(American) Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

And to my Canadians and my one faithful reader temporarily in Malaysia, happy Thursday! I hope everyone had a wonderful day eating and drinking. If you snuck in a workout too, great! But if not, that’s OK too! You deserve a break every now and then. You can repent for it tomorrow. As I noted in my last post, since I’m in repenting mode, I did my favorite repenters workout this morning. It’s longer than my normal workout, and you have to do both parts of the workout to make it count. The two individual segments are pretty easy, but the two combined are totally brutal. I’ll write a review on it someday, but in the meantime, I recommend Jillian’s Extreme Shed and Shred if you need a little workout boost. You can stream this on Amazon, or a resourceful person might look on YouTube. Just saying.

Since my parents were here earlier this month, I considered our visit and eating binge my Thanksgiving. But in honor of the holiday, at the last minute I bought a Tofurkey and cooked it up today. I whipped up some veggie gravy and with a leftover can of cranberry sauce (I love that shit, don’t judge), some rolls I had in the freezer, and of course some butter, we called it Thanksgiving. Poet and our guest for the weekend, Major, weren’t really interested in the Tofurkey, but they were thankful for a nice walk on warm day.

Since nothing is more American than consumerism, I did some online shopping to take advantage of the Thanksgiving/Black Friday sales. I have never, and will never, go shopping on Black Friday, as a I can’t stand people and crowds. We’ll walk down to the pet store in the neighborhood, Biscuits, and maybe buy a little post-Thanksgiving treat for the mutts, but that will be the extent of our shopping tomorrow.

Let the holiday madness begin. And try to keep your workouts a priority, even if they’re abbreviated, something is better than nothing.


Sorry for the lack of posting recently! My parents came to visit for about 10 days. Which translates to a 10 day feeding frenzy. While had a grand time eating our way through the Bay Area and beyond,  it’s time to return to normal food consumption levels. The nice thing about vacations is that you usually at least walk around a bit more than normal, but that doesn’t really make up for the mac-n-cheez, cream cheez, and bread pudding. Oh yes, there was bread pudding! I’m easing back into normal, as it’s hard to just go cold turkey. How do you recover from vacation eating? Leave your tips in the comments.


Halloween is big business around here. Not only do we get bombarded with trick-or-treaters, some of whom seemed to be driven to my street (?!?!?!? Back in my day we walked. Until our feet bled. Because that’s the way it was and we liked it!), but there are many other important festivities: the work Halloween costume contest and my Poet’s birthday!!!!

The Halloween costume contest has gone from being about the costumes to being more of a dance and acting contest. We, however, are purists, and also no one wants to see our “dancing” or “acting”. So we stick with what we know best: tape, cardboard, and glue. Here is this year’s losing costume:

photo 4

But on to the real celebration. Poet’s 14th birthday! I wasn’t sure if we’d have a birthday to celebrate this year, but my girl is more spunky than ever.  Here are a few shots of the party and her costume

IMG_1466 IMG_1464 IMG_1478IMG_1452

Needless to say Halloween was more about food than working out, so I need to do some repenting this week. I hope you all enjoyed a few extra snacks that day too!


What card-carrying, bread-loving, carb-o-vore, doesn’t love the representative food of our people, the bagel? Before the rise of chain bagel shops, my hometown of Pittsburgh had several great independent bagel houses. My favorite was Bageland. They had a big old kettle where they boiled them right in the middle of the shop. Not everyone can be blessed with New York bagels on a regular basis, but Bageland was the next best thing. When I moved out west, I was shocked, dismayed, and appalled at the pathetic pieces of dough that disgraced the good name of the bagel. With the chains making their way out here, eventually,  I can now get at least a standard issue bagel, but I have high standards for my bread products, and the chain store bagels are nothing to write home about.

In an attempt to create a little bagel heaven at home, i decided to attempt what many say cannot be done. Make a decent bagel in your own kitchen! I tried one recipe that was terrible. I almost gave up and headed back to Panera, but thought I’d give it another shot with this recipe.

For the time being, I’ll leave the true food blogging to the experts and won’t bog you down with step by step photos. Here’s a bagel primer to get you started.

I’m not exactly known for my cooking skills, but I manage to keep me and the dog alive (we eat out a lot). However, I am an expert eater and know what’s good. And these bagels are amazing! They are SUPER filling so you can load up one with cream cheese and not have to eat again until your evening feeding session–no stopping your activities for food, and no hunger-related meltdowns (I cannot promise you a meltdown-free day, however). I load up mine with the pre-crushed Trader Joe’s garlic, some sesame seeds, and salt. Kosher salt. Lots of it. I’m the polar opposite of a morning person, so I make up the dough the night before (takes about 10 minutes, tops) and proof it in the fridge overnight. You have to let it sit out for at least an hour (probably more) the next morning before you can get cooking. Basically, I hop out of bed at the crack of 10 and after letting out the dog I pull the dough out of the fridge. This leaves plenty of time for putzing around and a decent workout while you wait for the dough to be ready, and you’re rewarded with nice fresh bagels.

So try it out and let me know what you think!

True story. I was bringing home a dozen bagels from New York and bought them the night before I left. By the next morning the entire hallway at my hotel smelled like garlic. So did the plane, later that day. I was so proud.

Random Act of Kindness

I was sure my very first blog post would be a review of a DVD. I mean that is the whole idea behind the blog. As I’ve been setting things up, I have been thinking about which DVD to review and how exactly I’m going to do it.

But then today one of those things that only happens on the internets happened to me, and I knew instantly what my first post would be. At lunch in the company cafeteria, one of my colleagues who I only sort of know was in there. We made small talk in the line and then happened to be at the register at the same time. AND HOLY CRAP HE BOUGHT MY LUNCH!!!!!

As a professional cynic, I really never believed all the stories you hear about that kind of thing. But I’m here to tell you all, it really did happen to me.

So with that, I mark my first post. I still have the quandary of what my first review will be, but I’ll figure that out. And now I have a new quandary. How will I pay this forward?