Saturday, January 21, 2012

Send me an angel

Last night A and I went to go see Ides of March at the Riverview Theater. We had been talking about going for the last several days so we finally decided to go last night. As we were walking up to the theater, I saw a group of kids hanging around. As we got closer, I realized they were my students from the Fall. I said hello and as they realized that it was me, they went nuts (in a good way.) One of my favorite boys from the class (he has a giant afro, and is hilarious) came running up and gave me a hug. They told me that they missed me, and that they want me to come back. It was pretty awesome, to tell you the truth. A got a hair emotional and shed a tear (of joy) and then we went to see the movie. This was the beginning of what has become a pretty great weekend.

After the movie (which was pretty good, and damn Ryan Gosling is hot) we came home and went to bed fairly early so we could get up today to do hot yoga. And guess what...we *actually* got up and did hot yoga. Have you ever done hot yoga? it is amazing. Patrick helps out there on Saturday mornings and told us all about it. So we tried it and I am already hooked.

Lastly, I received a great package in the mail. Let me give you a little back story here... When I was a kid, I watched the movie Rad all the time (80's movie about a hometown bmx kid who gets a chance to go up against the top riders in the country when the big race is held in his hometown. it is beyond amazing.) I was like most kid sister, and wanted nothing more than to be like my big brother, who was way into bmx and first showed me this movie when I was about 4 or 5. This movie became a pivotal part of my youth and even my adulthood. Even now when I am doing a bike race, I usually listen to a song or two from the movie before hand for inspiration. Also, every team I have created or been involved in that is bike related I name team rad.

Anyhow, Vans recently released a limited edition shoe with a Rad theme. My brother clued me in about these on the old fb, so I ordered a pair. Check em out...

These will be my spring/summer kicks for the year. But I need to make sure I take care of them, as they are fancy and special.

And to give you a better idea of the joy of the movie Rad, below are some great scenes.

Amazing, right?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Stormy weather

Sad news on the blues front. Etta James passed away today. I know we all know "At Last" and love it, but James sung a lot more than just that little tune. James was known as a sassy gal, ex heroine addict, and phenomenal vocalist. Surely she will be missed

(news story: Etta James)

Enjoy some tunes, and a few videos, too.
stormy weather

Thanks for your tunes, Ms. James. You will be missed.
(*if you ever go to the Vegas Lounge, there is a dude who can NAIL At last.  listen for him if you are ever there)

Staying warm on a bike in the Winter

Happy Friday. My students have exams today and are all writing essays telling the story of Reconstruction after the Civil War. For a history nerd like myself, I look forward to reading what they have to say.

But I'm actually here to document my riding wear last night, when the temps were about -9, closer to -30 with windchills. I had class last night, and driving to the U is the silliest idea ever. So after I finished up teaching, I went home, selected my riding gear, watched a little Seinfeld and headed to class. On the way there, I was toasty warm. Not too warm, but warm enough. The sun was still out, so I had that going for me, too. But when I left class around 815, the temps dropped, and the sun dropped and the wind picked up. I was a little worried I would get cold, however I stayed warm the whole way home as well.
This was at about 8:45 or so when I got home. I like how Parker is peaking his head out from behind my leg.

After riding through several Minnesota winter's (this is my 5th now) you start to get used to it, and you really know what to expect (well kinda.) Also with riding this much comes the joy of having lots of different clothing items to chose from for whatever temp it happens to be outside. Below is what I wore last night.

2 pairs of gloves. My base layer are a pair of Mountain Hardware gloves my Aunt gave me and they are amazing. The shells are Outdoor Research mitt shells that my Grandpa gave me years ago for skiing. They block wind really well without overheating your hands.

On my head I started with my balaclava, then a patchwork winter cycling hat (with ear flaps) that I got at Babes in Bikeland 2 years ago. I use a bern helmet (works great in Winter!) and it was definitely cold enough for my goggles.

This fleece neckwarmer has been in my possession for at least 10 years. Still holding up well. And over that, I wear a GIANT bandana (which is actually a map of the Riverwest neighborhood in Milwaukee, from the Riverwest 24 this past summer.)

Over my cuddle duds (best long underwear EVER) I wore my short sleeve wool jersey and a flannel. And on some lined jeans.

I usually wear hiking boats, but I have these awesome leather shoes that I wore a lot in the fall when riding and so I gave them a shot. They keep my feet SO WARM!

As always, I had on my legwarmers. I also had on my new BIKELOVE wool socks that A got me for Christmas (thanks, doll) and one more layer of  LL Bean wool socks.

these socks are awesome
All in all, I felt great when I got home. Sometimes (as my girl Low said it in her blog post yesterday, ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they put their mind to it. Riding in the winter isn't so bad. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Hey team. Recently A and I have been spending a lot of time with our dear friends Kristi and Patrick.  As of late we have been cooking/eating dinner together, drinking good beer/cider, and playing board games. Some of those recent food photos in previous posts are from dinners we have cooked. And as you have seen, the food has been excellent. But let me tell you, Patrick is what I would call "an expert" on beer (or at least the closest expert I have other than my father, who lives in Milwaukee...)  That being said, he has introduced me to A LOT of really good beer. Today, I'm going to focus on Baller Stout from Three Floyd's Brewing Co.

Three Floyd's is a small Artisinal craft brewery located in Munster, Indiana. This is just down the road from Chicago, IL. Patrick picked this up (well, it was a gift from Joel) when visiting Chicago. The Baller is a Russian Imperial Stout (like nut browns and porters, stouts are dark beers. Unlike a lager,  the malt or barley used is roasted. There are still hops used, but they are NOT hoppy beers. They are known to be more potent. The flavor is stronger, and the alcohol % is higher) and being that i LOVE dark beers (and really don't like hoppy stuff, like IPA's) I was excited to try this stuff.

Joel told Patrick that it was about a 8% or so alcohol level (in case you know nothing about booze, most standard lagers are about 5% alcohol. A standard Russian vodka is about 40% alcohol, and standard European vodka is about 37%. That shitty stuff that Minnesota sells in gas stations and grocery stores, that is 3.2% alcohol (hence the name 3.2 beer). I hope this helps explain alcohol percent in booze).

So like I said, when Patrick first offered me a glass of this stuff (which traveled a long way and was moderately important to that I mean he was excited to try this new beer) I was excited. so given that we thought it was about 8% alcohol, which is  stronger than my typical pbr or high life, I knew it would be flavorful and delicious, and probably give me a good buzz. After pouring us each a glass, Patrick took a taste. I could tell right away that this stuff was more than 7 or 8% alcohol. So I took a swallow and SHIT, it hit me. I tried to do a little research, but could not find all the goods that go into this particular beer, but there is a lot of good stuff in there. I had a glass, and I felt like I had 4-5 beers. It was delicious, a sipper for sure. Turns out it is 13.8% alcohol. Real serious stuff :) But I would try it again, as long as I had a partner to drink it with :)

Anyhow, as I try these new beers, I'd like to share them on here. I'm always open to trying new beer. As I mentioned earlier, I'm not too into that hoppy stuff, but I'll try pretty much anything. Have a good beer suggestion? holler at me. Happy Wednesday, y'all!

Monday, January 9, 2012

when you have the time, COOK!

I had 3 weeks off from school, and I spent my time wisely. Yes I did some TV watching, bike riding, and such. But I also cooked. A LOT! check it:

chicken and veggie stir fry

turkey soup with veggies, potatoes and orzo

Veggie Lasagna

the beginnings of a curry

and some veggies for that curry
School started up again today. I know I am going to have very limited time to cook, so I'm glad I took advantage over my break. Sorry there are no recipes. A lot of this stuff was somewhat thrown together without any real recipes. just kinda how I roll.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy to be home

Hey all. A and I are back in Mpls after a wonderful visit to Milwaukee. While we went back and forth between Milwaukee (where my Ma lives and friends were staying) and Richfield (the land of my father and step mom) we both felt like this trip was especially amazing this year. Lots of family time, filled with good food, conversation and of course another Packer victory (including shots of tequila after every touchdown.)  Anyhow, while we had a blast, we were ready to get home.

One big reason for that...we got a lot of awesome kitchen related gifts that I was excited to use. My mom got us brand new Cuisinart stainless steel cookware, and my dad got us a food processor and a free trip to his giant meat locker cooler. Our freezer is now stocked with baby back ribs, pork loins, filet's, homemade sausage and so much more. Pretty amazing.

Last night I decided to use some of our new food, and cookware and made homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs. Below are some pics.

It turned out amazing. And holy cow, the pots/pans I used were nicer than anything I've used before. Seriously. 

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just another reason to love biking...

My buddy Jon (we both have similar loves-bikes, packers, beer, and good music) recently posted some awesome videos on the FB that I felt like sharing. Both make me want to ride my bike more.  Enjoy!

 This first one is a junkyard cross race (amazing)

This second one is just an amazing example of control on a downhill (in the rain and mud)

Happy Holiday, Y'all!