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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A very hipster Thanksgiving

Friends, countrymen, readers of Unnaturally Green, watchers of nonsensical videos,

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I had a gloriously familial time with my boyfriend, a.k.a. Gentle Rambo, and his Wisconsin-born, Pennsylvania-bred family of six (Rambo, like me, is a middle child -- observant, quietly brilliant, considerate, only slightly messed-up).

In typical Felicia-fashion, at Thanksgiving dinner (which we happily celebrated on two days, consecutively) I was unable to restrain myself amidst the sweet potatoes, stuffing, and various bread-filled substances, and so gave myself a free pass from no-carb prison.

(I've since been locked back into my cell, where I find myself sneaking various carbohydrate-laden snacks when the warden is looking the other way.)

But there is a point to all this -- totally unrelated -- which is? Oh yeah! I took some photos!

You may not know this charming fact about me, but I've long been complaining about my inability to download the ubiquitous Hipstamatic photo app, favored by hipsters and other garden-variety iPhone users alike, since I have an Android Inspire (the AT&T salesperson told me it was compatible with all iPhone apps, which was clearly a lie, because I also can't download Houzz, a.k.a. the best interior design app evarrr, and I WANT MY MONEY BACK!).

Lo and behold, this weekend I learned there's something called the Retro Camera app -- the I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Android app to the Hipstamatic. All in all, it sufficed! And I took some hipstery photos that I will now post below.

The takeaway from this experience? A hipster-inspired photo app does not a hipster make. You'll see what I mean.

Dazed and confused?

Eating my own hair?

A cat! This might be my best, most hipster-y photo.

Yeah, I know. So not hip.

I threw in this "broken doll" model shot...with a mini Christmas tree...because, why not.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

44 seconds of minor amusement

Happy belated Thanksgiving! On an unrelated note, here is yet another video of me and Libby Servais (former Glinda standby in Wicked) tooling around backstage like complete weirdos. (Read more about the depths of our boredom here or in my book Unnaturally Green.)



Thank you, and goodnight!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Bye, bye carbohydrates (for now)

You know that scene in Braveheart where Mel Gibson is like, "They'll never take...our FREEDOM!" and then everybody cheers and goes into battle? Under similar conditions, I would totally join the fight. Except you'd have to change "freedom" to "carbohydrates."

Freedom is nice -- don't get me wrong. But can you douse it in tomato sauce and twirl it around your fork? I didn't think so.

Imagine a world without carbohydrates. Without pizza and cold beer, friendships would wither. No lollipops in the doc's office? A whole generation would go un-vaccinated. And forget going to the movies; honestly, what's the point without the snacks? Birthdays, holidays, Happy Hour -- these are mere excuses to eat cupcakes, Bundt cakes, champagne cakes. Pot stickers. French fries. In the culinary world, "fun" is spelled C-A-R-B.

Can you tell I'm hungry?

For the past week, I've been curbing my carb intake. A combination of health, strength and weight-loss goals have led me to conclude that my healthy obsession with pasta, toast, and corn chips at every meal may not be so "healthy" after all. No, I haven't eliminated them entirely (what do you think I am, masochistic?); the only rule is, if I'm going to eat carbs, I have to eat them in the hour after I work out.

(My layperson understanding of why: your body needs carbohydrates after you exert yourself, and whatever "bad effects" carbs usually have, in terms of turning to fat, are negated because after a workout your body is still in fat-burning mode. This especially applies if you've really exerted yourself with high-intensity intervals or something similar -- which I've been doing, miserable and red-faced.)

It hasn't been an easy transition. There are no support groups for Carboholics, no twelve-step program, no sympathy cards for the loss of a loved bread.

But on my uphill journey I've learned that, with every loss, comes a victory: I have, for example, mastered the art of preparing eggs, salads, and protein shakes -- which, given my level of culinary skill (which, on a scale of 1 to 10, is "Can Boil Pasta") are praise-worthy accomplishments. I've learned that "kale" can be steamed, baked, or eaten raw; that carrots taste better when you buy them with the green stuff still attached; that you can basically put anything in an omelet.

And, truth is, working out has actually gotten to be way more fun: after the jump-squats, pull-ups, and kettlebell swings, my final exercise is usually to conquer a heaping plate of spaghetti.

Bring it on!


Friday, November 18, 2011

A brief book review: "One Day" by David Nicholls

One DayOne Day by David Nicholls

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Where do I begin? This book is breathtaking, a profound representation of life, tragic and weird and unpredictable as it is. Nicholls chronicles two characters' intertwining journeys with such attention to detail, character, and emotion that I was staggered by its realism. A brilliant character study (of both its main characters, and even the ancillary players -- with spot-on dialogue), the prose is artful, whimsical, hilarious, and spontaneous. His chosen structure of zooming in on one particular date across two or so decades was genius, for several reasons. Many of these dates were not milestones; instead, they were markers of the mundane -- of life's "betweenness" -- times between great triumph, loss -- illustrations of transition, angst, and often confusion. In my opinion, this contributed to the book's profundity, slaying tragedy, and, again, its ability to capture "life." Read this book. You will be changed.


Update 12.22.11: There are spoilers in the comments section! Be warned! (And sorry.)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Signed copies available for the holidays (+ new video!)

Hi friends! A brief post tonight to announce:

1) Unnaturally Green turns one-month old today! Yay! I remember the day it was born like it was, well -- one month ago.

2) More importantly, 40 signed copies of Unnaturally Green are now available for worldwide shipping! Fill out this form to inquire about shipping cost. (Copies can be personalized upon request; get yours before they're sold out!).

3) I've just made a new singing tips video in response to questions I got about "vocal blend." Check it out below!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Road tripping

Have you ever hosted a party that's so fun it's insane?

You know the kind. Hors-doeuvres, ice cubes shaped like Kokopelli, banter, mini-desserts, novelty cocktail napkins that say, "In my day we didn't need all this therapy; we had a little thing called the martini," maybe a few rounds of charades (if you grew up surrounded by musical theater performers), a healthy debate on whether objectivism begets existentialism (if you attended an Ivy League school), absolutely no straight-male romantic prospects (if you grew up surrounded by musical theater performers / attended an Ivy League school), third or fourth helpings of whatever was served (if you are Italian)?