February 4, 2010

How about a light meal?

Posted in Nerdiness, nutella, The Round at 7:15 am by Dagny Taggart

“Well,” said Milo, remembering that his mother had told him to always eat lightly when he was a guest, “Why don’t we have a light meal?”

“A light meal it shall be,” roared the bug, waving his arms.

The waiters rushed in carrying large serving platters and set them on the table in front of the king.  When he lifted the covers, shafts of brilliant-colored light leaped from the plates and bounced around the ceiling, the walls, across the floor and out the windows.

“Not a very substantial meal,” said the Humbug, rubbing his eyes, “but quite an attractive one.  Perhaps you can suggest something a little more filling.”

~ The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster

I’ve nearly cut out all the sugar.  There’s still Splenda in my tea, but my meals consist of eggs and turkey and carrots and spinach and cottage cheese.

And fruit – grapes and apples and bananas and clementines, because I cannot go completely cold turkey (HAHAHAHA, see what awful puns withdrawal is causing???).  And seriously, I don’t even LIKE turkey.  It’s just so stupidly good for you, I feel like I’d be doing myself a disservice by not including it in my diet.

Honestly, I haven’t felt this twitchy and fidgety since I gave up cigarettes.  And if I can compare sugar to nicotine with nary a qualm, then clearly it was time for the sugar to get the boot.

Now don’t get me wrong – there is still diet soda in my life, if only for the blessed doses of caffeine it brings.  Which I’ve needed less of, since my afternoon blood sugar crashes seem to have leveled off and I’m having an easier time of sleeping at night and all that nonsense.  I have no doubt that this lack of sugar is entirely a good thing.

But that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.

November 26, 2009

Oh, yeah…

Posted in nutella, Present, The Happy, the pretty, The Who, The Why at 2:42 pm by Dagny Taggart

…so, in an ideal world, we’d all be conscious of our blessings all the time.  But it’s hard to be conscious of your blessings when things are all pear-shaped, so it’s nice that we’ve set aside little opportunities like this to remind ourselves to focus on the good.

Family and friends, of course.

And W.

All of my people, really.

And tasty food.

And, blankets.

Cheesy music.

Nutella (of course).

You too, Karma.


Did I mention my people?

Them again.  And again.

and again.


Happy Thanksgiving!

October 21, 2009

Heavy Lifting

Posted in Nerdiness, nutella, Project: Fail, The OCD, The Round, The WTF at 8:33 am by Dagny Taggart

Phew.  Now that I’ve gotten THAT off my chest, let me confess something simultaneously lighter, and not.

I am a cardio junkie. 

I’ve been going to the gym for years – I used the gym as a way to quit smoking, before I lost my mind and went to law school.  And I’ve never been afraid of using weights – mostly the machines, but I’ve played around with the dumbbells and preset barbells over on that one wall, over there.  And I thought I was in pretty good shape – a good 35-40 minutes of intense cardio followed by 20-25 minutes with weights and I was good for the day.  I’d do this maybe 5 days a week.

Well, it stopped working.  So I did the Shred, and that helped a lot – it was really different, and I definitely lost a couple of pounds, and that was a great thing, right before I went to the Bahamas.  And then I was in the Bahamas at an all-inclusive resort drinking rum with a splash of Hi-C out of a 20 oz cup, and then I was in Vegas wondering how long I’d have to drink out of the chocolate fountain before security hauled me away.

It was time for a change, and it was suggested that I think about *real* lifting.  The kind involving the equipment in the MIDDLE of that room, or along the other wall.  The kind that takes a heck of a lot longer than 20-25 minutes, the kind that you can’t do well, really, if you’ve spent 40 minutes running on the treadmill at peak pace beforehand, and the kind that won’t let you run for more than 15 minutes or so afterward, before your legs detach themselves from your body and throw their letter of resignation down on your hapless torso.

I’ve been doing that kind of lifting.  And I’ve learned what happens when you overload the leg press machine and then have to fold yourself into a pretzel to get out of it, shamefacedly remove the weights, crawl back in, and push it back up.  (1)  Nobody laughs loudly enough for you to hear, and (2) you become very determined to not use that machine unless the room is completely empty or football is on TV (I do legs on Saturday afternoons, now – college games provide excellent cover).

But what I really discovered, is that I am a cardio junkie.  I miss it.  I will leave my gym barely able to walk, nauseated by my recent efforts, and dehydrated despite having downed 36 ounces of water, and I still feel like I haven’t done enough, and I’ll continue to feel like that until the next time I can manage a cardio workout that lasts the better part of an hour. 

Runner’s high – more addictive than nicotine.  Who knew?

October 16, 2009


Posted in nutella, The Funny, The WTF at 11:21 am by Dagny Taggart

I am working from home, and someone just sent me a link to a recipe for homemade nutella.  Which, um.  Is just hysterical.  And, will not get me fired because I am going to wait until after I have signed off to run to the store for hazelnuts and scharffen berger.

October 13, 2009


Posted in Darth Vaguer, Guilt, Nerdiness, nutella, Present, Project: Fail, The Happy, The Just a Little Sad, The Round at 10:52 am by Dagny Taggart

At some point in your life, you are introduced to Nutella.   And the second the first molecule passes your lips, you are convinced that there is nothing better in this world.

And then, you realize that Nutella is fattening – that as delicious as it is, you cannot have too much of it, lest you embiggen yourself.

And then, it occurs to you that sometimes you just don’t want Nutella.  That other things are tasty too – like, for example, macaroni and cheese.  Even someone with as devoted a sweet tooth as yours craves a little savory from time to time. 

And then someone reminds you about peanut butter.  That delicious, reliable standby, that can be both savory and sweet.  The sandwich staple that you thoroughly enjoyed until Nutella came along and ousted it.  And you think that maybe you didn’t really like Nutella all that much anyway, that the less expensive, sometimes more versatile peanut butter is really the answer to your craving.

And then you remember that peanut butter is pretty goshdarned fattening, too.  And peanut butter gave you asthma attacks when you were little.  And frankly, as tasty as peanut butter is, it’s not that transcendent, sublime taste or texture that only Nutella can provide.

And it doesn’t go NEARLY as well with raspberry anything.

So you continue to run that extra mile and cut your calories elsewhere, because as much as Nutella requires certain sacrifices, so does peanut butter.   Or cheese.  Or pasta. 

And Nutella is worth it.

September 18, 2009

I’m just going to stop plucking, and take up residence in a trashcan.

Posted in *cringe*, Darth Vaguer, nutella, Oubliette, Past at 8:48 am by Dagny Taggart


Because I have been *that* grouchy lately.

I suppose this is Karma’s way of letting me know she’s still around, despite the lack of conversation.  I’d almost rather she just served me a diatribe, rather than let my own petard hoist me willy-nilly.

But the fact is, when you let noxious personages take up residence in your life for any real length of time, you kind of have to expect that they’ll leave trace evidence – like that time you accidentally used your real email address to purchase something, these slip-ups will deposit spam on your metaphorical doorstep for some time to come.

Sometimes, it’s nice to grab a jar of Nutella and a spoon, and think about what it might be like in a parallel universe, where the relationship you had, the one based almost entirely on your low self-esteem and bad judgement, never happened.  And other times, you realize that this is part of the price you pay for learning every single thing the hard way, and you throw your sneakers on and hit the trail.

And then you take a shower and pick up the tweezers.  Because piling a unibrow on top of the next mistake (that you’ll undoubtedly laugh about at some point after you’ve made it) would just be overkill.

August 19, 2009


Posted in But I am... le sick, nutella at 8:51 am by Dagny Taggart

Whilst in the Bahamas, I was introduced to a book.  And yes, I know I’m drinking the Kool-Aid here (how delightfully ironic!), but after having also seen Food, Inc., I became more convinced than ever that 90% of what’s on most supermarket shelves is making us ill.

Now, I mostly shop at Trader Joe’s anyway – I get these little preservative-free apple-cranberry bran muffins, cage-free organic eggs, protein-fortified skim milk with no growth hormone, and 1.5-liter bottles of water.  I also pick up produce from time to time – this is one area where most Trader Joe stores don’t excel – but oddly enough, the 24-hour Shoppers Warehouse at Seven Corners tends to have pretty nice produce – must be the high turnover or something.  So my diet mostly needed just a little tweaking.

And then, I got sick.  I’m still sick, and I’m 90% sure it’s E. Coli poisoning.  From what, you ask?  Well, the bitch about E. Coli is that it can take a week to show up, and a week before I got sick I was eating off buffets in the Bahamas.  And then I think I picked up some cottage cheese from a salad bar here at work.  And so on, and so forth.  I’m pretty sure that the Indian food is completely innocent, here – but it could have been pretty much anything I had from August 9-August 13.

So anyway, while writhing in pain every 30 minutes or so as my internal organs decided to practice wrestling holds on each other, I started researching what I should and shouldn’t be eating.  And lo and behold, pretty much anything processed was off the list.  No fake sugars, nothing too fatty or spicy, but definitely nothing overly processed.  Just simple crackers, a juice/water mixture, bananas, blueberries, and when I’m ready for it, yogurt. 

And decaffeinated tea with honey.  Because apparently, honey has antiseptic properties that are nearly doubled when the honey is diluted.

So later on, when I’m done packing up the reports I need at the office and am back at home, working on the couch, I can feel virtuous in between bouts of debilitating pain, as I consume half a jar of honey in a single day.

But no Nutella, just yet.  Sigh.

August 15, 2009

Let it be known…

Posted in nutella at 1:01 pm by Dagny Taggart

…that I stood DIRECTLY in front of TWO ELEVEN-POUND JARS of Nutella for 45 minutes last night, and walked away without having purchased a single molecule of chocolate hazelnut-y goodness.

And no, I didn’t eat it all sitting there in the store, either.

Yes, I AM inordinately proud of myself.

July 8, 2009

Better late than never

Posted in Nerdiness, nutella, Past, Present at 8:17 am by Dagny Taggart

It’s memetime!

  • You’re about to get into the Cash Cab in NYC.  You can choose any two or three people (from your actual life) to be with you.  Name the people with you and why?
  • My dad, and V.  In both cases, because they are  among the most knowledgeable people I know, and would be fun to hang out with afterward.  Additionally, should we not answer all of the questions correctly, they’d be as interested as me in finding out the correct answer before continuing with our evening.  Well, unless we were on our way to a Yankees game, in the case of Mr. Taggart, which is just fine by me.

  • The TV gods have appeared before you in the form of a burning remote.  They instruct you to select any canceled television show to be returned to the airwaves.  You do, however, have to make your case to them.  What show, what’s your argument in favor?
  • Well… given that my current lineup is mostly reality TV, when I can catch it, I’m probably not the person to ask this question.  But I’m torn between Firefly, and Press Your Luck.  The first, because it was actually good.  The second, because you can never hear “No Whammies!” too often.

  • It’s not summer in DC (or your city of origin, or your favorite city if you wish) without _______________?
  • Well… for me, summer can be pretty much contained in a bottle of Hawaiian Tropic sunscreen.  Something about that cloying, coconut scent.  But in DC?  It’s not summer without decent seats at a baseball game for pretty reasonable prices.

  • The best summer accessory in your repertoire is?
  • A gorgeous, blue silk scarf I received as a birthday gift.  Thanks!

  • It took you a while to get on board with the _______________ trend but once you did, you don’t know how you lived without it.
  • Macbook.  I was a staunch PC user for the longest time, but now I know I can’t go back. 

  • The song to which you are embarrassed to admit that you know all of the words?
  • I have to pick one?  We already know about Ice Ice Baby… oh.  Um.  Yeah.  Sigh.  This one is really, really bad, people.  “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls.  Zig-a-zig-ah, indeed.

  • Your favorite memory of summer is?
  • Cedar Point, OH last year.  The Millenium Force roller coaster.  That was a seriously fun trip, and definitely the best roller coaster I’ve ever been on, by a factor of at least 10. 

  • The memory you would love to create this summer is?
  • Well, it’s not so much for me to create, but I’m really looking forward to celebrating my friends’ future together.

  • According to Confucius, real knowledge exists in the understanding of what one doesn’t know.  What don’t you know?
  • I don’t know how to properly catch anything, or how to properly use my lovely Shun knives.  I don’t know how to make friends easily, or how to use my time better.  I don’t know as much as I’d like about world history, or how to speak Spanish (yet).

  • What question do you wish were included in this meme?  What is your favorite summer dish?
  • My answer?  Probably a Caprese salad.

    July 6, 2009

    The first step is admitting you have a problem

    Posted in Darth Vaguer, Nerdiness, nutella, The Happy at 8:24 am by Dagny Taggart

    The second, in my case, is deciding I don’t really care if I have a problem, and ordering the furniture in chocolate brown (the riviera fabric, if you’re that curious) anyway.   Welcome to the world of furniture that does not require an allen wrench for assembly, indeed.

    It’s actually a darker shade than Nutella – it’s almost an espresso.  And I’m not really a big coffee drinker.  Now, espresso beans covered in chocolate?  Might not be safe around me.

    It was a lovely, relaxing weekend – the kind that didn’t involve too much driving or planning, where I consciously opted to not challenge myself overly much (though, I did make my best batch of Italian sausage ever).  Right down to letting myself use earplugs while watching the fireworks, so the sharp, sudden bangs turned into dreamy, cinematic pops and I could relax on the lawn in the beautifully clear night.

    It was a good weekend, one in which I was able to get a few areas of my brain de-cluttered.  Independence Day, indeed.

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