Jan 21, 2009

i started reading 'diy: the rise of lo-fi culture' by amy spencer today, & i barely cracked the spine before i became totally inspired to create an IBS zine. i'm thinking about drawing the whole thing, scanning it, & then posting it all to this space rather than making hard copies. if i do decide to sell any, i will definitely be donating some or all of the proceeds to iffgd. i think it will be very therapeutic for me to create a zine about this, & it might help someone who's just starting down the IBS road. i'm not that far into my own 'recovery,' so i'm sure that i will learn much more about managing my own particular brand of the disorder, & i will have lots to write/draw about for some time to come.

i don't have any samples of what i've drawn so far because i need to charge my camera's batteries & the scanner is having issues, but i hope to have something up here soon. the working title for the zine is 'blow it out your ass: kellymagelli's guide to D-dominant IBS.' i think it's a funny title, & it suggests a little bit of my attitude towards certain aspects of living with the disorder. specifically, i try to take this kind of attitude when someone makes me feel guilty or defective because i happen to have IBS. i'm a pathological people-pleaser. if i don't remind myself that having IBS is not the result of some sort of failure on my part & that taking care of myself has to be my top priority, i can let others bring me down pretty quickly. i do not actually tell people to blow it our their asses. if i could communicate something to others with IBS, it would be along the lines of this: it is not your fault. sometimes it's going to be frustrating and hard, but make sure you take care of yourself. no one is going to do it for you.

i haven't had a good drawing project in awhile, & i drew so much today that the tip of my index finger is actually sore from pressing down on a pencil. it feels really good though. it's good to have something to take my mind off of my busted nose (slipped & fell straight on my nose while hiking) & a substantial project to work on while i wait to get all the substitute teaching paperwork sorted out. (background checks take a long time! who knew?)

Jan 17, 2009

barack attack!
Originally uploaded by kellymagelli
after the election, i ran across a pattern for a barack obama finger puppet from lion brand yarn on ravelry. i was/am so, so excited that obama won the election that i knew i had to start cranking out some puppets for myself & fellow obama supporters. playing around with one of the puppets one night, i discovered that they look really cute/funny if you flap the arms around like he's really, really excited. this discovery clearly lead to a need for a video. thus, i took 20 seconds of crappy video of an obama puppet flapping his arms around & then another 5 or so of him waving. a little imovie magic, & now that baby is up on youtube.

did you see the video? do you want your own obama finger puppet? you have two options:

1. go the lion brand website, search for "barack obama" & make yourself a puppet. (you have to be a member to access the free patterns, so you may have to sign up for the free membership to do this.)

2. leave me a comment here, &, if you ask super, super nicely, i might make you one. if you know me personally, then you could just IM or email or whatever.

there is a possibility of a third option, though it is not yet a reality. because i have altered the obama pattern slightly to suit my own tastes, i may put some obamas in my etsy shop. if that happens, i will announce it here & possibly on the youtube site.

enjoy the inauguration, & get ready for a new, hopeful chapter in american history!

Jan 11, 2009

dudes! i totally forgot to post one of my favorite things that i made last week: super-tasty jewish chicken noodle soup!

i got the recipe from an old issue of bust, but it's really simple to just describe here. here's the low-down:

  • bring chicken broth to a boil.
  • add cooked chicken breast, sliced carrots, & sauteed onions. you could also add celery if you want to, but i didn't because i don't like celery.
  • season liberally with salt, pepper, garlic, paprika, & dill. the recipe i used also calls for guilt, but i left that out since i'm not jewish. plus, guilt is pretty fattening, right? i don't think it's safe-for-IBS.
  • let the whole thing simmer until the carrots are cooked, which will probably take about 20 minutes.
  • if you want noodles in your chicken noodle soup, boil some pasta separately, & then add it into the soup before you serve it.
  • enjoy!

so, so good. a word of caution concerning leftovers: if you like high broth:other soup contents in your bowl, you will want to reserve some broth separately from the rest of the soup to add in to each time you fix a fresh bowl. i don't really have a lot of use for broth, so i allow my pasta to do its thing & soak it all up in the fridge.

Jan 10, 2009

if i believed in new year's resolutions, i would resolve to dress like an adult every day. the picture is of jenny, the designer of wiksten. i heart her designs & how she puts things together. i would love to look a little more like the picture. i have relied on a uniform of jeans & a t-shirt for years, occasionally spicing it up with a hoodie or sweater if it is cold. with my baby face, this makes me look about 16 years old. this is possibly because this is how i dressed at 16. it is not unusual for someone to ask me if i'm old enough to drive, why i'm not in school in the middle of a weekday, or where my mother is. this is super-annoying, mostly because it's rude. i don't comment on how old people look, asking them if they're nearing retirement or considering botox, so i would like to be treated with the same respect.

usually i just brush that sort of thing off or maybe vent about it to a friend & then forget it. however, it is a little bit of a concern for me right now because i am embarking on a new career as a high school biology teacher. i definitely want to look older than my students so i look like i'm supposed to be in charge. high school kids are maybe not the easiest to deal with. they think they're so grown up, but most aren't really capable of functioning at an adult level with any consistency (though is anyone, really?). i lost weight over the summer & had to buy new clothes for my teaching gig at RC, so i have a lot of 'grown-up' clothes, but i don't really know how to wear them in ways that are cute & young & hip. i've been scouring blogs & magazines for ideas, & i even made an inspiration board. i also watch 'what not to wear' like it's a religion. this is probably not for the best, though i did catch the tail-end of an episode the other day in which they made over a young 8th grade teacher whose 'before' was a lot like my 'now.' full disclosure: i totally cried at the end. i have no idea about this woman's teaching style, but she was so happy & full of life that i felt like she's probably a great teacher which is sorely lacking in america. i was also really excited because she's on a personal mission to improve education, much like i am on a personal mission to improve education. i also like it when good things happen to good people. plus, she looked super-cute at the end, & super-grown-up. this is basically a recipe for happy tears.

hopefully the wardrobe issues won't be overly significant since i plan on being a kick-ass teacher. i've been reading about the public education crisis & other things like teaching philosophies & edupunk. (sidebar: the term 'edupunk' was coined by jim groom of the university of mary washington--my alma mater!) i'm really, really excited about it... granted i only have my former college teaching jobs to go on, but thinking about having my own classroom fills my little heart with joy. i had a crap time in high school & took a very uninspiring biology class there, so i'm very excited to make biology fun & hopefully make high school a little less painful for some (all!) of my students.

because of bad memories, i really hadn't considered teaching high school, but my decision to do so was what my friend N. termed a 'light-bulb moment.' in the february issue of glamour, the following quote from condoleeza rice was part of an article about last year's women of the year awards: 'the most important thing that you can do in life is to find a passion. when you find your passion, you'll realize that you didn't find it--it found you.' my bad feelings about the bush administration aside, rice's quote really resonates with me. this may be a bit premature to say, but that is how i feel about teaching. i feel like it snuck up on me, & it's given me a renewed sense of purpose. it was difficult to decide to leave academia & this decision has not been met with overwhelming support, but i feel like i am absolutely doing the right thing for me. the idea of spending my career cranking out research & pubs makes me almost physically ill, & the only reason to stay would be because it's the easier thing to do. the work itself isn't easy, but in academia your career trajectory is outlined for you: doctorate, post-doc, tenure-track faculty position. when you decide to leave, there's no blueprint. it's a little scary, but i'm really excited & i think i can make a difference. wish me luck!

Jan 9, 2009

i had the house to myself for a few days, so i did a lot of cooking. my parents are fairly open-minded about trying new foods, but i think sometimes they mainly like the things i cook because they don't have to spend any time thinking about what to eat if there's something already on the table. there are a lot of things that i can't eat, & i have to keep everything really low fat, so i can understand why the things i make for myself might not be at the top of the list for someone who can eat anything.

anyway, i don't have any pictures, but here's a line-up of what i made:

moroccan stewed chicken with couscous
i used a recipe similar to this, except i used chicken breasts instead of thighs since dark meat is a little too fatty for me to eat. i got this recipe from women's health magazine, & it had fresh cilantro instead of coriander & cayenne instead of paprika. i will definitely make it again, but without or with less cayenne.

this is the closest recipe i've seen to what i used. i used apple cider in place of the veggie oil, & rather than cooking the carrots on the stove, i poured the apple cider broth over the carrots & baked them for an hour. i wish i had done this instead. i don't really mind waiting so long, but my carrots weren't even that soft after 1 hour in the oven & i had no intention of waiting for them to get softer. all in all, i liked the dish & will make it again.

ginger pear preserves
this was my first foray into canning. i'm kind of intrigued by canning because it's a southern tradition & canned foods are generally foods that i can eat. i also like the idea of preserving things at their freshest and avoiding those bpa-laced cans. the canning process itself was very successful, but i'm not sure how much i'm into the actual recipe. i only made one jar and am now eating the contents rather than storing them. i think if i go the pear route again, i'm going to step it up & use a recipe from an article in bust magazine on putting up, a book which i intend to buy eventually. it organizes the recipes by month, which i love, so i can have canning projects going all through the year.

grapefruit tea
i loooooove grapefruits & their juice, so i was pretty excited to see this recipe in my inbox this afternoon from the lovely martha and the folks at body + soul. i hardcore heart martha's clear glass teapot and teacups. i used my mom's vintage electric juicer to juice my grapefruits, and the whole thing was ready in about 10 minutes. i'm really, really into it, though i may add some water to the juice on the next go-round to lighten it up a little bit. it reminded me more of a mulled cider than the types of tea that i'm used to drinking, but it was still very delicious. in fact, i drank the whole pot while writing this post :)