Tag Archives: marcello

Is your bed made? Is your sweater on?

1 Oct

Marcello and I went for a short, easy spin this morning. It’s in the upper 40s (!!), so I put a sweater over my T-shirt and capri-length red jeans. Oh baby, was I stylin’. Anyway, we pedaled just under 30 minutes and made is 3.5 miles. My only point of pride is this hill. Do you remember it?

Well, I usually pedal up it halfway and walk the rest. Today, however, I conquered it on two wheels. I don’t think I ever recovered, which is why my ride was short. I still feel awesome, though.

Here’s today’s playlist:

  1. Belle and Sebastian, “Stay Loose”
  2. Deee-Lite, “Groove Is in the Heart”
  3. The Monkeys, “The Girl That I Knew Somewhere”
  4. Vampire Weekend, “Cape Code Kwassa Kwassa”
  5. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Airport”
  6. Yo La Tengo, “Cherry Chapstick”
  7. Joshua Radin, “Winter”

I have a lot of chores to do, so I have to run. Talk to you soon!

Half of the time we’re gone, but we don’t know where

24 Sep

The day started off with a disappointment. I was supposed to get a 30-minute hot stone massage at a local training college for cosmetologists and massage therapists. I ended up with a regular 30-minute massage, not at all what I wanted. I paid for that service and asked to be rebooked for what I wanted. I have to give the school major props for the way they handled it. They apologized and offered me 50% off the rebook. So I think I walked away the winner.

Anyway, I was a little cranky after rising at 8 a.m. on my day off to get a service I didn’t receive, so I almost immediately hopped on Marcello upon my return. I intended to do a short ride but ended up putting in a little over four miles in 30 minutes. That’s not incredibly long, but I expected to tire out after two miles.

I decided to go a different way today and ended up hooking onto the Newblock Park Trail for a bit. That’s when I discovered that it only takes me 10-15 minutes to bike to Waterworks Art Studio! I’ve taken three classes there that I loved and was looking forward to another one in the spring. Now I’ll have to take my bike. Yay! In case you’re curious, here’s a map of that area:

Yes, that is the actual color of the Arkansas River — when it has water in it, anyway. The trail wasn’t as pretty as the River Parks, but it was a nice change of pace. Plus, my high school is over that way, so this let me view the area from a different perspective. My favorite park was pedaling past a fence covered in gorgeous morning glories to my right and the juvenile detention center to my left. Ah, Tulsa.

Accompanying me today was this new, awesome thing I bought from Target. I purchased it for my upcoming trip to Italy (I can’t wait to tell you all about that), but it makes a perfect little bicycling friend, too. It has a pocket on the back for my Nano:

(Ha, yes, my sleeping dog worked her way in the photo.) And space inside for my keys and cell phone:

The wrist strap has a clip that I also hooked on the inside of my basket to hold everything in place:

And it’s purty:

There were several different designs, and it cost $10. Thanks to my friend Erica for telling me about them!

Speaking of my Nano, she decided to show off my old-manliness today, for the most part, with the playlist. It appropriately enough began with a song by the awesome dude who serenaded me and me alone at the giant spaceship downtown last night:

  1. Tom Petty, “Yer So Bad”
  2. The Black Crowes, “Seeing Things”
  3. Dar Williams, “This Was Pompeii”
  4. The Rolling Stones, “Soul Survivor”
  5. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Don’t Look Now”
  6. Simon & Garfunkel, “The Only Living Boy in New York”
  7. The Black Crowes, “She Talks to Angels”
  8. Ben Folds, “Trusted”
  9. Elton John, “Levon”

After my ride, I made myself a delicious smoothie:

No, it’s not brown because it’s teeming with red-and-green fruits and veggies. It’s brown because of the cocoa powder. Slurp. I’ve been making smoothies in this blender for, oh, 2.5 years now, so I don’t tend to measure things. But just for you, I’ve put together what I believe to be a legitimate recipe for a healthy chocolate smoothie.

Ingredients

  • 2 frozen bananas in chunks
  • 5 slices of frozen peach
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon nut butter (I used Justin’s Maple Almond again)
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • a few dashes of cinnamon

Add ingredients to the blender in the listed order, starting with 1/4 cup of water, and blend until smooth. If it’s too thick, add more water. Drink and enjoy!

This is also wonderfully tasty with peanut instead of almond butter and with other kinds of frozen fruit. Strawberry is a good choice, but I love the smoothness of the peaches with chocolate and banana. If you want to add nutrition, throw in a handful of fresh spinach before everything else. I would have, but I didn’t have any.

I have a long to-do list today (including buying a watch battery, cleaning, having lunch with my love, laundry, and possibly checking out the new Anthropologie store in Tulsa), so I’m off. Have a fabulous Friday!

Breakfast KEEN-wah

18 Sep

Until yesterday, Marcello had been feeling neglected again, so I made it up to him with another bike ride today. I will make such a wonderful mother.

We added a little less than a mile to yesterday’s jaunt for a total of 5.3 miles and about 130 calories burned.

I never look like the majority of other riders. First, my bike is nearly twice my age and shows it — in a sexy older man kind of way, of course. Marcello is the George Clooney or Harrison Ford of the bicycling world. Also, I tend to wear jeans and cotton flats instead of the gear sported by the real enthusiasts. Today, I took it a step further: I was Donna Reed on two wheels.

Yes, I wore pearls. Well, glass pearls on the Anne Boleyn necklace I made myself. No shame, no shame at all. I had already showered so I could hit up the farmers market, so I opted for my other favorite, slightly scandalous method of cooling off:

Be thankful I spared you the undies shot.

By now, I may be posting my playlist more for my own enjoyment now than anyone else’s, but I persist. My Nano is not always the best at being random on shuffle, nor does it tend to hit my mood all that well, but I have to give My Little Grape mad propz for its song selection today. Other than playing two Rolling Stones songs (no cardinal sin in itself), this playlist was a perfect mix of mid-tempo, retro (or retro-feeling) songs and some slightly more upbeat modern tracks:

  1. Lily Allen, “Knock ‘Em Out”
  2. Goo Goo Dolls, “Acoustic #3”
  3. The Monkees, “I’m a Believer”
  4. Outkast, “Church”
  5. Joshua Radin, “Brand New Day”
  6. The Rolling Stones, “I Got the Blues”
  7. Vampire Weekend, “Cape Cod (Kwassa Kwassa)”
  8. The Rolling Stones, “Tell Me”
  9. M.I.A. featuring Afrikan Boy, “Hussel”
  10. Dar Williams, “Christians and Pagans”
  11. Simon & Garfunkel, “For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her”

Afterward, I needed some real fuel. Coffee and sweat only keep the hunger at bay for so long. Since it was already after 11:00, I opted for a breakfast-lunch hybrid (some people call that brunch):

Sweet quinoa, topped with maple syrup and cinnamon. Fact that should embarrass me: I pronounced it phonetically (quih-NO-uh) for about a year. It’s KEEN-wah so you don’t sound like an ignorant Okie, too.

Quinoa is a grain in the same way that tomatoes are vegetables and peanuts are nuts: in use, not in biology. I’m a big fan of it for a number of reasons, including its extreme ease to make, its fluffy texture, and its delicately nutty flavor. It also cooks up a lot faster than true grains, so it’s good to have around for a quick meal.

This is my first time sweetening it up, and I have to say I’m a new fan. I think I’ll try it with a sliced banana and some of the Justin’s nut butter next time. You could also add raisins if you like to take delicious things and make them disgusting. I don’t judge.

To accompany it, I enjoyed a delicate cup (or four) of Celestial Seasoning’s Honey Vanilla Chamomile, left over from my party, from my awesome teapot in a delicate cup:

Pinkies up!

And sorry to cross-polinate cross-promote, but I’m doing a giveaway on my craft blog. Head over to vote for my Indie Emporium logo and have a chance to win something from me!

Boris and Marcello

17 Sep

On today’s bike ride, Marcello made room in his basket for our new friend, Boris. That is the name of my adorable new camera. I was sick of the memory stick showing up as “NO NAME” on my desktop, so I dubbed him (and therefore the entire camera) Boris.

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to show you some of the things I see on my weekly rides through Boris’s lens. All the shots were taken on the way back, but I will start with where my biking journey begins each time:

I may live on the not-so-fashionable west side of the river, but I bet my view is better than yours. 😛

The total loop today was 4.5 miles, and here’s the view to the east of my midway point:

And to the west:

Next up, I became the one-millionth person to take an “artsy” shot of the 21st/23rd Street Bridge:

I live in Tulsa, where road construction is constant and never-ending. Here’s some on the trail:

This shot from the east side of the Arkansas River shows off the tents set up for this weekend’s Scottish games as well as a certain apartment complex and part of the OSU-Tulsa medical school:

This is the hill that takes you up 15th Street. It was the hardest part of my bike ride to the farmers market for sure:

Here we have a slab of Route 66 and, well, more construction!

This bridge takes me to and from the east side:

This is a scary little hill that makes me want to yell “whee!” and wish I wore knee and elbow pads at the same time:

So that’s a little sneak look at what I see on my rides. I have plenty of not-so-nice things to say about Tulsa, but it’s a pretty city.

And here’s today’s pedaling playlist:

  1. Moby, “Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?”
  2. The Shins, “Mine’s Not a High Horse”
  3. Simon & Garfunkel, “The Sound of Silence”
  4. Taylor Swift, “Should’ve Said No”
  5. Moby, “South Side”
  6. David Bowie, “Ziggy Stardust”
  7. Dar Williams, “Southern California Wants to Be Western New York”
  8. Outkast, “Bowtie”
  9. Bonnie Raitt, “Angel from Montgomery”
  10. Counting Crowes, “Blackberry”

Apparently my Nano was cranky on the way down and into Moby.

I’m an extraordinary eating/biking machine

3 Sep

I don’t think I’ve mentioned before that I have Fridays off. Before you get too jealous, that means I put in 10-hour days Monday through Thursday. All the same, I love it. For the last two weeks, I’ve taken advantage of the cooler Friday mornings to pedal, as you’ve seen before. Today took me on a 6.7-mile trek, yet another distance record for me so far. The first half was easy, but the return trip was a little rough. I guess I didn’t notice that a lot of the way out was slightly downhill, making it a bit of an incline for about three miles back. Poor legs and booty.

My lovely readers seemed to enjoy the last bicycling playlist I posted, so I will oblige again. This one is almost too repetitive to share (really, three Rilo Kiley songs? and two by Fiona Apple?), but it’s reality, folks; it’s the cold, raw thrill of my Nano’s lack of good shuffling ability.

  1. Rilo Kiley, “Accidntel Deth” (an ominous start)
  2. The Black Crowes, “Kickin’ My Heart Around”
  3. Dolly Parton, “I Will Always Love You”
  4. Rilo Kiley, “We’ll Never Sleep (God Knows We’ll Try)”
  5. Fiona Apple, “Parting Gift”
  6. The Lemonheads, “It’s a Shame About Ray”
  7. Creedence Clearwater Revival, “Long as I Can See the Light”
  8. Rilo Kiley, “Dreamworld”
  9. Interference, “Gold” (from the Once soundtrack)
  10. Tom Petty, “Depending on You”
  11. Fiona Apple, “Extraordinary Machine”
  12. Portishead, “Sour Times”
  13. Kathy McCarty, “Living Life”
  14. Pavement, “Range Life”

Bam. These delightful harmonics had me pondering a whole bevy of things whilst pedaling: “I honestly don’t think I care too much about Ray;” “How long will it last before I go insane?”; “I, too, have that old travelin’ bone;”  and “I wouldn’t really say Stone Temple Pilots are terribly elegant bachelors, and they certainly aren’t foxy to me.”

I returned quite hungry having skipped breakfast out of laziness. So what’s a famished lass with leftovers to do?

Yep, eat breakfast and lunch together. Hello, old friends.

(By the way, I apologize for the clutter in these photos. The only good lighting in my entire apartment is in the computer room, so I either take food shots in the dark kitchen, on my computer desk, or on the carpet in that room.)

The salad is basically identical to the one I posted on Wednesday, except that I didn’t use tomatoes (I’ll explain my tomato thing one day) and that I made my own dressing. This isn’t much of a recipe, but I combined a tablespoon of tahini, about 2 1/2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, a small minced garlic clove, a tiny dribble of toasted sesame oil, two dashes of ground ginger, and enough water to thin it out a little.

The scramble, too, is almost the same as Monday’s, except that I omitted the spinach and accidentally used double the amount of curry powder. ‘Twas still a delight. In fact, I may have preferred the spinach-free version, but spinach is one of the few foods I don’t love that I try to fit into my diet any way. That’s why I add it to smoothies.

I almost couldn’t finish this meal. It felt huge. I’m sure I’ll be hungry in 20 minutes, though.

Also, I would like to thank the neighbors  — who may or may not have seen me in my underwear while I took the above photos — for not calling the police or starting a riot. I opened the blinds to maximize the natural light and then realized I wasn’t wearing any pants. And yes, I do live on the first floor. Whoops.

Tasty food, some cardio, and flashing the neighbors make me feel a little less lazy on the beginning of my four-day weekend, but here’s hoping I actually start on that to-do list now.

What food do you eat for health reasons that you don’t particularly like? I refuse to eat anything I dislike, but I do sneak in spinach whenever possible. I’ve learned that baby spinach is far easier for me to stomach than the big leaves.

Rollin’ on my homie

28 Aug

I’m an Oklahoma anomaly in many ways beyond my meat-shunning. One of them is my distaste for sports. Nearly every Okie has a favorite team of some kind, and even the mostly indifferent root for either the Sooners or the Cowboys (or occasionally the Golden Hurricane, but that makes even me giggle). I do not. I actively do not care. For the most part, I cannot stand watching sports. Somehow I hooked up with an amazing guy who also can’t stand them. He’s a former football player, and I once waved a pair of pom pons, but that’s an image for another time.

Despite this fact, between the ages of 4 and 17, I managed to participate in six different physical activities: gymnastics/acrobatics (briefly), swimming, soccer, cheerleading, dance (ballet, tap, jazz), and basketball (yes, I’m 5’3″). In that time, I did all the normal kid things, too, including bike riding, trampolining, and being a spaz. Upon entering college and engaging fully in dorm life, my desire for movement of any kind dissipated. Sure, I made some half-assed attempts at working out, but mostly, I studied, ate, and played Set with my fellow nerdy/awesome friends. I gained and I lost weight intermittently, and I still managed to graduate at a healthy size.

Now as a 20-something, health has become a major interest of mine. I read lots of books on it, constantly try to eat well, and enjoy the weight loss that has accompanied my almost squeaky-clean lifestyle. My one sticky area, however, remains fitness. I thrive on routine, but building one is proving difficult. Knowing my own limitations, I try to surround myself with a large of variety of fitness opportunities. I take the stairs up to and down from my fourth-floor (windowless, cavelike, meat locker) office; I try to make a weekly yoga class; once or twice a week, I slip into the gym.

As part of this routine-less routine, earlier this summer, I bought a bike from the Saturday Flea Market. His name is Marcello:

Isn’t he a sexy beast? Born in 1966, he made all my vintage-bicycle dreams come true. And at $75, it was meant to be. I couldn’t wait to ride him around all the time. I even bought some accessories:

Helmet, bell, basket, and mirror (that came with him). Check out the decidedly non-vintage spinny bell:

My Oklahomie readers know where this ambitious story is going. We had a brutal winter by our standards this year (including snow in March, what?!), so that meant the summer needed to compensate by melting our skin for two months. Marcello and I got very little one-one-one time (mostly me on him, though I won’t deny the reciprocity) before the sun took up residence in my town. We had nearly a month of above-100 temperatures and the brutal Great Plains humidity that accompanied it. Marcello sat sadly, lonely, in the spare room/office/craft space/general storage area.

I woke yesterday to discover a gorgeous 75 degrees outside, so I dusted off my blue baby and went on the longest ride of my adult life: roughly 3.5 miles. It felt great! It felt awesome! I sweated and smiled and mostly ignored the pain in my rear end. In fact, I got so ambitious as to declare that I would ride him all the way to the Cherry Street Farmers Market — my Saturday morning destination — today. It’s about a 6-mile trip there and back. I figured if I could pedal 3.5 miles yesterday in one shot, I could certainly do 3, take a break, and then do another 3. So what if I’d never done it before? Never even ridden with anything more than my keyring in the basket? I was up to the challenge.

And you know what? I did it. I did it. I can’t freaking believe it. I may have walked the last four blocks of the trip out (the hills on 15th will kill you, especially if your bike has only one speed), but I didn’t break down and call a cab as I feared/prepared for. The reward: 172 calories burned, +10,000 confidence points, and a bag of tasty, local produce. Here’s the spread:

In a basket.

On my self-healing cutting mat. Yum.

Grapes (more in the bag – for my mom), basil, chives.

(Blurry) arugula.

(Blurry) new potatoes and green beans (my favorites).

(Slightly less blurry) cherry tomatoes.

I will share what I make with the goodies soon.

How did I feel after my accomplishment?

Sweaty, mostly, and proud — but not prideful. Would you like further proof that I have no actual pride or dignity? This is what a helmet does to unwashed, super-fine hair, bobby pins be damned:

SEX-AY. You’re welcome.

And in case you’re interested, I had my Nano on shuffle, so this was my ridin’ dirty play list:

  • Train — “Free”
  • The Rolling Stones — “I Just Want to See His Face”
  • Vampire Weekend — “Horchata”
  • Ben Folds Five — “Brick”
  • Fiona Apple — “Get Him Back”
  • Taylor Swift — “You’re Not Sorry”
  • David Bowie — “Young Americans”
  • Busta Rhymes feat. Rampage — “Woo Hah!! Got You All in Check”
  • Iron & Wine — “Sodom, South Georgia”
  • Portishead — “Mysterons”
  • Peter Gabriel — “Secret World”