Monday, March 31, 2008

Temporary Web Space

Check out my new temporary website that will act as my online portfolio while I'm having one built for my company, STUDIO 1:000.

It's pretty bare right now, but will have more in terms of content very soon!


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Charlotte Cats Route 7

Mid-March Resolution: No driving on weekends. God, to be in a city better suited to public transportation! A city where it wouldn't take you two hours and 4 transfers to get to work. But since this is not the case until August--when hopefully the London Underground will carry me from place to place--I've resolved to get a head start on my future living situation and put my car keys away Friday through Sunday. I started last weekend and although I had a little adventure locking myself out of the house due to leaving my keys at the grocery store (two miles away--that I had just walked!!!), I can say that I really enjoyed trekking around Uptown in the warmness of Spring.

So Viva La Revolution de reduction du mon"Carbon Footprint".

OK, yes my french was awful. Maybe I can use my newfound weekend walking time to catch up with some free language podcasts...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Roller Derby in One Word: Awesome

Roller derby's are basically kick ass. I got my first look at Charlotte's women's roller derby team, the Charlotte Roller Girls, on Sunday and I was so inspired by these very tough and very charismatic women.

They seriously know how to take a hit. Now, being a libero, I know a little something about throwing yourself at the mercy of a cold hard floor. I've had many an affair with hardwood courts all over the country, although the Winthrop Coliseum and I could be said to have a very significant and long term relationship. I have the scars to prove it.

But these ladies were on skates and careening themselves around a concrete track at a very fast pace, alongside 20 other women determined to maintain dominance. Needless to say (though as usual, I'll say it anyway), there was a lot of cheering every time somebody went down. It was just like grade school. Every fight is the coolest thing ever--until the next one.

But I'm a lover, not a fighter. So I'll just give a final shout out to these ladies and say that I'm pretty pumped to be writing an article for Rejuvenate Magazine about them. And that I'm pretty sure I'll be coming to the next home bout in May.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Top 5

I'm "it" to the third power. I guess I'm a very taggable person. Three times. One week. I don't have enough friends with blogs to tag back. But I'd be a bad friend if I didn't fulfill my end of the tag, so I'll at least give you five things you might not know about me.

1. I played volleyball in college for the Winthrop University Eagles. I was the libero and we won four straight conference championships in my years there (they actually won one more after I finished playing, but I can't take any credit for that one!). I also was honored to serve on the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for three years with some of the most awesome people in Division I. On the committee we met to discuss student-athlete issues, voice our concerns, lobby the membership and ensure the well-being of our peers.

2. My mom says that I was born running (I evidently was such a prodigy that I skipped walking all together. TOO SLOW!) and singing. I knew all the words to just about every Disney movie and all the Columbia House old school musicals in my grandparents collection. I loved singing SO MUCH that I used to excuse myself from the table at restaurants to go sing in the bathroom. Have you ever tried this? The acoustics are really quite amazing! Something about the tile floors and metal stalls makes any five year old feel like Mariah Carey. And yeah, I was totally belting out some Heart Breaker to be sure.

3. I used to be a coffee addict. I think I was destined to love the stuff. I'd go and smell the bins at the grocery store growing up. Some kids go for the candy isle, I liked the caffeine isle! I started actually drinking it my sophomore year in high school when I had swim training for sprints before my 7 AM class every day. Let me tell you that I loved me some espresso. I even had coffee lip balm. Now I'm a green smoothie addict and feeling much healthier, thank you. Though I'm not going to lie that I miss a quad Black Tiger espresso at Coffee People like freakin' crazy.

4. My dream job is to trek through jungles, deserts, flood plains, whatever, to tell a story that needs to be told. If that means travelling with a rebel army in Sudan to photograph refugees so the world understands the severity of the situation, well, guess I'd better be getting some shots and a visa.

5. Give me a funky base back beat and I will be out on the dance floor before you notice I'm gone from your side (that is unless you are also a dance addict and are already out on the floor with me). I want to be up at the speaker, I want the base to vibrate within me and then I want to break it down! And I mean DOWN. Hell yeah!

Classic Scenario: New Year's Eve 2007/2008. I ran a half marathon for this Nike Challenge I was doing (150 Miles in one month). Went home, stretched it out, put a bit of nourishment into the system and headed out to rage with the Eugene Gaia Tribe crew for 10 hours of the best party energy you'll feel on the West Coast. Mom picked me up at 7 AM and we drove from Eugene up to Portland for me to fly out to Charlotte. Playing on my iPod the entire trip were burned copies of the night's jams. I was dancing all through the DFW and in the airplane bathrooms. I think I have a weird connection with bathrooms? They seem to inspire my creative expression.

So there you go people! Five things I love about me! Like I said above, all my blog friends have tagged me or been tagged, so I'll have to wait to pass this on until I can remember or find some new ones, LOL!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

What's Next? Organic Tobacco And Purgatory For Environmental Offenders?

Oh wow. Some good stuff went down today. You're in luck. I am feeling MUCH better after a few under-the-weather days, definitely more feisty and opinionated! Here's my list of favorite things that happened over the last 24 hours. 

1. I read on that The Pope, yes The Holy See himself, has officially declared pollution and crimes against the environment to be sins. Yup that's right! BALLA! Remember that verse from Genesis (I know it's hard, dig back to those Sunday School days or click on the link) that yakked on and on about God entrusting the care of the Earth and all its pieces and parts (i.e. the environment and all living things) to Adam (i.e. humanity)? Well turns out he/she kind of meant it. So it stands to reason that fossil fuel binges and the dumping of toxic nuclear waste weren't a part of what God looked around and saw as good. 

Now even if you don't subscribe to a Judeo-Christian point of view, or any religious point of view for that matter, it's common sense to take care of the house that you live in if you want it to last. And the thing that so many also forget, in this ME l I l MINE centered society, is that we all affect each other. That's the theme of Globalization: Interconnectedness. Essentially, in many ways, we probably have more control over the lives of others than our own. If we only focus on ourselves, the negative toxicity of selfish living is going to come full circle and bite us in the butt. 

We've got to accept that it's now an US l WE l OUR Earth, culture and future. The sooner we do this, the better, as the alternative doesn't look good. Plus the Pope said so. 

Natural Tobacco>

2. I was browsing through Charlotte's popular news magazine Creative Loafing today and ran across this ad. It seems that the pressure being exerted by the Green Movement has now reached even Big Tobacco. HILARIOUS isn't it? This is greenwashing at it's best (worst?).

Hey you, our cigarettes are more natural! So even though you'll get cancer and die a slow horrible death, you won't inhale all those nasty pesticides and won't be hurting the Earth--just your own lungs and the hearts of all your friends and family. 

It's almost too much. Almost too ironic. I am crying and laughing hysterically at the same moment. Get a load of the copy:

But I'm an optimist, so I have to acknowledge the positive realization that I got out of this. This ad, and ones like it, show the powerful effect those of us pushing for genuinely greener products and services are having on the market place. It starts with the greenwashing, but at some point the wolf gets caught and the sheep's clothing either becomes certifiable organic bamboo cloth or the wolf goes home with sagging profits and no demand for it's stinky costume.  

3. After work I went on the nicest walk in my neighborhood park. The fresh air and warm weather rejuvenated me to the fullest extent. Sitting in an office day in and day out wears on me--all I want to do is take a quick trip down the road to the running trails and skip the afternoon of the work day. So today I revelled in the later sunset and took advantage of our park. And guess what I found?! A SWING SET!!! Oh, you can't even understand my joy! I sat there and swung for a good 15 mintues. I slipped into a meditation inside the rhythm of the push/pull flow and it was simply put, freakin' awesome. 

Tomorrow's Agenda: Cyber-Blog Tag. I've been tagged it by two fellow bloggers and I guess it's about time I was a good sport and played along!

Monday, March 10, 2008

I'm A Druggie.You're A Druggie. We're a Druggie All. And we didn't even know it.

OK, you have to read this. I'll give you a few minutes and then you hit me back and let me know if you feel as outraged as I do. 

YEAH. I know!

It's just one thing after another. And I don't know about you, but I'm not too keen on the idea that I may be building up trace amounts of Viagra in my system because Charlotte's water could be laced with pharmaceuticals. Now granted, at least we have water that is safe to drink in the short term. We aren't going to get malaria or dysentery from consuming it, but still--isn't it frustrating to know we have so little control over the matter? What are they going to do? Make home reverse osmosis systems that produce much more polluted water than they provide in clean H2O (that will really help toward reducing my negative impact on the earth--not wasteful at all)??? Or create little tester strips for all the different drugs out there on the market? 

With that in mind, I urge you to join in World Water Day 2008--not only for all the people in Africa and Asia and South America who lack access to potable water, but also for us Americans who are poisoning ourselves and each other with too many prescription drugs. There are several city walks sponsored by Ethos Water, but if there isn't one near you, you can opt to do a cyber-walk like me! Visit the Ethos link to join me in the quest for disease and drug free water!!! 

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Orange Cacaochino Ready For Gulping!

March Madness has officially arrived. Today Winthrop plays UNC Asheville for first place in Men's Basketball in the Big South Conference (the NCAA Athletic Conference I work for)--plus it's homecoming at Winthrop so it should be a crazy game! Our Men's Basketball tournament starts next week as well, so it's their last chance to secure the one seed and the chance to host all rounds at their house.

Needless to say--though I guess I will anyway--all the staff at the Big South are going to be working at warp speed through this month. We're going to need a lot of energy to pull everything off, so what better to get us going then some yummy cacao?

Well I couldn't think of anything better, so I set about concocting a refreshing and energizing shake for me to take when we are all running around trying to maintain some semblance of ordered chaos.

The idea popped into my head some time ago for a Raw version of Starbucks Orange Frappachino. I love the combination of orange and chocolate, but I've always been disappointed in their execution of this concept. Their frappachino is heavy and extremely high in calories. I can't have more than a sip without my stomach rejecting the extreme sweetness.

My version not only gives you a kick of refreshing energy and nutrients from the cacao, but it has protein and good fats from almond milk and also vitamin C from the whole oranges used in it.

I find this seemingly sinful treat to be a really energizing way to start this beautiful spring day here in Charlotte. The sun finally has some warmth behind its rays and I have been basking in it all morning.

Here is the recipe for your enjoyment. You'll notice that I'm not exactly a precise "chef." I prefer to go along and make things to taste. Use your own best judgement and go with your instincts about what your body wants.


Make a batch of almond milk. I use Ani Phyo's recipe for vanilla milk:

1/2 cup of almonds
1/2 cup of pitted dates (or 2 tablespoons-ish of raw agave)
1 vanilla bean (or 2 teaspoons-ish of alcohol-free vanilla)
Dash of sea salt to taste
* Good sized pinch of cinnamon
* 3 Cups water

*Here's where I change up her recipe a bit for this particular use of the milk. I like to put cinnamon in my almond milk, so I add a good sized pinch. I also lower her recommendation of 5 cups water to 3 cups. This is to keep the consistency of the smoothie thick.

Next grind up some Cacao nibs. I use my coffee grinder for this and it works extremely well. Grinds it into a fine powder just like it would espresso. I start with about a half a cup of nibs and then add more if I feel like it needs it. It depends on how chocolaty you want this to be, so add to your taste.

Finally peel 2 oranges and add to the mixture. I like to leave some of the pith on for nutritional value, but not too much because it can leave a bitter residual taste in the drink--never a good thing!

Now, BLEND TO YOUR HEART'S CONTENT!!! And serve in a lovely high ball glass for all your friends and family (and of course YOU) to enjoy!

Note: If you don't like your smoothies grainy, strain using a colander. I don't like to use the nut milk bag, because it takes away some of the thickness. I used a mesh strainer and capture the large pieces of pulp and nut grinds for later use in brownies or whatever. You can also add crushed ice post straining if it's really hot where you are to add a zesty chill to the mix!

Hope you all enjoy this delicious treat! Let me know how it goes for you and any creative adaptations you make!

Back In A Jif!

I always know when I'm slacking on the blog, because Dad will call me out on it! So I'm back in the saddle again Dad!

Here's a preview of the day... I'm about to go make this Orange Cacaochino I've been concocting for the last several weeks. If you think Starbucks' Orange Frappachino is heaven then you will love this alternative! There is no coffee in it, but it's got at least two things on Starbucks' version.

1) It's light, creamy and refreshing, rather than heavy and saccharin sweet
2) It's actually GOOD for you--not just "light" as in "less bad" for you, this baby is nutritious! No 750 calories of pure fat added to my bootie here.

So I'm off to put some final touches on the recipe and I'll be back in a jiffy (which I found out randomly in the bathroom stall at a club last night is an actual unit of time, 1/100 of a second to be precise)!

lg l BV