Pulpology: Mark & Sonia's Intercontinental Absurdities!


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Re: Wanderfood Wednesday: Epicurean despot (by mark at 5/09 2:16 PM)
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16 June 2008
So much for modern conveniences
Sometimes you have to just laugh and shrug

D'you think maybe the universe is trying to tell me something? Apparently this morning there was a huge water main break in the county in Maryland where my office is located. So I arrived to work to find an email memo instructing us that the water in the building might be contaminated; we were not to use any of the coffee machines or water coolers; make sure to use hand sanitizer after washing your hands in the bathroom sinks; yada yada yada. Of course I read this *after* filling up my trusty Nalgene bottle with 32 ounces of "contamination" and drinking about a third of it. Lovely. Well, I'm happy to report that I drank the whole thing -- why not live dangerously, here in Beige Cubicleville? -- and I seem to have lived to tell the tale. I've even been joking that this is good practice for traveling in parts of the world where you really *can't* drink the water. That which does not kill us makes us stronger.

On top of that, I just got a message from Mark that a big thunderstorm has knocked out power at our house. So I'll be arriving home to lots of candles, no internet, no appliances, no AC. But, hey, that just reminds me of the time that huge storm came through Guatemala and we lost power at the hostel in Livingston. It's amazing how many fun drinking games you can think up when there's no TV to watch.

I may be a bit late getting to the office tomorrow...

Posted by soniaz at 5:05 PM | Link | 0 comments


12 June 2008
Detox results

mmmmm, juice-a-licious!Thanks to Christine, of the fabulous blog almostfearless.com, for reminding me via a comment to my last post* that I need to provide an update on our crazy detox diet. I gotta say, it was tremendously unfun, and I sure did miss chewing. But between the two of us, Mark and I lost 50lbs. So it was definitely worth it! As a quick recap, the detox entailed 21 days of drinking fruit and vegetable juices and pureed soups. We did buy a few vitamin-enriched powders, but we mostly juiced stuff at home in our Juice Weasel... everything from the standard carrot-apple-ginger to some sketchier concoctions involving kale, radishes, beets, even sweet potato. I don't mind the taste of raw veggies so I actually had some fun making up new juice blends. And if you add enough fresh ginger, you can make almost anything taste good. The soups were a different matter, and there were definitely some debacles along the way. (Note to anyone who's following the book: that woman should be arrested for those recipes she included in the appendix! Gag me with a stalk of pureed broccoli!) However, I did have some successful experimentations with lemongrass, chilis, and garlic, where I could almost fool myself into thinking I'd made a Thai soup. And I have to give mad props to my co-worker Keith, who sent along some links for new recipes. This was just what I needed about mid-way through the diet, to inject a bit of creativity into the process.

Here are a few FAQs and answers:

> Weren't you hungry the whole time?
Not physically. The program instructs you to eat (drink) something every two hours, so you never really have a chance to get hungry. That's not to say I wasn't craving "real" food almost constantly. The hardest thing for me was ending a day at the office and not being able to look forward to a nice meal with a glass of wine. But it was definitely more of a mental challenge than a physical one.

> How in the world did you give up coffee for 21 days?!?
I guess I'm not as addicted to caffeine as I thought. I didn't have any headaches or other physical symptoms from giving up my daily cuppa joe (or three). Again, it was more about missing the ritual, particularly first thing in the morning. We were allowed to have some green tea, so I got an occasional blast of caffeinated goodness that way.

> Did you have enough energy without consuming protein or carbs?
I found it much easier to get up in the mornings -- and this is a huge thing for a non-morning-person like me. I wasn't bursting with energy all day long (good thing, 'cuz how annoying would *that* be??) but I did have enough to get through the day, as long as I didn't exert myself. Which brings me to the next question...

> Did you exercise?
I tried, really I did. Couldn't do anything the first week, and I got lightheaded just from walking up a few flights of stairs. I went back to Bikram Yoga the second week and almost died. By week three I was taking hourlong walks each day, and still feeling like I could barely make it up the hills, but at least I was getting out and doing something. Mark was able to continue his vigorous daily gym routine, which is probably why he lost 30lbs and I only lost 20.

> How did you stick with it for so long?
Strangely, there's some comfort and simplicity in a diet so restrictive. It takes all the guesswork out. There's no cheating... it's not like you can talk yourself into having just a bite of chocolate cake or one sip of wine. Nope, you're either in or you're out. Having someone else around for moral support was key, as well.

You're supposed to take 11 days to gradually get back to eating regular food, which didn't really work because we finished on Monday and took off for San Diego on Thursday. [Wedding details and pics will be posted this weekend.] Detox, shmetox. Now that we're back into a regular routine, the trick will be finding some sort of balance that allows us to cook and eat (and drink) delicious stuff, but keep it in check with moderation. We've also been experimenting with some new vegetarian recipes, and hopefully we'll be able to take advantage of the "organic" and "locally-grown" produce from the plants on our deck. Thankfully they didn't completely perish in the wilting heat that greeted us upon returning from the Left Coast. Ah, summers in DC!

* In order to post and view comments, you have to be a registered user of this site. So now would be a great time to subscribe using the link above! This way you also have the option of getting an email when new blog entries are posted.

Posted by soniaz at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments


07 June 2008
Another festive, fabulous Zamborsky wedding
So much for that healthy diet!
We managed to get a second Zamborsky brother married off in high style... or at least a rollicking good time! You just can't go wrong with a weekend in San Diego, where the weather is always perfect and a mellow surfer vibe abounds. Add to that two great families -- once again, I am blessed with a wonderful sister-in-law, and Dey's family is also da bomb -- who all like to have fun and shake what their mommas gave 'em, and you have yourself a PARTY!

Marie & Sonia at the lily pond in Balboa ParkWe started the weekend at our friend Marie's place. She was kind enough to host us for one night before and one night after the wedding festivities. AND she picked us up from the airport, how cool is that? We dropped our stuff off at her cute little bungalow in Hillcrest and headed out for a stroll around Balboa Park. Especially after being crunched up in cattle class for the morning's flights, it was great to get out and enjoy the fresh air.

That evening we completely destroyed our detox diet by making a sumptuous French meal as a thank-you for our gracious hostess. By the time we got around to sampling the apple torte, I was nearly passed out with jetlag (not to mention the first glass of wine in almost a month!), but Marie did say that the cougeres were as good as those her French mother used to make, which is high praise, indeed.

Mark, Dave, Meghan, and Laura are soooooo grooooovyGetting up the next morning was a bit of a Benny Hill routine. Marie decided to let us sleep in, figuring we'd still have plenty of time to make the harbor cruise at 12:30. So when we finally rolled out of bed at 11:45 and realized there was nobody around to give us a ride, I hurriedly called us a cab and we tossed our stuff into our bags and dashed out of the house, hoping not to miss the boat, literally. Fortunately everything in San Diego seems to be pretty close to everything else (unlike, say, LA). We made it to the dock in time to greet Eric & Dey and the dozens of family members milling about, and collect our tickets for admission. However, somewhere in the process I managed to lose Mark (I joke about not wanting to let him off his leash, but see what happens when I do?) and guess what? Say it with me: He Missed The Boat. Fortunately the cruise does two 1-hour loops through the north and south parts of the Bay, so we picked him up on the backswing.

Never a dull moment.

Marriott CoronadoAfter the cruise we hitched a ride to the Marriott Coronado to check into our room for the next two days. Nice place! Situated right on along the water, with a beautiful pool and many scenic views. And it is pretty convenient to have the wedding and reception within stumbling distance. :)

His Excellency keeps Eric and Dave in lineWe had just enough time to clean up for the rehearsal, presided over by His Excellency, the Right Reverend Tony Braccali, Church of the Almighty Internet. Tony is a friend of Eric's from high school, and has always had a flair for theatrics, so he was the perfect choice to keep everything moving along wittily. Laura suggested he reprise his "Godspell" role and begin the ceremony by belting out "Pree-ee-ee-pare ye, the way of Eric and Dey!" Wisely, he opted out. (Twenty bonus points for anyone who can dredge up an old pic from those days!!) The wedding was held on the lawn at the Marriott, right next to a very popular bike path. I'm not sure what the over-under was on a wheeled passerby yelling out something inappropriate or wiping out in the middle of the ceremony, but there was quite a bit of speculation during the rehearsal.

Josh, Eric, and Chris reminisce about tequila shots of yoreSufficiently rehearsed, we headed to a nearby restaurant for the usual speeches and gifting and storytelling. And tequila shots. Alas, despite much heckling from Justice and the aid of a shot of Patrón, Chris would *not* give a speech about The Booger Wall. But we managed to have some fun anyway. Followed by a few beverages at the Marriott bar, and most of the group retired early. Probably for the best.

the deed is done!Saturday was the quintessentially perfect San Diego day: sunny, breezy, no humidity, not a cloud in the sky. It actually got a bit chilly down by the water. OK, it was downright cold, but that's what pashminas are for! The ceremony went smoothly, despite the crowd that formed on the bike path. (Which included, bizarrely, an entire flock of Segueway scooters.) Jonah performed his faux-ringbearer duties with great aplomb. The groomsmen actually put down their beer bottles for a few minutes. The bridesmaids managed to keep the bawling to a minimum, with only a mere shred of eyeliner displacement. And of course Laura and I, professional wedding readers at this point, pulled off a magnificent set of dramatic readings, despite the huge helicopter that decided to hover nearby.

you should hear these guys cover Slayer!we alllllll sistahs now!And then the mariachi band led everyone down the path to the reception tent and we partied our asses off till the wee hours. More shots. Much dancing. Maybe even a little Bon Jovi. And an entire high-kicking chorus line. Shortly after, they kicked us out of Marriott and we headed a few blocks away to The Island Bar, Coronado's finest dive. Dey made it onstage with the band to shake her maracas (seriously! check out the pics) and Ronnie managed to take over the stage at one point as well. That's right, we rock.

http://www.pulpology.com/?esid=pics&z=948&KWID=58After a redonkulous brunch the next morning, during which everyone was using their inside voices even though we were seated outside, Mark and I soaked up a few more rays by the pool before heading back to Marie's place. That evening, we managed to have some homemade mezze at her house, a final family meal at Casa de Reyes in Old Town, and the rest of the Middle Eastern dinner back at Marie's. By Third Dinner, I was feeling pretty hobbit-rific indeed. And almost ready to go back on that juice diet!

quadruple-fisted, way to re-tox!Overindulgence notwithstanding (hell, it's a family event, it's required), it was a truly fabulous weekend. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I have the coolest family ever. We are all thrilled to officially welcome Dey into the Zamborsky -- excuse me, ZamBROWsky -- clan. I'm pleased to report that another brother has married up. As with Dave's wedding, and all family celebrations since late 2006, there were a number of bittersweet moments as we all wished my mom could be there in person. But as Dave said in his Best Man toast, I'm sure she had on her dancing shoes and was celebrating up a storm. With Laura heading off to Alaska in July, and us hopefully sailing off into the sunset in September, it'll probably be a while before we're all together again, and it was great to have such a happy occasion to do so.

Oh, and if anyone has any truly priceless pics of the wedding or other antics from that weekend, feel free to send 'em to me. I posted a lot here but I know I didn't cover everything.

Posted by soniaz at 12:00 AM | Link | 0 comments