Monday, January 28, 2008


I'm home sick from work today. I woke up with a stomach flu (which isn't the same as influenza...what the vaccine prevents). Well, I'm pretty sure that it's stomach flu and not food poisoning because Jake and I ate the same thing for dinner and he is totally fine. Some women that I work with were sick/throwing up last week, so my best guess is that it's a virus I picked up from them. I'm still trying to figure out what I can eat that won't make me nauseous.

Some reading on WebMD led me to what's called the "BRAT diet". It recommends bland, easy to digest foods. BRAT stands for: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.

Luckily, we have all those foods in our apartment right now. However, I don't think it's worth it to cook up rice right now, the way I'm feeling...

Does the fact that I want to pronounce BRAT like "bratwurst" instead of like the the word for a spoiled child show that I'm from Wisconsin? Or does it make sense because bratwurst is a food and would make sense in front of the word diet?

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I'm super pumped because I went to the farmer's market this morning and there are two new meat vendors there.

One sells pork from forest-fed pigs.

The other one sells grass-fed beef.

Awesome... so, Jake and I got brats and Italian sausage from the pig guy, and a roast from the beef people. Maybe we'll have some meat meals in a couple of weeks.

It's making me hopeful that sustainable farming is really catching on and that awareness is growing about the environmental and health effects of factory farms.

Oooh! And Farmer John (our CSA farmer) emailed me this week to say that he's doing some spring crops if I want to get in on some veggies before the big summer season. I'll probably also start buying eggs from him. Yay for farms! Yay for locavores!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

MLK weekend

Jake and I skiied Saturday at Bryce Resort. I think I've decided that skiing is not really my thing. I find myself freaking out about injuring myself more than really enjoying or feeling exhilarated by speeding along downhill. I took a class before Jake and I hit the slopes and felt proud of myself for not falling and generally being able to control myself pretty well compared to most of the other people taking the class. However, going down the hill later on was painful. I really try to go pretty slow, which can be painful on my knees. Also, the ski boots really killed my calf muscles. They've hurt the past couple of days. I really notice it when I walk down stairs.

Saturday night, we met up with Daine in Charlottesville. We went out for dinner and then hit a couple of places for drinks. I was glad to see Daine and catch up somewhat. He lives in a different apartment than he did the last time Jake and I went to see him (in fall 2006). He also let me know that Alison is engaged and will probably have her wedding this summer. However, the pace of drinking with Daine was too much for me. I had too many beers in too short of a time span. I should have known to cut myself off. I was definitely feeling it after a beer or two at dinner, but I had more after that when we went to a different bar and then to a pizza place. I think I was mostly drinking so that we could have something to do while we socialized. I really should have switched to soda or something, because once we got back to Daine's apartment, I threw up in his kitchen sink and Jake had to help me out to the car and back to our hotel room.

I woke up Sunday morning hung over and feeling like a disgusting person. I'm really ready to not drink beer for a good while.

On Sunday afternoon, I was feeling better and Jake and I toured Monticello. Monticello was cool. Thomas Jefferson was the man. I'm sure it would have been a lot better to go at a time when there is warm weather, but I was still impressed. I decided that I want to live in Monticello. I want the big vegetable garden and the cellars for my wine. I want the plantation lifestyle...only I'll call it a "co-op".

We headed back home yesterday. We drove through Culpeper and stopped for lunch at a tavern there. I wouldn't recommend the tavern... I got sick eating clam chowder and Jake ordered a sandwich that took them forever to make. The rest of the day was pretty low-key while we did chores around the apartment after getting back home.

Monday, January 21, 2008

I think Journalism majors should be required to have a course in the proper way to cover science news.

We stayed at a hotel in Charlottesville this weekend, which gave me chance to sit and watch tv. I typically don't get to see how stories are covered in television news. I felt utterly bombarded by the news story about the study that found that women who drank more than two cups of coffee a day while pregnant were more likely to have a miscarriage. I know I saw it on Fox News, CNN, and in USA Today this morning. Of course, the news media sensationalized the whole thing by saying caffeine "doubles" a woman's chance of a miscarriage. I get really annoyed when I hear science news and no one reports n's and I have no real way of evaluating exactly how risky certain behaviors are. Luckily, the New York Times did a slightly better job of covering it. Here's the article.

I love the quote at the end that talks about moderation and how human beings are more robust than dying off over tiny bits of any one things during pregnancy. I'm glad the Times actually tries to temper the freak out factor a bit. Oh, and I'm glad they tried to discuss a bit of the scientific debate surrounding the results because it is only one study. Kudos, New York Times.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


This made me smile:

Now they just need to replace the first woman's head with Jenny McCarthy's and it would be perfect!

Monday, January 14, 2008

ATM Fees

Jake and I went out for dinner at Bar Louie in Chinatown with a group of people on Saturday. When the bill came, he and our friend Rob both realized that they didn't have enough cash to pay for dinner (and splitting up the check would have been a major pain at that point...), so they went out into the lobby/movie theater area right outside the bar to find an ATM. When they tried to use the ATM, they realized that the fee to use the machine was $8. $8!?!?! I think that is the most ridiculous ATM fee I've ever heard. Highway robbery for sure. Well, Jake didn't use the machine, and he's lucky because I had enough cash on hand to pay for both of us...

Saturday, January 12, 2008


How to win a silent auction and how to be lucky at an alumni event.

Jake and I went to a DC Badger Alumni event Thursday night at Hamilton's Bar and Grill. I heard about it through an alumni email and signed up because they advertised free beer and wine with admission and because the money they earned goes to a scholarship fund for DC area students who want to attend Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the only free beer was Coors Light (wtf?). Otherwise, though, it turned out to be a pretty good night for Jake and me. Jon and Ellen didn't come, but we hung out with Scott, who usually comes to watch the football games with us. Then, Jake and I each won prizes in a raffle. I got a "Visit Milwaukee" cooler bag, headband, and coffee mug. Jake won "Don't Flinch", Barry Alvarez's autobiography. It was only after he grabbed it off the prize table, came back to mingle with people, and started flipping through the book when he realized it was signed by Barry himself!

There was also a silent auction, which Jake and I got into as well. I decided that I was interested in winning a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Zoo and the Baltimore Aquarium, so I bid on it. A man named "Tom C." kept bidding after me. Jake figured out who he was and pointed him out to me. I was going to wait him out and head straight over to the tables at 8:30 (when the bidding was to end) to try to win it. Fortunately, we saw Tom C. leave the building a bit before 8:15, so I swooped in and put in my bid. We watched the papers get picked up at 8:30, and we think that I had the winning bid for the Zoo tour and that Jake had the winning bid on a Bo Ryan signed basketball. We're waiting for the alumni chapter to call and confirm our good fortune.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A Few Random Christmas Pictures:

I learned recently that by posting photos on Facebook, you grant Facebook rights to ownership and distribution. What's up with that? Anyhow, here are a few pictures for your amusement:

Me singing karaoke with my cousins. "All-Star" by Smash Mouth. Oh yes, I am so damn cool...

Jake got a head lamp from my parents. I never knew he was into spelunking. My parents must know something I don't...
My parents and Jameson at my grandpa's house.

The Manthei residence on Christmas morning.

Update on Goal List

Well, since I have so much going on with my 50 things before my second wedding anniversary list, I haven't made any specific, formal New Years Resolutions. However, I think I'm going to have to be prepared to make more goals soon, because I'm racing through the list. I have solidly completed 16 items on the list. (The most recent thing I completed was #29- seeing Jenny Owen Youngs at the Kennedy Center on Saturday.) It's likely that I will complete two more items over Martin Luther King weekend. Jake and I are talking about going skiing in the Blue Ridge Mountain area (where I could take a skiing class- #13) and then checking out Monticello (#32). #23, #30, #36, and #37 are well underway. I'm only about 6 months into a list that's supposed to take 2 years and in my mind, I'm close to halfway through...I suppose a lot of the hardest ones are left, though.

I'm really tempted to add new goals. Is it silly to come up with secondary lists now that I'm getting bored of my main list?

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year

Well, I'm back in DC now. I'm ready to try to start getting into something of a routine once again. Being home forced me to deal with: my mom's anger and grumpiness surrounding the holidays, lots of snow, lots of germs being passed around (which caused me to get sick during the 2nd half of my trip), my grandma randomly breaking into racist rants, and much more! Now that I'm back, I'm currently dealing with a 5+ pound weight gain (every time I go home, there's all sorts of unhealthy food lying around and I end up grazing on it...ugh...I gained weight while at home for the wedding, too...), general grogginess involved in recovering from a cold, the fact that the heat in our apartment had to be fixed again today (which required having our landlord in our apartment for a couple hours this afternoon), and the feeling that I really need to get my stuff organized because I'm trying to incorporate Xmas gifts into my life. I'm really glad that I don't live close to my family because then they can't buy me a lot more shit. I need to be able to get my Xmas gifts back on the plane.

I'm happy that I got a chance to see my family and hang out with some friends, but part of me really thinks that maybe next year I should go to Mexico for the holidays.

Wow, I feel like such a big complainer lately...

Anyway, I guess if I had to have one overarching "resolution" for the New year, it would be:
Get on (and keep) a routine that is healthy for both my physical and mental well-being.

I feel all over the place lately. However, right now, I'm feeling ready for a new start. My landlord finally left our apartment just a bit ago, I got to have a shower after a couple of days of grossness, and I'm ready to relax and prepare myself to return to work tomorrow.