Saturday, September 12, 2009

What makes me happy

I decided to finally be honest with myself the other day and come to terms with the fact that I love food. Certainly not the most earth-shattering statement, but I think it has more meaning in the context of where I currently am in life. When I was little I wanted to be a chef. And then a doctor or a paramedic. Which I think is how I ended up as a dietitian - I tried to combine the two. Help solve people's problems one bite at a time. It took me 4 years to realize that in the dietitian/patient relationship, I was the only one who loved food. And that made me sad.

So, I went off to become a captain of (the healthcare) industry, and get my business degree. But when it came time to find a healthcare job, I couldn't find anything I was passionate about, or really wanted to do. I interviewed with food manufacturing companies, who wouldn't touch me with a 10-ft pole because I was a dietitian (or 'food nazi', which I think was the preferred term). I ended up taking a job in marketing, figuring I'd learn how to be sucessful in business and then marry it back up with my love of food at some point. That was 3 years ago. I'm still figuring it out.

Now, I genuinely enjoy what I do for a living - but if you were to ask me what the one thing is that I am passionate about, what really floats my boat, I'd have to say food. It's always been food. I take cooking classes whenever I get the chance. Vacations are largely centered around what we're going to eat when we are there. Going out to try new restaurants is a hobby, not some occasional thing. I have a kitchen full of gadgets, and cook as often as I can. Collecting recipes fron magazines and the web is almost a fetish (I get that whole hoarding thing from my mom). And lately, I've been reading food blogs on a daily basis - I have 20 or so bookmarked that I visit often for inspiration.

Where am I going with all this? Well, dear reader, I have decided that it's time for me to start food blogging, too. I need somewhere to be creative and follow my passion - all for the good of my fellow man! I had another blog for a while where I was doing local restaurant reviews, but it seems to be lost to the ether of Blogspot, and I'm not sure I'll ever get it back (too bad, it was a good URL). So, it only makes sense to turn this blog into a food blog. I know some of you will be sad not to read about my dating escapades (which is where the name for this blog originated) and the rest of my personal life, but I think this change is for the better.

So, come back soon. It's going to take me some time to get up to speed, and make this a good site that you'll want to return to. But I'm ready to succumb to my passion, for all to see. In the infamous words of the AA oath - "My name is Adrienne, and I am a foodaholic". Enjoy.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

New Beginnings

I've recently begun an all-out assault on the health problems that have been belaboring me for the past 7 months (daily nausea and headaches that are seemingly unexplainable), and a strange thought occurred to me yesterday: I have always assumed that if I can get treatment to end the headaches, I will become the more cheery, positive version of myself that has ceased to exist these days. But what if the real Adrienne is actually just a bitch? What if the chiropractor, the rolfing appointments and the myriad medical tests rid me of not only my symptoms, but also my niceness? Could it be possible that curing my pain will not be a panacea to an idyllic life, as I had thought, but instead leave me more time to dwell on the negative? It's anyone's guess. Kind of makes you wonder, though.

So I am off to the chiropractor tomorrow for my first adjustment. Hopefully all goes well and I will live to see another day of witty prose for the blog. If not, and he snaps my neck like a twig, I do NOT recommend going to Dr. Hilpisch in Lake Elmo, MN. Ha ha... In all seriousness, I think this is going to be really good for me, so fingers crossed.

I'll leave you with my other deep thought of the week - Wild Cherry Pepsi tastes like Pepsi with Cough Syrup in it. I only realized this a few days ago, and wondered how I never realized it before. Yuk.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Live like you mean it

I found out this morning that the head of the studio where I have my photo shoots done for work died yesterday, at the age of 59. Quite a shame - Terry was a really nice guy, and widely respected among the art community in Minneapolis. He will be missed.

It got me to thinking about how much time any one of us actually has left (my dad is convinced he is 'leaving the planet' at 84...), and what you choose to spend your time doing until that day comes. For me, I think that means taking a harder look at my job, and figuring out what it is I really want to be doing. It is making sure to let my friends and family know on a daily basis that they are loved, and that I value having them in my life. And it is being proactive about things in my personal life that cause me stress or unhappiness, and getting them sorted out. No more going through the motions - it's time to be selfish, be bold, and start living again.

What I was going to write about, before I heard this news, was that I was weak over the weekend, and went on a little shopping spree. But the majority of my purchases were in preparation for the dogsledding trip I am going on this weekend - necessities for a once-in-a-lifetime trip. Where I was feeling a little guilty before, I now view it as a means to an end (isn't that all earning money really is anyway?). So, while I will continue to be conscious of my frivolous spending behavior, I think if spending supports the enjoyment of life, then what's bad about that?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Happiness under $20

I remember getting a handout in college that listed things that made people happy that were free. I don't know if that was supposed to inspire us as poor college students, or if it was some sort of mental health exercise. But I took it to heart, thinking that there were plenty of things under $10 (let's be realistic, $ is essential to survive) that made me happy at the time.

Now that I'm older (and make a little more money), the same holds true - which is why for my experiment this month, I decided to limit non-essential purchases to under $20 per occasion. Case in point would be what I spent on Wednesday, when I wasn't feeling well and just needed to veg out - $11 for organic milk and 2 boxes of cereal (one good-for-you and one kind of good-for-you), and $4.27 for 2 DVD's out of RedBox (yes, I returned them a day late...). Happiness!

Here are some other things that fall into that category:
- Movie tickets for 2
- Bottle of wine
- Chinese takeout on a Friday night watching 'What Not to Wear'
- A new pair of earrings
- Class at our local Co-op
- 3 pitchers of beer after curling
- Tickets to the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
- Book for Book Club (only if it's a good one)
- Couple of games of bowling plus shoe rental
- Dessert and Coffee for 2 at Cafe Latte
- 5-6 drinks on Karaoke night at the Uptown VFW (don't even need that much alcohol - it's the karaoke that makes the night! And yes, their drinks really are that cheap...)

So, I'd challenge you, in this economic cesspool, to redefine what happiness means to you, and how much $ it takes you to achieve it. You might be surprised what you find out.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Catch up

Oops - how did a whole week go by without a post? Last week was was fairly uneventful, I guess. Couple of lunches out, that was about it. We went to a curling tournament in northern MN for the weekend, so the end of the week was spent getting things together for the trip. Some were a little frivolous ($40 for car snacks - for 4 people, mind you. And there was some healthy stuff in there...), but others were well worth it ($10 for toe warmers to curl in - my feet get horribly cold on the ice). And the weekend was pretty cheap over all, only bought a few meals and didn't drink a ton.

The piece-de-resistance is that I got double-billed for the hotel room, so I called Orbitz to refund my $, and ended up spending $35 less than I thought it would be. Actually, I made about $20, bec our traveling companions had already paid me for the room. I'll buy them beer the next time we are at the club :)

Overall, still not a lot of unnecessary spending going on. Last night I found a meter on the street downtown, and saved $5 parking to go to dinner (also free). I spent $19.47 (under $20!) downloading Motown songs from iTunes to make a valentine's double-CD for Andy (well worth it to listen to good music, imo). Otherwise, just gas and groceries. And $4 today for some drugs - if it cures my supposed job-induced ulcer, that will be the best $ I've spent all month!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

That's more like it

So, as expected, last week was a bit of an anomaly. But I still think I'm doing well. Recap of the weekend:
  • Friday night - Movie and snacks at the movie because I was running late and didn't get to grab something beforehand ($8.50 for a not-so-soft pretzel and a hot dog? Please...)
  • Saturday - Car wash (free, bec I bought a book of 5 last month), filled up on gas, groceries for dinner. I think that was it. I spent the rest of the day cleaning and putting the Xmas decorations back down in the storage unit. I felt really productive :)
  • Sunday - $0, I think. Only had a few free hours, spent most of the day curling, and we lost both games so the beer was free (that is one of the best rules in curling or any other sport!).
Yesterday I bought lunch on the way to the photo shoot that wouldn't end (hopefully soon), which I ate too fast and made me sick - this morning I had to go buy an assortment of antacids (I really think I have an ulcer, but want to be able to cover indigestion off with the nurse when she accuses me of being a hypochondriac and tells me to go chug some pepto). And I bought soup for lunch today, which I was able to keep down. Small wins.

Overall, I feel like I have kept the unnecessary spending to a minimum. No clothes so far this month (yay!). I do, unfortunately, have to pay for 3 separate vacation-type things in February, due to timing - 1) the bonspiel (curling tournament) that we are going to this weekend in Detroit Lakes; 2) the dogsledding weekend at the end of the month; and 3) plane tix for the Vancouver Olympics next Feb (want to buy them as soon as they go on sale to get a good deal). But I think restricting the clothes shopping and other unnecessary expenses will go a long way towards covering some of the travel stuff. And I have been really good about paying with cash for meals, movie tickets, etc. I've only used my credit card for groceries and gas in the past week and a half. Now I just need to bring my lunch the rest of the week, and I'm halfway there!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Frugal Farce? (End of week 1)

So, I've been pretty good the rest of this week. Wednesday saw only a quick bite at Wendy's on the way to curling. Yesterday, I paid $5 to park at target on Nicollet so I could go to an alumni thing (free), and then parked (free - after 6 parking meter) and met Andy and his brother for some drinks and apps (free - gift card) afterwards at Town Hall Brewery.

Today the only expenses I am envisioning are possibly some groceries for dinner, if I feel like cooking, and I will treat myself to a movie ticket to 'He's Just Not That Into You' (it's the only decent thing playing and Andy is in Rochester tonight) - And no, the movie title has no bearing on our relationship :)

All that being said, I think this was kind of an unusual week to start this experiment. I was at a photo shoot all week, where lunch and snacks are always provided. Having said that, though, I am burning through twice as much gas as usual driving 70 miles a day to Edina and back, so filling up my car tonight probably will probably cancel out this savings. And I am stocked up on most necessities (toiletries, breakfast food, etc), so I haven't had to buy those. But overall, I am proud of myself for resisting the temptation to buy. When opportunities presented themselves, I said no. Times were that I used to pop into Target just to see what was new, or go to the mall to kill a few hours. So, at least I have some willpower in that department :)