Monday, June 21, 2010

monday munchies: tornado meatloaf

I hopefully will be able to update you with my culinary adventures tomorrow. I was just about to sit down and prep a post while my CSA/market-inspired meatloaf was cooking, but then the sirens went off...and I freaked out.

So you get a post tomorrow! Goodnight!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

what i'm looking forward to this week

Summer has officially begun in Milwaukee, so I've taken advantage of three "rest days" at the beginning of the week to get my life and apartment in order before insanity begins.

Becky and I's Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Share from Rare Earth Farm starts! Looking forward to hopefully enlightening you all with the return of Monday Munchies detailing what I do with my bounty.

After picking up said veggies, it'll be my first trip down to Alterra on the Lake's Musica del Lago series. We have a solid group going for De La Buena. Hopefully the weather will be lovely.


I will be celebrating a dear friend's birthday, but beforehand I hope to swing by Taylor's to celebrate the birthday of I doubt I'll make it to the screening of Rad at the Bike-In Movie, but you should go if you can!

In the spirit of keeping an attitude of gratitude, I will not bemoan the fact that I'm missing 1,000 other events in Milwaukee (including participating in the Great Milwaukee Race with my friends) because I'll be working at the Juneteenth Day Parade & Celebration. Actually, you should pop by and check it out.

Provided I'm not totally exhausted after, I'll be heading over to the The Brenner Beer Tasting at the Parachute Project on 27th & Wells. I went to the first Parachute Project event on Gallery Night and it's definitely worth checking out. I'm a big fan of the "pop up gallery" concept and using abandoned urban spaces for art's sake. Check this one out if you can.

I'll likely end the evening at the Summer Soulstice on North Avenue, another Milwaukee summer tradition.

Anyone want to be my brunch buddy on Sunday morning? I have signed up to write a guest blog for the fantastic Milwaukee Brunch Reviews this summer and would like to hit up Buckley's this weekend. Afterward, I plan to hit the Lakefront Festival of the Arts, swing into see the AIDS Quilt at the Milwaukee Art Musuem, and probably pop over to Polish Fest.

How can you be bored in this town? What are your plans for the weekend?

practice an attitude of gratitude

This was my fortune cookie last night from Lucky Liu's and I really took it to heart today.

The last month has been incredibly rough. My mom lost her job of 15 years, my godfather passed away after a short battle with melanoma, and I got in a car accident at work and now have to deal with both a back injury and fighting an unjust ticket (since when is driving in the shoulder of a two-lane highway legal?).

Thanks to the car accident I also had to put my fitness and weight goals on hold until I start physical therapy and find out how to adjust my exercise plan. Nothing's more frustrating to me at the moment.

BUT the cookie put it all in perspective.

So here's some of the many things I'm grateful for today:

  • Getting up early enough this morning to hit Alterra Coffee before work.
  • I hurt less today than yesterday and that I wasn't hurt worse in the accident.
  • I have the resources, intelligence and gumption to fight my ticket.
  • My best friend in the world, Kat, happened to be visiting the day after my wreck and took care of me mentally, physically and spiritually. AND she cleaned my bath tub so I could soak my muscles. She's pretty much amazing.
  • Swimming really helped my back out and the WAC and Milwaukee Athletic Club have partnered so I now have access to a pool downtown.
  • I was able to donate blood today and that I can be motivated enough by the importance of it to overcome my terrible phobia of needles.
  • My #fitmke and dailymile networks rock and have been so encouraging throughout my hiatus from my exercise routine.
  • The stars aligning and the Pabst Theater booked the Pavement reunion. Now I can sell my Pitchfork tickets and have an extra weekend in Milwaukee, go to a friend's wedding shower, and support the WMSE Radio Summer Camp.
  • Spending quality time with my family this past month.
  • My awesome co-workers who bring in treats, entertain me throughout the day, and give me rides home when it rains.
  • Reconnecting with childhood, high school and college friends recently. And continuing to make new friends, even with three decades behind me!
Thank you fortune cookie!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

How to Survive 75 Miles, Or the Miller Lite Ride 2010

Cross-posted from Daily Mile/Facebook/Twitter:

My body hates me right now. I can't post much as I am possibly going to keel over at any moment. But I have to just give a huge THANK YOU to everyone who donated money to my ride (over $1500 raised) or even just gave me encouragement in person, on Twitter or on Facebook. My friends and family totally rule. Honestly, there were some hard moments today. This is the longest I've ever cycled in my LIFE. But the thought of all the people that believed in me kept me focused and motivated. I have to thank add a special shout out to the #fitmke crew without whom there's NO WAY I could've done this. Without you guys I would not be MUCH lighter than last year, when 50 miles was the maximum I could push. I would not be in the best physical shape of my life without having connected with all of you. I have to thank my FUEL Milwaukee team this year: Maggie, Randy, Robin, Gary, Jeff & Lynn. And especially the latter two who waited at the finish line to cheer me on as I crossed. I may feel beat physically, but I'm just so grateful for the support and encouragement I want to give the world a hug. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

It took five and half hours.

Also, with running mixed in, my Daily Mile summary for the week is 89 MILES. You don't even know how incredible this is for me. I don't think I've ever done anything that physical in my LIFE.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

PDX Perspective

Arnold Family Photo - June 1, 2010

This weekend I was going to do a lot of things. Explore my hometown more, catch up on blog entries…be productive.

Then on Saturday my family was hit with very sad news at 8:30 in the morning. My godfather, and my dad’s best friend of 40 years, passed away after a short battle with melanoma.

I ran it out while my parents began to grieve. I met up with my little brother, went to LCD Soundsystem with Kat, waited to find out if I’d be making it back to Milwaukee or detouring to DC first. 
Grandma & Me

It was really hard to watch Mom and Dad try and hold it together. I was glad I had pre-existing plans to hang out with Grandma all day on Sunday, three hours north. I tried to take my time in the car to process my own thoughts, memories of growing up with the Fisher family, reflecting on the one-year anniversary of my own father’s heart attack scare…

I tried to hug my parents as much as possible all weekend. I didn’t fight with my mom, which is a miracle in itself. I processed. I made my arrangements to DC (with a couple hiccups). Then on Monday night, before dinner, I checked Facebook. I learned that a good friend’s brother who had been in a coma the past month, passed away.

Auntie Meghan & Joey

The weekend wasn’t without joy. I met my friend Lisa’s baby, Joey, and got to hold him until my arm cramped. I spent countless hours with my best friend, Kathleen. I am so grateful for her, I can’t even begin to describe. She amazes me with everything she has done, and all the obstacles and tragedies in her own life that she’s handled. She inspires me to be strong.
Kat, Nathan and me at Coffeetime. Circa 1998. Or on Monday night.

There were the other usual suspects, old and new, woven into the fabric of my trip home: Nathan, Jasmine, Leland, and my brother’s girlfriend, the lovely Nathalie.

I saw the Oregon Coast for the first time in years. It was rainy and blustery, but the ocean still makes me happy. The Pacific really does bring me peace.
Sibling bonding.

And then there was my family. Kevin, my brother, and I had a great sibling-bonding day. Mom and Dad and I existed peacefully in the house. Grandma and I had a blast driving all over the southern Puget Sound looking for farmer’s markets.

I was not “productive” in the sense of creating materials, but I was productive in getting perspective.

I’ve already been reaching a breaking point with my commitments, but this weekend revealed much to me. I need to spend more time with the people that I love and taking care of myself so that I’m here and healthy for the people who love me. We’re all here for just a short time.

I want to spend the summer living life to its fullest. Carpe diem, indeed.

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