the help of some Hot Mess Cocoa.

The rest of the afternoon was spent under the covers with my latest pleasure read-Julie and Julia. Crazy was supposed to host a social for all us ruggirls, but she decided to do some peyote, so that fell through. I wasn’t terribly disappointed, though. Pizza and beer just didn’t appeal to me.

You know what did appeal to me? Biting Gummy Bears**! I whipped up a batch of those for Roomie-Dearest, Westchester and I to enjoy as we re-applied our layers before venturing out to Country’s (with another thermos of Hot Mess Cocoa in hand). Once there I spent most of my time with the Minimalist since I haven’t been seeing him as much as I would like. We ended up going home together, where we had a very unexpected talk.

Apparently, he wants to take me out to sushi. That may sound like a straight-forward great date. I love sushi. He offered to take out me completely out of the blue. All great things. But there’s more! In his circle of friends, a sushi date means you’re official. He emphasized that point by listing off all the established couples who had been on sushi dates. Does this mean him and I are about to become an established couple?

It would appear so. I certainly never saw this coming. Not bad timing, though, because Papa and co are coming for a visit in February. Looks like somebody is meeting the parents.

*Frenchie-a delightful New Orleans native with a mouth and a tolerance like a sailor, but also one of the most genuinely nice people you’ll ever meet.

**Biting Gummy Bears-gummy bears (preferably Haribo because they’re delicious and they hold up better than cheap ones) soaked in vodka for a handful of hours, until everything melds together to form a bowl of sticky goodness.

Sunday, January 24

Bleh with a Capital B

To sum up my current existence, let me say “bleh.”

I say “bleh” because:

I’m sick, supposedly with a bad sinus infection, but I doubt that a bit. At least it’s not the mono Brother thought I had.

My room is a mess and my laundry is in terrible need of washing, but I feel as if I have neither the time nor the energy to do it.

I have no clue what’s going on as far as the Minimalist and I are concerned. We haven’t been the same since school started back up. We don’t see each other nearly as much. When we do see each other things are pretty much the same, but I’m still…I don’t know…unhappy?...wary?...something. This is just making me re-realize how much I enjoy being with him. Maybe things will change soon.

Despite the fact that I have been doing all my homework (including my readings, which I normally never do) on time, I still have a mountain (or what feels like a mountain) waiting for me today.

Over break I got in AMAZING shape. I came black at my ideal weight (as determined by my height and bone size, and how I like to look) and with an amazing handle on my eating. After two weeks of dining hall food all that progress has gone out the window. It sucks. I can’t keep letting this happen.

This weekend was a bust. Not only was I sick, but there was NOTHING going on Friday night (I went to bed at 11), our first game of the season on Saturday got canceled (while I couldn’t play I would have at least loved to go), the guido party Saturday night was shit, and everything else I did Saturday just didn’t feel that fun so I ended up coming back to my place (much to the seeming indifference of the Minimalist) and going to bed.

What’s the light at the end of this tunnel? If you figure one out pleasepleaseplease let me know. Until then, I’m going to continue trying to keep myself from crawling back into bed and waiting for these next few days to be over.

PS-A half-full handle of Sailor Jerry's was smashed last night. I believe we should have a moment of silence, fly flags at half mast and drink a shot (NOT take a shot) in honor of our fallen hommie.

Thursday, January 21

Quick Note.

Dear friends,

First of all, thank-you for reading. Our time together thus far has been quite pleasurable, at least for me. Was it good for you, too?
As you may have noticed (and as I'm sure I've said many many times) I love everything about food. So much so that I doubt I could fit all that love in one tiny little blog (and I doubt you would always want to read about that love). So I've come up with a solution. Allow me to introduce you to my latest creation...

This is my blog all about food and exercise and nutrition. It's chock-full-o-super delicious recipes, food finds, and my daily food musings. If you like food(or just need it to survive)or want even more time with me, you should check it out.

Please and thank-you,
Kara Hadley

Monday, January 18

The "I Love Free Alcohol" Weekend

Thank-you, MLK. Your unending commitment to nonviolence and the persevering spirit of men ended the soul crushing oppression that too many endured for far too long. You, and others like you, have set an example that we will be trying to live up to for generations to come. For that, and this most amazing 3-day weekend, I thank-you.

Oh yes, my weekend has been chock-full-o-craziness and surprisingly warm weather. (It’s 60 degrees and sunny!) That warm weather inspired Country and his crew to come out of hibernation and host the first bonfire of the year. That would have been the perfect way to kick off the weekend—free beer, sex-on-a-stick outfit (black over-the-knee boots, black leggings, short white tank dress, Sgt Pepper jacket), all my friends—if it weren’t for Mr. Jackson ignoring boundaries and hitting on me and a rugglet I’m quite platonically fond of getting alcohol poisoning. He’s alright now; recuperating safely at home.

Saturday brought on a team run and weight lifting session, deciding not to go with Mr. Jackson and Pollock* for an overnight to Pollock’s house (no need to confuse the poor boy even more), banding together with Westchester and Roomie-Dearest to take Newbie** under our wings, and one of the BEST parties of the year. The party: Ladies for Haiti, meaning girls drank free. The location: the Firehouse. Reasons it was awesome: free booze, dancing on a table to Michael Jackson, slapping a random creeper, getting busted by 6 cop cars (overkill much?), another sex-on-a-stick outfit (same boots, black rose-print high waisted skirt from Twin, gray v-neck), Roomie-Dearest going home with Country and me going home with the Minimalist.

While Roomie-Dearest ate up some shrooms on Sunday, I ate up a delicious burrito bowl and some licorice while watching Tough Love 2 online. Completely unproductive, but wonderful nonetheless. Later that night wasn’t so wonderful.

The party: Dance Party for Dr. King. The location: Country’s apartment. Reasons it wasn’t so awesome: the music wasn’t quite right, Mr. Jackson got too fucked up too soon and had to be taken home, a creeper was majorly creeping, and the Minimalist and I had our first fight. He apologized at the eleventh hour as I was putting on my coat to walk home and I returned with him.

Call me a pushover, but he looked genuinely upset about things.

And now I’m finishing an article for the paper and procrastinating clean my very messy room, all the while a delicious piece of chocolate cake soaks in rum for Mr. Jackson’s birthday.

G’afternoon. G’evening. And g’night.

*Pollock-a rugglet and good friend of Mr. Jackson

**Newbie-a transfer that just moved in down the hall. She's nice, but quiet. We'll change that.

Thursday, January 14

This is a Food Revolution, Not a Food Fight

Remember my onion flavored cake resolution about eating better? The one that included eating healthier food, more vegetables, less processed foods and learning to enjoy food? I realize it was a bit vague and I wasn’t sure how I was going to accomplish it.

All my questions were answered in the form of a Barnes & Noble gift card. After having the gift card for less than 2 days it was burning a hole in my pocket and my shelves were begging for another book so I headed over with no real intentions. Because it is January and other people have made similar resolutions (lose 50lbs so I can find my penis, get buns of aluminum because steel is too ambitious, cook 0 calorie food, etc) the display of books at the front was chock-full-o-diet and exercise books. That being a topic I’m always eager to learn more about, I began my happy afternoon of browsing there. It wasn’t long before I had seen enough books promoting a flat abs diet or (this is a first) a Christian approach to dieting to convince me that I would find nothing of use or interest. Right as I was about to walk away something caught my eye.

Could it be?

Why yes, it was her. Staring at me from the cover of a simple but elegant white paperback was none other than Bethenny Frankel, the non-housewife from Real Housewives of New York (a guilty pleasure). She is a self-proclaimed “ball-buster,” a well-respected natural food chef and a SkinnyGirl.

What’s a SkinnyGirl?

I had no clue either until I read the book cover to cover in something like 5 days. It was that good. So allow me to explain/persuade you to the SkinnyGirl lifestyle (no Kool Aid or track suits involved, I promise):

A SkinnyGirl is what we can all be if we learn to break our “Heavy Habits,” embrace new “Thin Thoughts,” and follow her rules to becoming “naturally thin.” I realize this sounds crazy and like every other diet or eating plan you’ve heard. Believe me, when I began the rules I was skeptical. And the first couple of times I encountered a “Thin Thoughts” blurb I had flashes to pro-ana, pro-mia websites (pro-anorexia, pro-bulimia-scary shit). But it didn’t take long for me to realize the simple wisdom in what she was saying.

The Rules:

Your diet is a bank account

You can have it all, just not all at once

Taste everything, eat nothing

Pay attention

Downsize now!

Cancel your membership in the clean plate club

Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Know thyself

Get real

Good for you

Obviously, those are a lot different from the usual no sugar, no bread, only grapefruit rules of most diet books. That’s because this isn’t a diet. Think of it as relationship counseling for your relationship with food. I know I’m beginning to sound fruity, but it really is the truth.

I could continue to gush about my newly discovered food-gem, but I know I’m going to sound crazy/gullible/hired/cultish. I suggest picking up a copy of the book if you’ve got the lovehate relationship with food that I always had. It’s worth the money if for no other reason than it includes some delicious-sounding recipes for Skinny cocktails, zucchini soufflé, and vegan coconut cupcakes.

Sunday, January 10

Limbo Life

As a child I always loved limbo. Not necessarily the full on cheese of tiki torches and roasting pigs, but the simplicity of a broomstick held up by two gym teachers. My love of this game, which is hated by most, is probably a byproduct of my size. I’m short and relatively flexible. That made me good at it. I wasn’t good at many games.

It’s been quite a few years since I shimmied my way under a broomstick, but I once again find myself in that same awkward position. This time it’s a state of mind rather than a state of being and I doubt my size will help me now.

I’m living a double life—once again showing my Gemini colors. I have my life at College—a couple of really close friends, a team, someone to warm the sheets and a bunch of fun people to party with. I have my life at “home”—a couple of really close friends, a castle with a kitchen that I reign over whenever Mother is away, a smidgen of family, a pair of dogs and a handful of other people I occupy my time with.

These lives may not seem very different, let alone contradictory, but they are. Maybe not necessarily the parts that make up each life, but how I live each life. All I know is that they’re different.

Don’t get confused, I love both lives and I wouldn’t give up either for all the Sailor Jerry’s in the world. But I hate the double life. I hate the stop-start existence I’m currently living. I live my College life for several months then I have to push pause so I can spend a weekend with Twin or ChiChi or a holiday at “home”, where I re-start that life, only to pause it again when the break is over so I can re-start College life.

This double life has become increasingly apparent over winter break. The differences in my actions, the type of people I hang out with, even how I handle my drinking and dinner conversation is different. This doesn’t mean one life is more authentic than other; they’re just different. And I wish I could blend them. But I know I can’t.

So yesterday I pushed pause on my “home” life, packed up my car with all my earthly possessions, and made the 7 hour drive back to College. Getting off the interstate and driving through town for the first time was like a strange déjà vu.

I’m back! College life has restarted!

Nothing could have confirmed that better than getting O’Captain, My Captain to buy Roomie-Dearest and I a case of beer (our first case ever!) then drinking in my room and getting hit on by Mr. Jackson* before stuffing my bag with beer and heading over to visit Cesar, the Minimalist and co. We laughed. We didn’t cry. Crazy tried to teach Roomie-Dearest how to take shots and the Minimalist and I made out. I woke up this morning naked in his bed with my clothes (which he described as fruity just because I was wearing a scarf and saddle

shoes) in a pile on the floor, the Minimalist still wearing his jeans and no memory of going to bed. The only thing that could have made this an even more classic College morning would be if after watching cartoons in my undies with the guys I went to the dining hall and ate a delicious tofu lunch.

Oh wait, that did happen.

College life has officially restarted. Class and rugby start tomorrow.

*Mr. Jackson- formerly Dustin. I’ll try to stop changing names so much.

Saturday, January 2

Resolutions Schmesolutions, finalized

As promised I have my updated and finalized list of New Year’s resolutions.

Make better decisions

This resolution was spurred by a decision that I need to make regarding my summer. I need to do an internship. By need I really mean that I would consider myself a lazy bum if I don’t. My option: A) get an easy internship in my town at a place that I already have experience, B) get an internship in a field I don’t have any experience with on the opposite coast, but that could be highly lucrative and beneficial, or C) get an internship that excites me more than anything, but that might be more beneficial to me later on. I need to make this decision based on what’s best for me, my education and future career, not on how much time I’ll get to spend with my friends or where I’ll spend my birthday.

Along a similar vein, allow me to channel my former cheerleading self—“Be aggressive. Be be aggressive. B-E A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E.” Believe it or not, I tend towards being a bit shy and soft spoken. I need to start identifying exactly what I need to do to accomplish my numerous and ambitious goals and doing it, without letting unimportant and imaginary obstacles get in my way.

Was that enough of a pep talk for you? I thought so.

Eat Better

This one has several layers, like a cake. Or an onion. I openly and proudly admit that I have a very strong lovehate relationship with food. I lovelovelove to eat and cook and read about food and watch Food Network. My foodbabies (all of which I name) and ability to eat are admired by all. I hatehatehate that most of the really good and crave worthy foods are the worst for you and that my indulgences usually leave me feeling nauseous. I need to break up with fast food and fully immerse myself in all the goodness healthier food has to offer. I also need to learn how to enjoy food more, rather than simply shoveling massive quantities of it in my mouth. Some of the layers of this cake flavored onion include: attempting to be a vegetarian, maybe even a vegan, for a few weeks, cutting out processed foods (including my new love-Capn Crunch), cook more meat (during the weeks I’m not a vegetarian/vegan, of course) and eating more vegetables (I recently discovered a taste for roasted tomatoes and found an interesting recipe for cauliflower). Which leads me into my last, biggest, and favorite resolution…

Complete a Marathon

I come from a family of fitness enthusiasts. As the more literary and less athletically inclined in the bunch, I have often wondered if I was switched at birth. Recently, though, the winds have changed and I’ve begun discovering my deeply buried love for elastic-laced sneakers and fitness magazines. In an attempt to further inundate myself into my family’s sweaty ways I’m going to follow in Papa’s footsteps and complete a marathon. He’s run several. I plan to simply finish one. Mother—the non-runner in the family—thinks I’m crazy. Part of my training will also include a half marathon. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.

I think I’ve set my sights on the Rock N’ Roll Marathon in San Diego, CA and either the Flying Pirate Half Marathon in Outer Banks, NC or the Easter Bunny Run Half Marathon in Clemson, SC (hosted by the Clemson University triathlon club, of which Brother is a member). If you decide to follow my lead and hit the pavement (just the sound of that makes my shin splints hurt), here’s a list of the most walker-friendly marathons.

I haven’t made official resolutions in quite a while mainly because I never stuck to them or took the time to think about them. My hope is that by putting them out there I’ll be more likely to stick to them. Which is where you come in…make me stick to them. Bug me. Kick my ass. Keep me honest. I’ll thank you for your efforts with a delicious, nutritious and maybe even vegan meal (or at least recipes for one).

Friday, January 1

Happy New Decade!

Regardless of whether or not you remember when the clock struck midnight, ushering in a brand new decade, it is the New Year. I do remember the dropping of the ball and my toasting of it, like the last few days of the Old Year, was a complete whirlwind.

Papa and Co left early New Year’s Eve Eve. I woke not too long after and headed up to the “Big” City to meet up with Dustin so he could take me on my first outing to the aquarium, where we spent a lovely afternoon stepping over children and debating which fish would taste best.

From there I zoomed over to meet up with ChiChi* and Twin for an ah-maze-ing performance by the Dynamites featuring Charles Walker, the master of funk and soul himself, and Band of Horses. Going into the show I had no clue who was opening for Band of Horses, but it didn’t take long for the funk and soul to win me over and get ChiChi and I boogying happily. Twin was a tad impatient. After an hour of “doing it with soul” Band of Horses came out of their little house and assumed their positions on the Spanish moss covered stage. While they were quite the dramatic shift from the suit wearing Dynamites, it was a shift I was more than willing to make. Three hours after we entered the venue, we emerged into the cold, rainy city still feeling the funk.

New Year’s Eve found me in a car with ChiChi and Adult heading to the beach, where we would be met by Green Bean, the Fertilizer**, Twin, Mr. Milley and Chihuahua***, for two nights of drinking, cooking, and good ole fashioned fun. After a quick jaunt to Piggly Wiggly I assumed my rightful position slaving over pots and pans and a big wood cutting board to prepare classy little hor d’eouvres. Chicken curry wraps were my favorite from the evening:

2 chicken breasts plain, low-fat yogurt

raisins dry roasted cashews

celery curry powder

5 tortillas

Slice chicken into small bites and cook in a lightly oiled pan over medium-high heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat once fully cooked. Chop as much celery as you’d like into small pieces and combine that with chicken and as many raisins and cashews. Add yogurt to the mixture, creating as much sauce as you’d like. Begin adding curry powder until the sauce is a mustard yellow color. Steam tortillas by wrapping them in damp dish towels and warming in the oven. Wrap the curry in the tortillas.

Once the food was on the table I mixed myself a strong vodka and seltzer and the festivities began. Adult got really drunk. We smoked the Fertilizer’s hookah. Twin, ChiChi and I kissed at midnight. I introduced Green Bean and the Fertilizer to champagne. Adult passed out first and ChiChi drew on his face.

I woke up this morning with a headache and the spins, then a bought of nausea compliments of Twin talking about her morning with the porcelain god. A cup of tea and a bowl of Captain Crunch with Berries cured everything. And a little bit of DJ Hero and pizza helped, too. Our two night stay got shortened to one when most of the people in my ride home felt like nursing their hangovers in their own beds.

And now it’s the New Year, a new decade, and while I feel no different I’m optimistic about the future. Resolutions will be coming shortly.

*ChiChi-formerly known as Coco.

**The Fertilizer-Green Bean’s friend who, due to his baggy pants and boxers, we assume to have a high sperm count

***Chihuahua-Twin’s friend from school. She’s a super cool darling and if she were a dog I imagine she would be a laid back long haired Chihuahua.