Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Energy-Creating Bra

Yes, you read that title right. While it's not likely to actually be on the market anytime soon, some crazy, eco-friendly designers have come up with a concept that turns the everyday brassiere into a power source. This is one of Time Magazine's "Top Ten Odd Environmental Ideas." Odd indeed!
"The second proposal, dreamed up by San Francisco writer Adrienne So, would use the breasts themselves as a power source. The idea is apparently feasible: a bra made of fabric interwoven with tiny wires can produce electricity from the bosom's natural bouncing motion throughout the day, enough to power a cell phone or an iPod. The larger the cup size, the more energy produced."

Sorry, but this was too bizarre not to share with my readers.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Free Voice Lesson

This is a fabulous parody that will have you in stitches if you've ever known any singers.

My favorite lines include "A scale is something... it's on a piano... it's the notes of a piano," and "Singing higher... you lift your eyebrows up like this... and lift your chin." Classic!

I love how developed her character is, from how she pronounces the words "sing" and "singer" to her facial expressions. She's put up a bunch of other videos of her "Miranda" persona singing, like this hysterical rendition of the National Anthem, which seems to be in about three dozen different keys:

Lest you think she's seriously attempting good singing in these videos, I think she's actually a real singer - "Miranda" appears to be the alter-ego for Colleen, who has several singing videos here.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Hindemith and Murder

Nathan is practicing Hindemith for a tubist he's accompanying in a recital this evening. Given our apartment size, he's about four feet away from me at any given time whether I'm at the computer, in the kitchen, or reading on the couch.

Nathan does not like Hindemith.

I do not like Hindemith very much, either.

A few minutes ago he muttered, "I'm going to kill myself."

I replied, "I'm going to kill you first!"

Actually, in favor of a non-violent solution, I think I'm going to go for a walk.

In other news, I updated my "About Me" section in the column on the right - it was time for something new. What do you think?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Viola Gigging

Objective: Learn to sight-read on the viola reliably in changing clefs and in any key signature. By Wednesday.

A musician will do anything for three hundred dollars and a free meal.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Veggie Eats

When I tell people I've become a vegetarian, I usually get one of three responses:

1) "Oh, I could never do that. I love meat. Love it. I wish I could be eating a steak right now. Mmm..." (Okay...What exactly is your point? Are you trying to be offensive, funny, or what?)

2) "You'd better make sure you get enough protein!" (I mentioned this comment in my previous post; I think this obsession with protein, and the belief that vegetarians will have a hard time getting enough of it, is basically a myth.)

3) "What do you eat?!"

Well, here are some answers to that third question.

Last week I made banana cranberry muffins. I sort of made up my own recipe, because I had two bananas that were going a bit brownish, but two didn't seem like enough for a muffin recipe, so I also defrosted and added some pumpkin puree I had frozen back in the fall. I used whole wheat flour and lots of oats (I love oats!), and ground flaxseed blended with water and a little oil where usual muffin recipes would use eggs and melted butter. Then some of the usual: sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, etc. I threw in some cranberries from my freezer and baked them in the new muffin pan I got for $1.00 from Burnless Bakeware. (Find out how you can get your bakeware here!) They turned out beautifully and tasted delicious.

I love making cold bean salad. In this picture I tossed kidney beans with garbanzo beans and added chopped green peppers and onions, but this salad is also amazing with celery and any other vegetables you might want to add. For a dressing I use a mix of balsamic vinaigrette, red wine vinegar, and olive oil with sugar, salt, pepper, crushed rosemary, and dried parsley. You can mix it up a little by using apple cider vinegar instead of red wine, or by adding cumin for a slightly spicy dressing.

For a warm bean dish, try adding corn and sliced veggies and simmering with some water and spices (I like cumin, ground chipotle, chili powder, etc.) and serving over brown rice or quinoa. This is great with diced tomatoes, too, and broccoli or spinach on the side.

I've also eaten these Gardenburgers several times in recent weeks, while Nathan eats a beef hamburger from the freezer. We both enjoy our burgers on toasted whole wheat buns, while he has his with cheese and BBQ sauce and I like mine with sliced tomato, cucumber, and onion, lots of fresh spinach leaves, and ketchup.

Last night I made Red Kidney Bean Curry from Smitten Kitchen, and served it over Trader Joe's whole wheat couscous. I altered the recipe a bit because I didn't have any fresh ginger or cilantro on hand (sad!), and I used way less olive oil than called for, but mmm, this recipe is good. Nathan even ate four whole bites (okay, under wifely duress), which is a lot for a guy who tends to gag on all things that grow in or above the ground.

And finally, here's my latest creation: this morning I made pumpkin muffins with carob chips. I used this wonderful recipe (with my own thawed pumpkin puree from the freezer instead of canned, and less 1/3 cup of the sugar called for and 1/6 cup of the oil called for) and thought the muffins turned out delicious. The recipe explains how to blend flaxseed with your wet ingredients, so if you're interested in baking with flaxseed as an alternative to eggs, go check out the link. It's a great way to get your omega-3's! These muffins are really moist. My only complaint is that the wheat flavor is stronger than the pumpkin; I'll make these again sometime with more pumpkin puree.

Well, there you have it - a few of the foods that have been on my table lately.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Veggie Update

I've been a vegetarian for six weeks now, and I love it.

Now I think I need one of these t-shirts: veggie girl and/or give peas a chance. Cute.

If you're the least bit interested in vegetarianism or veganism, you can order a free starter kit with information, recipes, and more here or here. Or if you're eager to find out more right away, you can read a brochure online here.

It's interesting that the most common comment I get about becoming a vegetarian is, "You'd better make sure you get enough protein." In actuality, few if any people living in developed countries run the risk of protein deficiency. As for me, I'm just depending on different sources of protein - and unlike meat products, my protein sources are rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates instead of cholesterol and fat.

St. Matthew Passion

I came across an old video of my former violin teacher performing the "Erbarme dich" from Bach's St. Matthew Passion with soprano Sylvia McNair and organist Diane Bish. These days he's a little greyer and without sideburns, but other than that surprisingly the same.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Gee, you'd think I'd given up blogging for Lent or something.

Last night I said to Nathan, "You need to say something funny soon so I can blog about it."

He did not immediately oblige. I'm still waiting for something blog-worthy.

Instead I'm the one who says funny things, apparently - at least in the early morning when I don't want to wake up. This morning Nathan had to head out early to a music festival, and after he showered he asked me, "Are you going to make me breakfast?" Clinging to the bliss of sleep and unwilling to be awakened for such small necessities as breakfast, I am told that I said, "Shh. Shh. Pop-Tart."

(Translation: "Let me sleep and go toast yourself a Pop-Tart.")

Yes. I am ashamed to say that, when they are free or cheap with coupons, I do buy Pop-Tarts for my junk-food-loving husband.

But I did get up and make him two egg-and-cheese bagel sandwiches this morning, after all.