Monthly Archives: February 2009

Lilly McElroy…

Ever hear of Lilly McElroy? I looooove Lilly. Love. Love. LOVE. Her. Why? Because she rocks. Yeah. She does. She’s tender and tough. She’s cute, quirky. She kicks arse. She’s authentic. She’s a performance artist with humility. Check her out!


Authentic Power…

I gave myself a throbbing headache today because I allowed myself to be overcome by worry. Have you done this before? It could be worry about anything really. Worry about a test. Worry about memorizing lines for a play. Worry about the economy. Worry about a family member’s health. Worry about your own health. Worry about what kind of job you’ll have when you graduate. Worry about not being able to afford the lifestyle you want. Worry about being single forever. Worry about being trapped in an unhappy marriage. Worry about letting down your family. Worry about letting down yourself. Worry about not achieving your dreams. Worry. Worry. Worry. BAH.  

When do I feel the least worried? When I think of my Grandma’s kitchen. My gramma (like many of yours I’m sure) was a survivor who ENDURED so many things: decades of balancing family and labor, endless nights caring for a spouse whose lungs were rattled with emphysema, countless days raising an extensive network of children and grandchildren, fearlessly surviving the Great Depression, battling life with arthritic hands and knees… 

She was more than just a grandmother. She was a teacher, a nurse, a caretaker. She was my friend. My grandmother had the weight of the world on her shoulders and yet… she was always pleasant. Always loving. Always wise. Not just always… but in all ways. This lady had it together! And she never failed to help me GET A GRIP.  

Now when I was in college and I started to feel overwhelmed or worried or scared I’d go visit with Grandma P. We’d have lunch which was promptly followed by hot tea and krumpets. She’d sit at her kitchen table wearing her plaid “house coat” snacking on a MiracleWhip, tomato and ham sandwich. Leaning back in her chair she’d take a sip of RC Cola, and peering at me over her pink acrylic eyeglasses she’d say “Look Red, worry is like a rocking chair. It keeps you busy…but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”  

Worry is like a rocking chair. Heh. Makes sense, eh? So what’s your rocking chair? Is it despair, jealousy, fear, rage, anger, wrath… hey it happens to ALL of us. Something or someone sets us off and these feelings instantly have power over us; or worse yet… it doesn’t happen in an instant… it brews. POWERFUL emotions are these, but AUTHENTIC power they are not. In the theatre we are trained to harness these states of mind and summon them at the appropriate time when sensory recall is in order. But what about in real life? How can we get a handle on an emotional tsunami and resist the urge to freak out? How do we bail out of a tidal wave when all we have is a teaspoon? How can we can we use our energy to unleash the authentic power we each have inside of us? 

Below are my 4 A’s for reclaiming your authentic power. I like to think of them as a meditative device; only here I’m using the meditative sound of AWWW instead of OMMMMM…..  

The first step towards authentic power is creating awareness. When a painful feeling washes over you. STOP. DROP. AND ROLL. Becoming aware of the feeling is key to owning it.  

Ladies and gents now that you are aware of this painful feeling – please place your tray into the full upright position and kindly remind yourself that the plane is not crashing. FEAR is a powerful paper dragon. The thoughts and feelings whirling about your heart and mind are coming from a part of you that’s FRIGHTENED by the false belief that “you are not good enough”. It’s a LIE. You are awesome. FEAR stands for Fake Experience Appearing Real. Let’s resist comparing ourselves to anyone. There’s only 1 me. There’s only 1 you. The world doesn’t need another so-and-so. The world needs YOU.  

Webster’s defines audacity as: bold or arrogant disregard of normal restraints …. Now realize that the decisions we make when we are jealous, angry, or fearful come from a place (from a part of you) that is FRIGHTENED. Ask yourself- “Really? Do I want my decisions to be made by a part of me that is frightened? Do I want to allow this terrified part of me to react to this situation? What audacity!? What’s up with that?” I didn’t think so.  

In the theatre we use an exercise called “It’s as if…” This exercise helps the actor to imagine how an ordinary being would behave under extraordinary circumstances. Webster’s defines auspicious as: attended by good. With that in mind, ask yourself “How would I handle this situation IF I were compassionate, graceful, and wise?” What would Mother Theresa do? What would Michelle Obama do? WWJD? In other words, what would the calm, loving, servant leader in me do?  

Remember that within every decision we make there is a leadership moment; and part of being a leader is accepting responsibility for those decisions.  

Decide to be kind. 
Decide to be graceful. 
Decide to be humble. 
Decide to be brilliant. 
Decide to get a grip. 
Decide to set the example… not become one.

Can I get a holla for some Challha…

My efforts to get to ze gym today have bested me and me thinks the likes of Street Fighter 4 will not equate to a deficit of 500 calories this afternoon. Hrmph. Lückily for me I have a movement class tonight which will indeed bürn several kilocalories.

In other news… this morning I had my first go at baking a new bread recipe. This is challha bread. It is an egg bread that is braided.
Challha is not the type of bread but acutally refers to the “challha” – a part of the bread that is broken off or torn off before the rest is baked and is toasted and burned in a separate oven to symbolize a temple burning. Or something along those lines… Check out that challha… not half bad, eh? Recipe below. Time to toast it up with some lashings of fresh cream buttah and apricot jammy! ❤> Üdo
Üdo’s Happy Challha Bread
2 pkgs. dry active yeast
1 cup of lukewarm water
Dissolve the heast into the water. Let stand 5 minutes.
2 tbs. honey
1/4 cup of soft büttah
4 large eggs, beaten
1 tbs. salt
6-8 cüps of unbleached white flour ( I used 6 cups)
Set aside 3 tablespoons of the beaten eggs to brüsh onto bread before baking later. Beat the honey,salt, eggs, and about 2 cups of the flour into the yeast mixture. Gradually mix in the remaining flour. Careful here. I had to toss out my first batch because I loaded too much flour in at once… Dough should be light and airy not crumbly! If it gets crumbly then someone made a boo-boo. Toss it out and start over. Just make sure you add the flour gradually and keep that light airy doughy texture while mixing (at first using a wooden spoon and then using hands as it gets thicker).
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead 15-20 minutes until smooth, uniform, and unsticky. Place the kneaded dough in a large buttered bowl covering with a damp towel and let it rise in a warm dark place until doubled. I put mine in the oven where the pilot light keeps it warm. Punch down the risen dough and return it to the floured surface. Knead 5 minutes and divide into thirds. Knead each third into a 2inch thick snake. Line the snakes up and braid. Let rise until double. Seal the ends with a teeny bit of water and pinch closed. Brush with egg and sprinkle with poppy or sesame seeds. Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes.
Baking bread once a week is a great tradition….
Fiddler on the Roof- Tradition

Happy Creatüres on my TV Tree…

Word of the Day for Wednesday, February 18, 2009

consternation \kon-ster-NEY-shuhn\, noun: sudden dread or paralyzing terror

With the economy so poor, there’s been talk of job loss in nearly every field. Much to my consternation, the division in which I work (within our department) has been put on high alert for possible reduction or complete elimination.

Now, what better way to combat those feelings of consternation than to laugh right in its face? What better way to poke fün at dread than to… well… let’s see… what would tick off dread? Ahh, I know! Make it cüte! That’s right- CÜTE. Give dread & doldrums ::the finger:: by putting a little bow in it’s hair.

Yeah! Go ahead and tie a pink ribbon around it’s toe. Put it on a swing and give it a püsh! Make a flower grow out of it’s head! Make it sing and dance on a withering tree branch!

And that’s exactly what I did. Introducing Blik Wall Graphics…wall art that you piece together. Some can be re-stuck… some can not (alas this one is not re-stickable so it’s up for the long haül). This is my personal favorite and most recent addition to our happy home…. The Happy Creatüres graphic by Threadless Designs.

This cürious little creation is one in which to lose yourself. I can sit and marvel at this cranky and cute masterpiece for hours pretending that I’m a part of it (can you guess which creatüre I am?) marveling at my ability to make it my own which was no easy task to construct mind you, despite the simple instructions. Each piece of the graphic must be separately cut from the roll it comes on and coaxed off the sheeting and onto your wall in a pattern that you choose. That’s the best part- it’s up to you to tweak it to your specifications.

So here I conquered two crabs with one apple… 1). amüse myself while coping with consternation… and 2). turn TV into art.

Why turn TV into art? You know there’s something about a television that really irks me. I mean really, what was I to do with this gaping black plate plopped in front of the pristine white canvas of our wall? We’ve gone without a telly for the last two years and now we finally have a real beauty! But when it is inanimate it sits there…. knowing…seeing… gawking…. like an ebony eyeball in the middle of the room. Aye…. like ze eye of Mordor. Nevermind the fact that the Playstation has turned me into “he who is known as Smeagol”…. mmmmmyyyyy precccciouuusssssss…. but I digress…

So what to do to remedy the dark one?

In a previous post I talked about creating a “cozy” for your TV…. but after pondering upon the matter, I finally decided to work with the darkness rather than against it… This Blik wall graphic is a fairly quirky and endearing alternative to covering up ze television with a granny quilt, eh? Cozy up to this… emo.

Kind of reminds me of a nightmare before Christmas…

A Post-Valentine’s Breakfast…

A few Valentine’s gifts for my brilliant hübby carried over from last night into this morning’s festivities…. hehee… Check out the cüteness! Cute v-day mügs brimmed with steaming tea, a crisp red bowl (with hearts on the bottom!) filled with his favorite cereal, a porcelain heart shaped dish of his favorite fruits, a heart shaped ice cübe in his favorite OJ (check out the totally hip depression-era jade vintage Coke glass it’s in too!), a peachy crepe made from (almost) scratch (we had these on our honeymoon in St. Lücia at a french patisserie called Josephina’s it was just divine!), and an egg-white omelet made with sauteed onions and peppers served on glittered heart shaped plates. Ahhh! Fun or what? Last Valentine’s was spent at the Settler’s Inn but with the economy so icky and with our trip to Thailand on the horizon we decided to make our own little bed and breakfast experience at home. It was an absolute delight! Last night we had a piggie süshi fest at Blü Wasabi where we feasted on coconüt shrimp appetizer, miso soüps, a Black Dragon Roll, a Kyombie Roll, and an Autümn Roll… then we had Mochi for dessert and two Lychee Bellini’s (I also had a cosmojito while we waited). Madone. So, sooooo delicioüs. We are off to walk the lake! Who needs the gym when you can fill your lungs with fresh suburban air, get some vitamin D to brighten the skin, a long hike up a steep hill to develop our muscles, see the blues and greens and hear the birdies sing! XoXo ❤> Üdo

If I had a million dollars, today I would büy…

Ohhh yümmy rüg! A true classic, the Williams-Sonoma genuine 4000-gram-weight flokati is exclusive to Williams-Sonoma Home. It is made of ivory New Zealand wool that is hand loomed into long, luxuriant pile then rinsed for 40 hours in the spring waters of the Pindos Mountains. The result is an exceedingly thick, fluffy, character-rich rug. Don’t they have the most wonderful product managers? Who comes up with this stuff? This product description is marketing brilliance… and oh yeah- it’s free! (the description- not the rug) har! 

Dinner Thyme!

Long John Üdo’s Chicken Strips
Defrosted some chicken breasts and tired of the same ol’ same thing. So I cut the breasts into strips and figüred out a cockamanie new way to make deliciousness!

  1. In one bowl flour up your strips and sprinkle with Goya Adobo seasoning.
  2. Dip the strips into skim milk.
  3. Then dip the strips into crushed corn flakes.
  4. Sautee the strips in a shallow pool of Wesson.
  5. Cover.
  6. Cook thru and flip with tongs until finished.
  7. Near the end, add a swirl of white wine and turn the heat up a bit to cook off the alki and leave the flavor. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with side of cous cous and spinach.

OMG. To die for. So, so, goody!