Sunday, June 30, 2002

Mmm's on his way home, back to his fun-filled (not) sea-going life in Virginia, while the rest of us continue to "live the dream" we all shared of living here, with "real jobs" that allow for time for a personal life and connection to the community. While I'm really happy to have that, part of me misses being on the ship, part of a close-knit team, traveling to exotic places. I didn't like most of the experience: the lack of sleep, the lack of control over where one lived, the constant criticism (often through the form of yelling), but I liked being at sea, standing watch on the bridge and in the engineering plant. I just like being on the water, on any kind of boat. Funny how Matt's visit brings it back...

Saturday, June 29, 2002

Trail note: I finally got back on the road after a long lazy break. The sun has come back out after 2 rainy days, and it's cool and breezy and terrific outside. I felt pretty good, despite having to walk for a minute or so up the long, gradual hill at the beginning of the almost 5 mile run. Walking up the hill home, I passed a yard sale at our local celebrity's house, confirming the fact that he's a neighbor.

Friday, June 28, 2002

I just had the most amazing dinner at Carmelita's, a vegetarian restaurant. I was a veggie (really a pescavore; I can't live without sushi) for several years while living in Seattle, and never went to this place. The website shows off the restaurant very effectively; if you're ever in town, I recommend it.

I'm such a foodie. Fortunately, my dining companions are as well. We began the meal by discussing favorite foods, and after dinner we watched Iron Chef on the Food Channel (my favorite TV). Now I'm too full to move...
Work update: Not a protester in sight, my hard drive died (I'm on a borrowed laptop), someone is "no longer with the company," it's raining, and I'm all blurry from late night pitchers w/ Jeff and Mmm. What a day... On the upside, I just finished a very yummy lunch of leftover Thai food, scents of which made my coworkers jealous.

Update: I guess there are a handful of protesters, I just can't see them from where I'm sitting.
It's Friday Five time!

When was the last time you...

1. ...sent a handwritten letter? Thank you notes after Christmas.

2. ...baked something from scratch or made something by hand? I made a cherry pie a few weeks ago. I used to bake all of the time, but I'm not so into sweets these days, so I don't do it too often.

3. ...camped in a tent? 3 years ago; in Vancouver. I'm not much of a camper.

4. ...volunteered your time to church, school, or community? I'm a member of the South King County United Way Community Council, and attended a meeting on Wednesday morning. Does that count? Last real volunteer activity was last September, working the phones at the Sept 11th telethon.

5. ...helped a stranger? I gave some kids on Broadway a pen on Tuesday night. Not much, but they needed it to write down a phone number to get a ride somewhere...
Mmm's in town; work's crazy; not a big blogging day...

Thursday, June 27, 2002

Tuesday was bring your child to work day at the office; tomorrow is bring your animal rights activist to work day. Should be interesting...
Trail Note: (Belated) Yesterday was a lunchtime run, supposed to be a 5 miler, but I was hot and tired from Monday, so cut it a little short. I can't seem to get through a run on the "work route" without stopping a few times to walk. One of those days where I feel like I'm not making any progress...

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Which Willy Wonka character are you?

made by

Experiment!! First quiz posting; link courtesy of Tara D.

Update: Mostly worked; I didn't get the commentary about how I'm the most annoying character in the movie, et. al.
Jeff's got blog!

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Trail note: Despite the fact that I talked myself out of running on the drive home from work last night, I managed to gather enough motivation to do the 7 miler that I was supposed to run on Sunday. I actually felt pretty good; knees held out until I was almost done. It's a route that I normally run on Sunday mornings, so it was a little strange running on a Monday night. One difference was the food sights and smells: instead of seeing brunchers queuing up for breakfast spots and espresso, there was the smell of Buffalo wings frying. And I had an amazing surprise view of Mt. Rainier. I was crossing the University Bridge thinking I was traveling east, then looked up to my left and saw the mountain top, clear and white and huge. It took me several more miles of running to orient myself.

As I was running, I was thinking about how I might write up the run, and then wondered why I was keeping these "trail notes." After all, I log training miles in a spreadsheet, so it isn't for tracking purposes. I think the reason that I like writing about my runs is because they're such a huge part of the way that I experience the world. I've seen amazing things while running: people, places, flora and fauna. I've learned about myself and my community and human nature. I'm also hoping that I'll provide some inspiration to myself, and anyone else who might need a little extra push to get on the road.

Monday, June 24, 2002

Isn't the phrase "objective opinion" an oxymoron? (found the link by following this white rabbit)
On Saturday, Jeff and I were noticing and commenting on the fact that you couldn't look at a group of people without seeing tattoos. In fact, it would be hard to have found someone without one. Part of this was due to the demographic of the group at the alternative music festival, and part of this was due to the fact that we were seeing much more skin than you ever see in Seattle.

I'm no stranger to body art, so I'm certainly not condemning anyone. In fact, I find it extremely interesting to see the different designs that people care to permanently paint on their bodies. What I find amusing is the image of nursing homes, 50 years from now, all across the United States, filled with tattooed senior citizens.

I’m usually the last to jump on any bandwagon (case in point, I started this blog right when people are calling the medium over), but I did lose my “body art virginity” while it was still something that only bikers and sailors did (I was a sailor leaving on my first deployment). It was 1995, and the common perception was that “only trashy girls” get tattoos; many guys I knew claimed they wouldn’t date a girl with a tattoo. Strange to remember this now, but that’s the way it was. So I thought about it very carefully: the permanence of the outcome, the symbolism of the design, and the way that the skin would change as I aged.

It is, in a very small way, like a marriage. It’s something you’ll be living with forever, sometimes loving it, sometimes annoyed by it, usually not really thinking about much; it’s just there, part of you. Carrying the analogy too far, it’s also possible to permanently separate, even divorce, but with a lot of pain and expense and some scarring.

Mine’s been around for 6 ½ years; it’s faded a bit, but the design’s the same. I still get the occasional surprised comment when someone sees it for the first time, but compared to what’s out there, it’s pretty tame. Maybe I’ll get the 7 year itch, and start wanting something new, but I went into this for the long haul, and right now, I’m still happy.

Sunday, June 23, 2002

Jeff's site (w/o blog for the moment) is up!

Update: Since you can't post yet, I thought I'd give you abuse on my site, Jeff. ;) Is that Comic Sans you're using there?
Well, I'm back from the Other Side of the Mountain.

Endfest was a lot of fun, despite the fact that we felt like old foggies. I enjoyed hearing the Strokes, Dashboard Confessional, Tenacious D, and Jimmy Eats World. The weather was perfect; hot and sunny for a few hours, then just when I was tired of sweating and wondering if I needed more sunscreen, it clouded up and cooled off just a little. The clouds contributed to an absolutely amazing sunset.

Leavenworth was a cute little tourist town, despite the mosquites on the river banks. It's like a Bavarian village (it reminded me of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, w/o the roller coasters and with real German beer; not a Bud in sight).

The drive back was gorgeous. It was fun seeing the place where I snowboarded last winter in the summer (mostly) snow-free. It was amazing how much snow there is still in those mountains. It was long, though, and I'm ready to be home. I'm putting off my long run to tomorrow night (big training no-no, I'm sure, but since there's still some German sausage and beer in my stomach, I think it's the best idea).

Saturday, June 22, 2002

Trail note: Ran the Freemont 5 K (my least favorite race) last night. It was really warm (for Seattle, that is), even at 7 pm. I don't like 5 K's because I end up starting too fast and hurting the entire run. I wasn't planning on racing this one, but still pushed it, coming in at just over 24 minutes. It was an out and back course; the entire last mile was staring into the sun, which wasn't fun. My legs felt fine, but I felt a little sick (too much lunch, sun, etc).

I did, however, run into friends, the amazing runner and my former shipmate / housemate, and we had a fun dinner together afterwards. I also ran into a guy I knew in college. We hadn't seen each other in 8 years; now we live 2 miles away from each other, 3000 miles from school. Small world.

Friday, June 21, 2002

My first ever Friday Five! (I hope I don't break any bloggage rules, here... ) (and yes, I am extremely uncool as a newbie blogger)

1. Do you live in a house, an apartment or a condo? A house.

2. Do you rent or own? Own. Well, own 1/3 of it (see next question).

3. Does anyone else live with you? Two housemates and fellow homeowners, known on some blogs as psorr and D or Danger, but known to me as Jeff and Dennis.

4. How many times have you moved in your life? 19. I counted all of college as 1 and each ship as one.

5. What are your plans for this weekend? Tonight I'm planning on running in the Solstice 5 K and then hanging out in the Center of the Universe. Tomorrow I head out to the Gorge in George WA (the place, not the person) for Endfest, spending the night in Leavenworth (the town in WA, not the military prison) for a Deutches brunch. Then home, a run, and more grilling!
From Kris from Meg, much fun with google!

Tricia is...:

.. a spiritual journey
.. a source of information about keeping Chinese water dragons in captivity
.. a [wild] model
.. Miss Internet World 2000
.. somebody
.. an index
.. a blog called Fayth featuring Delita Hyral of Final Fantasy
.. dynamite

These are literally the top 8. Very cool!

I just looked at Kris' again, and she used quotes around her name. I tried that with significantly less interesting results, but here's what that turned up:

"Tricia is..."

.. a petite eight year old girl who is sure that everyone is her friend
.. using this dispute "as a back door to try once again to get family control of the library."
.. the founder and former CEO of IBIS (International Banking Information Systems Ltd),
.. very able and after a course of learning keyboard skills, navigates a standard "windows" environment using a standard word-processing package
.. a cum laude graduate of Mississippi University for Women
.. course secretary for the following masters programmes within the School of Education

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Trail note: Lunchtime run on the trails by the office. Same fantastic weather as yesterday, but cooler in the wooded trails. Slight hint of the smell of the sea that makes it a great Seattle day. I got an incredible glimpse of Mt. Rainier for a few minutes of the run. No knee problems, but in the 5 miles I ran I stopped a few times to walk. I think it's just a habit when I run this route.
The grill is coming! The grill is coming!

I've purchased our new gas grill, will pick it up this afternoon, and hope to be eating grilled food tonight! Only one problem (other than the housemate not coming through with the employee's discount) and that is I don't know how to season a grill. I think I have to do that before cooking on the cast iron surface.

Any experienced grill seasoners out there? (I love writing like there's an actual audience of readers...)
Big news in the office this morning: M&M's has announced their new color.

In case you haven't been following the controversial colored candy contest, M&M's has been having a vote-in contest to pick their new color. The choices were aqua, pink, and purple. A co-worker of mine is very enamoured of the color purple, and had us all go and vote a few months ago when this was first launched. I happen to have a wierd neurotic habit of organizing my peanut M&M's into colored designs (like flowers and geometric patterns), and a color like aqua would completely ruin the color scheme. I think that this color thing is getting out of control. While I was glad they removed tan and added red and blue, I think they should just quit while they're ahead.

Hmm... is 8 am too early to eat M&M's? And I was just getting over the M&M habit...

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Trail note: It's a picture perfect late afternoon: blue skies with just a few puffy clouds, temp high 60's, breeze, yet enough haze so that the mountains are only a blue shadow on the horizon. I did the "around the top of the hill" route; 4 miles w/ hills and stairs. I was worn out. I guess it was the yoga. I did well on the hills (more than usual), but just didn't have much "get up and go." I should have gone a couple more miles, but was glad to just have gotten out at all.
Okay, I just took this test, and it told me that I'm definitely a man. If there happens to be a random reader who doesn't know me, the fact is that I'm actually (gasp) a woman. In the visual display from pink to blue, I was exactly white in the middle. Interesting....

Update: I should have mentioned that I found the site via Brigita. ;)
It slices
It dices
It turns a sandwich into a banquet

But wait, there's more...

There was an entertaining essay on NPR this morning about the Popeils and Ronco, the people who brought their country-fair sales pitches into the American consciousness through the medium of television. Unfortunately for those who weren't listening, despite pretty pictures, the article on the web-site is not nearly as entertaining as the radio essay. It was great hearing Bob Edwards, then Ron Popeil, then Dan Aykroyd (remember the bass-o-matic?) deliver their pitches.

I'll have to dig out that old pocket fisherman...

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Last night hot chilies; tonight hot yoga. For the unitiated, Bikram yoga is yoga practiced in a room heated to about 105 degrees, where you sweat for 90 mintes while working through poses. This was my first time, and it was pretty great, despite my initial reservations and occasional vertigo. The only downside is that it's in Tacoma; a 20 minute drive from work, but ~ 45 miles from home. The upside is that a handful of women from work go weekly, which would be fun.
There's something about this ranger / wildfire story that has raised my feminist hackels. Of course we've been hearing for a long time now about these fires in Colorado: the conditions that have led up to them, the devastation that they are creating, and I am just as appalled as everyone else that a forest ranger's careless campfire could have been the cause. What bothers me is the fact that in every mention of this incident, you hear about the fact that she's burning her estranged husband's letter. I think it infers that she is an irrational woman with PMS who should never have a responsible job like forest ranger. Why not just leave it that she had a fire. She could have been cooking meat, getting warm, burning letters, or whatever. Why does it matter why she had that fire?

There's my 2 cents. How about yours?

Monday, June 17, 2002

Note to aspiring Thai cooks. Serrano chilies are hot. Very hot. Especially if you cook 2 of them with 1/4 of a habenero and green curry paste for 2 servings. Did I say that they are very hot? I think that they were tasty. I can't tell yet, though, as I have no feeling in my tongue.
Thanks Brigita and Kris for the advice about how to get comments. I set a timer, and was one of the 25 folks at 00:00 eastern to get onto this comment service!!! Now I'm cooking with gas.... A Weber Silver A, that is... (or will be in a few more days... so many toys, so little time)
I just read this article about blogs (found via John via Kris), and started becoming overwhelmed by what I'm starting here. I actually misread a line: I thought the author was saying that bloggers redefine the world through their blogs, when actually she was saying that a writer writing about blogs redefined the word blog. Confusing sentence. Anyway, I started wondering what I was doing here; certainly not redefining the world or anything. I just kinda wanted a place to blab. Much cheaper than therapy. By the time I finished reading the article I was okay again. I don't have to be an artist contributing to the latest means of expression. I can just be a random poster/linker with a time/date stamp and I'm in.

Now if I could just figure out how to get the comment thing going.
Grrr... I've been looking at gas grills; it's a waste having a beautiful deck, endless days, gorgeous weather and no grill. Cooks Illustrated (my dad's favorite magazine) has a recent article about gas grills, but it's online for subscribers only. And the July edition is out of stores; they only have August! I'd ask for grill advice from my faithful readers, except for the fact that (1) there are no readers and (2) I can't get comments!

Update: I'm getting the subscription to Cooks Illustrated. The magazine is cool, but I think the website's better!
It's been almost a day, and I just figured out that the is no intrinsic "comment" capability to this thing. Now I'm going to have to learn something else! And I was just thinking that this was all too easy...

Sunday, June 16, 2002

Trail note: I fell short of the 12 mile goal by about 1/2 mile. I used a trail closure as an excuse to turn around early. On a good note, my knees didn't start hurting until after mile 7, and I didn't need to stop for them (much better than 2 weeks ago when I had to walk just about once a mile from mile 5 on). Averaged ~ 8:50 pace.
I went to get my hair cut yesterday, and at the salon there was a book about eyebrows. An entire book. Of course, I had to look at it. After all, as the author stated, there is no other feature that can so dramatically alter one's look.

A whole book about eyebrows.

Actually, for someone who spends very little time w/ hair and make-up, I do pay attention to my eyebrows, but that's because I like to pluck them (it's along the line scab-picking, sunburn peeling, zit-popping, etc., but much less gross).
It's Sunday morning and it really is cloudy with a chance of sunbreaks today. Perfect for the 12 mile run I'm trying to gear up for.
I've got the high speed connection going, now I'll try the blog... again. I think I'll have to ease into it and not expect excitement for a while. This will be an interesting battle between introvert and extrovert, energy and apathy, narcissism and ... and... Well, no conflict there.