Wednesday, July 31, 2002

Music and the Market

I'm continuing to be tickled by the use of music on Marketplace (despite David's absence this last week). Marketplace plays music, without lyrics, between segments. Usually I don't think about it too much, but my ears pricked up last night as I heard them playing "White America" by Eminem. After a piece about how business leaders should be disclosing their stock purchaces real time to the public, I found myself humming along to Luscious Jackson's "Why Do I Lie." Finally, they "did the numbers" to "It Don't Mean a Thing if You Ain't Got that Swing," reporting out a lackluster day due to a dip in consumer confidence. I have an instant connection to anyone who listens to Luscious Jackson, but it's the diversity and sense of humor of the selections that makes Marketplace so great.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

What was old will be new again

Lazing in front of the TV last night, I discovered that To Sir, With Love was being shown on AMC. I'd seen parts of the movie before, but never from the beginning, so decided to watch the first 30 minutes or so. Two hours later (well past my bed time), I was still watching, as enamoured of the film and Sidney Portier in the film as the annoying host of "Grrl Cinema" (or whatever they were calling the time slot).

The film was firmly rooted in a working class London high school in the late 1960's. Portier plays a engineer-turned-teacher who connects with his unteachable students by treating them with honesty and respect and talking about life. As he talks about rebellion, he mentions that their stylish clothes are a means of rebellion, but the clothing style was from the 1920's while the hair styles were all the rage in the Renaissance. Watching this 35 years later, I can't count the number of times the mod look of 1967 has come back in since then.

At one point in the film, the students explained to their teacher ("Sir") what cockney rhyming slang was, and that only the old folks still used it. What's funny is that I recently read that the slang is all the rage again in the UK.

Ah, the great circle of life...

Monday, July 29, 2002

Color me antsy!

I don't know what it's due to; could be because my manager is "off-site" (playing golf for the corporate cause) or it's Monday or I have a bunch of projects going on or 'cause my afternoon meetings have been cancelled or that the sky has suddenly become blue after 2 days of clouds and cool weather, but I can't get a lick of work done this afternoon. Despite good intentions, I don't think I'll be sticking around too late today...

Sunday, July 28, 2002

Say cheese!

I've posted some new-ish photos on my old ivillage web page.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Trail note

It's been a while since I've had one of these. I've still been running (mostly according to plan), but today was the first big run in a few weeks. I did 18 miles, and kept up a pretty good pace up until the last mile (ranging from 9 - 9:30 minute miles). I'm roughly following a training plan from Jeff Galloway, who has a theory that your body can do what it has done before comfortably. Thus he has us running a couple runs actually at or greater than the marathon's 26.2 miles. That theory certainly held true today. While my knees began hurting after 10 miles and my feet began to ache after 14, I felt pretty great until I passed the 15 mile mark (my longest run to date). At that point I just felt generally unwell: breathing didn't feel right and I was a little lightheaded and naseous. I felt really ill for the first 1/2 after I returned home.

This is how I felt after my first half-marathon and after most of my long runs while training for my first marathon, and I think the feeling is due to dehydration. I thought I'd be okay today, as I drank about 50 - 60 ounces of water while running (I love my camelback), but it didn't quite do it. I think I have discovered the magic recovery food, however, and today's test provided that it was right on. While training for my first marathon I ate a lot of salt and vinegar potato chips and I had a large handfull after the big race for a "healthy lunch" and then proceeded to follow my parents around all afternoon as they explored Richmond shopping (they purchased a lovely rug in the process). Long story no shorter, I felt really good the next day and recovered very quickly, especially compared to others' post-marathon recovery stories I've heard. After reading an article about how vinegar helps one absorb/retain electrolytes and hearing about the importance of staying active after a long run, I'm convinced that the walking around and the salt and vinegar chips were the key to my successful recovery.

Bottom line: Today I ate my chips, am off now to shop, and I'm feeling good.

Friday, July 26, 2002

This too can be hazardous to your health.

After blogging about warnings on cigarettes, booze, and now gambling, I read Max's blog entry about a lawsuit against fast food restaurants for their lack of warnings that their food could be unhealthy! Just when you thought we were running out of ways to be ridiculously litigious... Did he not realize that he was getting fatter and wonder why?

This reminds me of the classic fat-free-frozen-yoghurt-Guiliani-election Seinfeld episode. For those who don't remember, all of NYC, including Jerry and Elaine, discovered a new yoghurt shop that served delicious fat-free frozen yoghurt. They starting eating lots of it and found themselves getting fatter. Unlike the litigant referenced above, they quickly attributed their weight gain to the fro-yo. Sending the yoghurt to a lab to be analyzed for fat content, some crazy mishap that I can't remember influenced the mayoral election.

If you are ever wondering if the fast food you're eating is indeed unhealthy (and it probably is), check out this site. It's famous for its caloric analysis of food, but officially verboten, in WW circles.
Warning. This could be hazardous to your health.

For years now, we've had warnings on cigarettes about the health risks that they cause, and alcohol ads now all have some mention about drinking responsibly, having a designated driver, etc, but for the first time last week, I heard a warning about gambling addiction on a radio lotto advertisement. This warning was followed up by a phone number to call if you think you have a problem.

I really don't understand the appeal of gambling, but as someone familiar with addiction, can empathize with those with a gambling problem. I guess it's a huge issue, especially in an area with more than its fair share of casinos. (Note: looking for links for this blog, a yahoo search on gambling located more sites on problem gambling than actual gambling sites.)
It's time, once again, for the Friday Five!

1. How long have you had a weblog? Just over a month, now.

2. What was your first post about? The weblog itself. Then weather. Then eyebrows. I like to think the content has improved since that first day.

3. How many changes (name, location, etc.) of your weblog have there been, if more than one? None.

4. What CMS (content management system) do you use? Do you like it or do you want to try something else? Blogger, I guess? It's fine, especially since I don't know what I'm doing.

5. Do you read people who have both a journal and a weblog? Or do you prefer to read people who have all of their writing in one central place? Just weblogs, I guess. I'm still not completely sure of the difference.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Drinking and blogging, blogging and drinking...

Kris invented a cool new drinking game. Check it out!
I can't believe I just got analyzed by Hello Kitty.

Unlike other, calmer bloggers, "basically I could be stressful easily."

"Luckily you are a straightforward person always voice your concerns. Some of the stress would then be released. Watch your mouth since you probably over-expressed which would cause others unhappy.

"Then stress comes back to you again. For this type try aromatherapy will calm you down."

This is almost as good as the other Japanese mis-translations that Jeff found yesterday (they are quite funny, despite the un-PC site).

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Ah, memories.

While I was in Virginia last week, I traveled down to Norfolk to see a friend who is leaving, essentially as I write, on a long "cruise" with the USN. This was the first time I have been on the Norfolk Naval Base since high school and (essentially) the first time I've been on a naval base at all since I got out 3 years ago. It was strange being back, but what was really strange was being back as a civilian. My memories of naval bases are completely wrapped up with summertime: midshipman cruises, port calls in warm-weather locations (SIngapore, Pearl Harbor, San Diego), my dad's homecomings from his deployments in Norfolk summer heat. I felt like I should have been walking back to my ship, saluting the ensign, reporting my return aboard. I keep looking at the sailors trying to recognize familiar faces. I drove to Norfolk with my father who had a meeting there. While I was waiting for him to finish his meeting, I was sitting in the building lobby, reading. As an admiral walked through, his aide announced "attention on deck" and I sprang to my feet to attention, mindless of the book and water bottle I was holding (and amusing the admiral). Old instincts die hard. I think the fact that I just found out that my father is getting out of the Navy after over 38 years has made me nostalgic for his sake as well.

My weekend in Virginia encapsulated so much of what I've left behind in my current life: the East, the Navy, my family, liesurely summer days of my childhood: childhood itself. I felt very nostalgic walking out of the heat and into the chill airport air on Sunday afternoon. Once I walked out of SEATAC into Seattle's summer sunset 8 hours and 3000 miles later, I was fine. I'm living in the city that I love, with friends, a good job, a great house, and the ability to change any of those things any time I choose. I'm glad I'm not on deployment: counting down days until the next port visit, months until homecoming, and years until I get out.

Part of me still misses it, however.

Monday, July 22, 2002

Yeah, I know it's Monday, but this Friday Five is too good to pass up for a trivial detail like day of the week:

1. Where were you born? Honolulu, Hawaii (Tripler Army Hospital, for those who are familiar)

2. If you still live there, where would you rather move to? If you don't live there, do you want to move back? Why or why not? I only lived there for a year (my first birthday was at the Hawiian Hilton, of Don Ho fame). I've been back 3 times, all brief port calls while in the Navy. It's a great place to visit (and according to my parents, great to live for a couple of years), but no place to live for an extended period of time. First of all, the weather is too hot and humid for long durations. Secondly, it's too far away from family. Finally, it's too wierd feeling like a foreign tourist in the USA. I felt more at home in Austrailia than in Hawaii. Something about being white, I guess.

3. Where in the world do you feel the safest? My parents' house in Montross VA. They don't lock the doors, even if we're off on a boat ride for several hours.

4. Do you feel you are well-traveled? I guess it's all relative. (Kris captures my thoughts about this very effectively). I am compared to most Americans my age. I'm not at all compared to my father, who has been just about everywhere (except India and New Zealand).

5. Where is the most interesting place you've been? Dubai, United Arab Emirites. Traveling in an Arab country (especially as a woman) is very strange. The first time I was there it was during Ramadan, and you couldn't eat, drink, or smoke during daylight hours (a cab I was in at sunset actually stopped for 30 minutes as the driver broke his fast). The prayers broadcast from towers all over the city 5 times a day added to the intrigue. Best shopping EVER! (And I'm not a shopper).
Tell me something I don't know

Yeah, you know it. Yeah, you know it all, don't ya? But alas, usually being eager to learn takes it's toll on your social life. But you don't really care, cuz you know in 15 years you're gonna own their asses. MWUHAHAHA, that's right, after writing your thesis, you plan on global domination. Probably not, but we all know you're perfectly capable of it.

Courtesy of the Mrs. B.
I'm back... busy... breathe

I had a great trip to Virginia this past weekend. I spent 4 days sweating, I mean visiting with my parents at their house on Nomini Creek (a creek takes on a much bigger meaning in VA than in the North) in the Northern Neck of VA (right where the Potomic River runs into the Chesapeake Bay). We spent a lot of time on the boat and dock, catching sun, fish, crabs, and bug bites. I gave my diet (what's that?) a total miss and enjoyed lots of homemade and homegrown goodies: blue crabs, corn on the cob, tomatoes, peach pie, potato salad, beer (homebrew, of course), etc. I tried to run, notes from which are captured in this poem:

Ode to the Summertime Run in Virginia's Northern Neck

Heat. Shimmmery, hazy, sultry
In waves and in packets
Hot. Sweat. Salt.
Insects stinging, buzzing
Birds hunting
Dogs, barking me off of their land
Corn, thirsty, listening to the soybeans
Wait. A breeze.
A puff. A breathe.
And again heat.
2 miles. 6 miles. rest. 6 miles.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Carry me back to Old Virginie...

Yup, I'm off (actually I should have been off 30 minutes ago). I'm flying out tonight to visit the folks in VA for 4 days of heat, humidity, crabs caught off the dock, homebrew, no cell phone, no internet (well, really really slow internet), and sleep....

I'll be back on Monday; ya'll have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Feminist books written by men?

Not this one. I started getting excited as I followed a link about a book titled: Wicked Witch of the West that "has been sighted in bookstores under various headings: Literature, Feminism, Fantasy and Science Fiction," but after reading an excerpt, not only would I not read the book, I wouldn't make it past the first chapter of a borrowed copy. I only read an excerpt, mind you, but I could tell after the first paragraph that it was written by a male author (I didn't check the name until I finished reading several paragraphs): one apparently schooled in the art of the badly written romance (ughh) and/or sci-fi novel. "Even in morning disarray, with a belly like a scow, she was majestically good-looking. Her hair had the bright lacquered look of wet fallen oak leaves in sunlight." Okay, no woman (with the possible exception of Danielle Steele) or artist would write a passage like that. This is not literature, and I can't believe that such un-empathitic writing can be feminist. In the review (written by a man I am sure), John Updike was sited as loving the book. Now, I have great respect for John Updike as an artist: his works meet my (admittedly extremely snobbish and obnoxious) definition of literature, but feminist, he is not. I was surprised to find that the author of She's Come Undone was so enamored: I really enjoyed that book and was shocked to discover that it was written by a man (one of few books that I've ever read written by a male author that fits my definition of feminist literature). I must say, I love reading pap of all kinds, even the occasional trash romance novel, but when this author is referenced to be in the same league as Shakespeare and Milton, someone has to take a stand!

Of course, I haven't read the book. I might actually enjoy it. I might find it feminist and fabulous.

I don't think so.
Hip music on NPR?

Yes, that's right. There was a fantastic segment on Marketplace tonight about digging through the pop wasteland that's out there and finding nuggets of great music. I recommend listening to the whole piece, or at least checking out these lists of artists and links. I'm familiar with about 1/3 of what's listed, heartily approve of what I know, and am anxious to listen to what's new to me.

(I've never gone to the Marketplace website before; David Brancaccio is even more attractive that I imagined. And, believe me, I imagined....)

Speaking of cool music, I just found out that Carbon Leaf (the band that I was writing about a week or two ago: great Richmond band, now playing on a radio station near you) is under new management, and that new management is my old friend Doug! (Doug's link is currently under construction, but I'm looking forward to seeing what it becomes.)

Monday, July 15, 2002

Favorite Authors

For right now:
John Irving: you just yet stuck in his works. Right now I'm stuck in the Hotel New Hampshire. It's about a month overdue; I've gone a week at a time not reading it, but I'm stuck in it now
Anne Tyler: Duke grad (my alma mater), Richmond native (where I lived for 18 month), Baltimore is her most frequent setting; compelling, often depressing, always thinking, novels
Leo Tolstoy: I've still only read Anna Karinina (sp?), but he's a genius for people: their thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc.
Tom Robbins: Seattle transplant from the South (like me); combining philosophy and characters, and love for women into fun novels
Marge Piercy: longtime fav... although I can't read her science fiction, only historical fiction (hers or others' history)

My book club (on ?permanent? hiatus) has been selecting allegorical works, of which I'm not a fan; next choice should be a novel...

It's night and the moths are gathering.
The Liz Phair CD has been hanging around my CD player for a while, but I think tonight is the first time I've listened to the CD straight since... ever? no, maybe when I bought it, which must have been 5, 6, 7 years ago?!?! Fun stuff...

Update: Okay, I just looked a little more at the site I linked; what a freak! If you want to find stalker-like comments about L.P.'s photos, follow that link. (I guess you could follow it anyway for lyrics and stuff; just say you're going for lyrics and not for stalking purposes...)
1 down, 19 to go!

Yup, first week of dieting over and I'm down a measly pound. Considering my excesses on Thursday night and the "loose" way I managed the diet over the weekend (waffles, bacon, movie popcorn, and beers were on the menu), not too bad.

Speaking of diet, here are a few great, healthy treats that probably accounted for the downward scale movement: fajita on a whole wheat tortilla with lots of grilled chicken, sweet bell peppers, onions, and salsa; fish tacos w/ salad (I found an amazing mango tequilla jalapeno dressing that made it zing), grilled eggplant and portobellos with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and lots of fruit: mangos, Skagit Valley berries, etc. Whole grain cereals and light frozen dinners helped, too.

Biggest challenges and setbacks? As expected, beer and chips at home.

Okay, enough foodie/diet talk for now...
Trail Note

I've been a little lax in my running for the latter half of last week, but I did get a 15 miler in on Saturday morning. According to the training program I'm roughly following, I was supposed to go 16, but I felt pretty good about my efforts. It was very hard. I felt pretty bad throughout most of it: tired to start, with knee pain in the last 4 or so miles. I averaged about 9:30 pace, which I suppose isn't too bad (just need to carve another minute off of that for the marathon!). Despite the fact that I drank half a camelback-full of water (about 30 oz) durning the run, I still felt bad for the next hour or two after the run, catching up on liquids.
It's back!

Blogger publishing that is.

Saturday, July 13, 2002

Real Change

In Seattle, as in every other city in the United States, we have a lot of homeless people. I think everyone has been in the situation where one is walking down the street and asked for money, or sitting at a red light with a person at the intersection with their cardboard sign asking for help. It doesn't matter how long I live here, or how many times I'm asked; I still feel terrible for these people. I don't give money, though. I pay a lot of money in taxes, contribute to charitable institutions, and try to volunteer my time to organizations that help address health and human service issues. I firmly believe that we as a society have an obligation to help our fellow man (and woman and child), and that this is a role that the government should play. When there are gaps in government coverage, non-profits exist (although in today' economy, more and more of these government programs and non-profits primarily supported by government grants are going away - different issue).

Wheh, enough of my social-economic-polical views. Too much for this forum. The point of this entry is to point out a very cool thing that I've found in Seattle. At some street corners, and outside some stores, I see homeless people with their hands out. Their hands aren't out to ask for donations, however, they are out to sell a newspaper, Real Change. This is a newspaper that is written to give the homeless a voice. Those who sell the paper get a significant percentage of every $1 paper that they sell. So when I buy one of these, I get to learn more about current issues affecting the homeless, and I'm helping someone get back on his/her feet. If you find this as cool as I do, visit the site, read their mission statement, and donate if you like. It helps me feel a little less guilty when I sit in my car not looking at the guy on the street next to me with his sign...

Friday, July 12, 2002


Yeah, my mood has lifted. While the cold's still here, I'm definitely feeling better. My meeting with my manager went well; I had some positive feedback and for the opportunities for improvement, he gave me some great suggestions that will be fun to implement (basically getting out on the operations floor more). So, I'll get a few more things done, and then break for what should be a fun & sunny weekend!
Are aliens in our lakes, rivers, and ponds?

I was looking for a link for the stock market reference below, and stumbled across this headline. I'd hear about the story on NPR a couple weeks ago, but was only half listening.

Speaking of NPR, there was a review the other day of the Red Hot Chili Pepper's new CD, which echoed my thoughts of the title track that I've heard on the radio. It's basically about expecting more of the poppy stuff that I was sick of on Californication (sp?), sure that it was the same old stuff listening to the first few bars, and then the music changed and unexpected talent and grace appeared. It inspired me to go CD shopping last night (although I didn't buy a the Chili Peppers album).
More whining

Down kinda day: I'm stressed out about work (meeting w/ my manager this afternoon), I ate and drank too much last night and am bummed about my diet setback, my cold is getting worse, my healthy frozen dinner is missing from the work freezer, and the bloggers I regularly visit are all off on fun weekend plans, including my best "real life" friend.

Of course I have no right to complain: it's a beautiful day outside, I still (for now) have a job, I have plans to meet up with old friends this weekend, and I'm still young and (mostly) healthy. It's just hard to appreciate that sometimes. Like now.

My cold has blossomed in the oddest way. It started the normal way: headachey, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, but instead of turning more sneezy-sniffley, the initial symptoms are just getting worse. I can barely swallow around my left node (that sounded too wierd).

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Domestic God

My roomie, who shall remain nameless, left town for the weekend this morning. While scrambling to finish those last minute details like packing and getting a run in, he managed to clean the house, empty the dishwasher, and collect painting supplies and place them conveniently next to my bathroom (after inquiring as to whether I was planning to paint this weekend).

Thank you, Jeff. Have a great weekend!
I picked the wrong week to give up smoking...

...I mean go on a diet. We always joke here at work about the corporate conspiracy to get us all to gain weight, but today literally took the cake. I stuck to my guns, however. Mmm... this light yoghurt I'm eating is just as good as the boston cream pie and vanilla ice cream that I just passed up. Really it is.
He's back! And with pictures to prove it....

A friend of mine from Richmond days left the corporate, suburban life and hit the open road over a year ago. He sold his BMW, cashed in his stock options and savings, put his stereo equipment in storage, and bought and outfitted a VW Vanagon. He's been traveling the country, getting into adventures, and writing us (an ever growing list of friends) entertaining emails, dotted with great photos, ever since. He's been to Burning Man, camped out in San Fransisco, had snowboard wrecks, van towings, etc. He stayed with us in Seattle for about a week in January (I think it rained the whole time, and he had a bad cold, so not the best view of the Emerald City), but I hadn't heard from him since April. Well, we got a new missive from Missoula Montana this morning. You can check out his adventures by visiting his web page; it's great reading.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Trail note: Lunchtime run on trails at work. Standard 5 miles, and as usual on this route I had to stop and walk several times. It was pretty hot (for Seattle, that is) in the mid-80's.

I've seen my housemate, Dennis, for at most a total of 15 minutes in the last 5 days, all from a distance of at least 5 feet. How did I get his cold?
Can you ever get enough quizzes?

take the which one of the trading spaces cast are you? quiz!

Man, two quizzes in one morning. That's when you get when you visit new places (new to me, at least)...

The problem is that I never tuned in when Alex was on TS...
She's back! Compatibility Test

Your match with brigita
you are 75% similar
you are 77% complementary

How Compatible are You with me?

As you can see, I got this one from Brigita (welcome back!)

Anyone else want to take a try?

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

I managed to make it through the first day of dieting unscathed. Well, mostly (I was kind of cranky and defensive to my patient housemate). It's really more mental than anything else: I wasn't hungry, but still had to keep reminding myself that I wasn't being deprived. I made the Cook's potato salad that I wimped out on for the 4th. It was a good decision not making it that night; the recipe was a little more complicated than I expected, and lived up to my parents' not-so-rave review. I don't know how anything with that much onion, garlic, capers, radish, and cornchinon can be lacking in flavor, but it was. The highlight of today's food was my eggplant grilled with a little olive oil and then drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Excellent flavor combination.
Trail note: 5 miles, nice weather, up to Freemont, over to (wild and wonderful) Wallingford, and back home. No big whoop.

Monday, July 08, 2002

I went to my first Weight Watchers meeting tonight. It's not really my first meeting; I did the "at work" program about 1 1/2 years ago, but after losing 5 pounds in the first few weeks, I kind of gave up.

Now I'm serious. I need to lose about 20 pounds to get to my goal weight: a goal to be happy and healthier, but also to help me achieve my marathon goal of running in Chicago with a Boston qualifying time. I've been wanting to lose anywhere from 10 to 40 pounds since I was a teenager (I was only 10 pounds away 2 years ago for a few short months; I'm usually hovering from 20 - 30 pounds above my goal weight).

It was a fun meeting; lots of laughing as well as serious inspiration. There was someone in the meeting who had lost 90 pounds, and another who lost over 120! Makes my goal seem very attainable. I think it's a great program, about making smart choices, not about sacrificing good food. I spent my last extravagant eating day enjoying a breakfast croissant and mocha from the best local coffee spot (high accolades in the US capital of coffee), followed by peanut M&M's to chase the lunchtime ceasar salad, with dinner of chips and salsa and beer. I can still eat all of these things on the program, just not all on the same day. :) I bought lots of appealing fruits and veggies on the way home. I'm looking forward to grilled eggplant and asparagus tomorrow night and one of those beautiful mangos for breakfast tomorrow. Yum...
Nothing really to say...

I've been having a hard time getting going today (not too unusual), but don't have anything in particular that I'm itching to blog about, so I thought I'd do this meme that went around a while ago. By the way, not being in the know about things blog, what's meme? My guess is that it's short for "all about me, all about me."

A - Animals/Pets: Do the ants crawling around our kitchen sink count?
B - Best Friend: Umm... I hate this one. My long time friend Nancy is someone I could call after a year of silence and talk for hours, but since I go months at a time w/o talking to her and years w/o seeing her. I guess right now it's Jeff. I'm desperately missing a best girlfriend.
C - Cohabitants: Jeff and Dennis; those damn ants
D - Desire(s): Ben Affleck. World Peace. A 3:40 marathon time. To lose 20 lbs. Seriously? I guess to be happy: have a job that I'm challenged by, but great at, good friends, a satisfying relationship, to make a positive contribution to the world...
E - Eye Color: Blue (really more green than blue, but that seems too pretentious to say)
F - Favorite Food(s): Ahi tuna sushi, beer, really good chips, creamed spinach (I'm serious; I love the stuff)
G - Games: Cranium, logic games/puzzles, other good trivia games
H - Habit(s): Bad and/or annoying ones? cracking knuckles, back, knees, etc; chewing gum, drinking beer
I - Interests: reading, music, running, movies
J - Job: sr. ops analyst at a financial services company (for now, until they fire me for too much time on the web)
K - Kitchen (Wonder or Blunder?): More wonder. I'm a great baker, and a respectable cook; I'm not great w/ cooking meat (was a vegatarian durning my formative cooking years right out of school) other than in casseroles (I make awesome lasagne)
L - Languages: English. I do know one German poem still from high school. Wanna hear it?
M - Most Valued Possession(s) (an item, not people/pets): my Persian rugs, I suppose; I'm not too sentimental about stuff; also my eyeglasses/contacts (I can't see)
N - Name (Named after?): My full name's Patricia, but I got my name because my folks liked the nickname Tricia (which I go by). They were pretty sure I was going to be a boy and named Michael, actually.
O - Outfit You Love: My Chinese dress. I bought it for about $20 at the Stanley Market in Hong Kong in 1995 and have worn it at least a dozen times since. Every time I wear it I get compliments (and I never get compliments otherwise) As far as what I wear often, I have a pair of plaid shorts that are falling apart that I love to wear w/ birks and a black t-shirt
P - Pizza Toppings: GASP: garlic, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, pesto; add feta cheese and it's all the better; no tomato sauce
Q - Question Asked To You the Most: ? I'm usually the one asking questions
R - Relationship/Partner: Umm..
S - Sport: (Playing): Softball was my sport of choice for years, but I've played very rarely since high school. I do like running, cycling (mtn more than road), and swimming. I did gymnastics for almost 10 years as a young kid
T - Television Show(s): Now I mostly watch the food channel, occasionally surfing other odd channels (Bravo, TLC, etc). In the fall/winter I watched Friends, W&G, West Wing, occasionally Fraiser and That 70's Show
U - Unsavory characteristic(s): I'm too self-critical, which ties into esteem issues, which can then degrade towards self-defeating behavior. I'm also sarcastic, which can be very biting if I'm in a bad/self hating depressed place
V - Video (Favorites): Next Stop Wonderland; romantic comedies, Sex and the City (don't have HBO, so have to watch the videos when they come out)
W - Webpage (Favorite¬°Xnot your own): brigita's, web-goddess
X - Xylophone (or other Instrument?): Played piano 1st thru 12th grade, but didn't practice much, so I'm not very good
Y - Year Born: 1972; approaching the big 30 in a matter of months
Z - Zodiac Sign: Scorpio (that explains the aforementioned biting remarks, I guess)

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Sunday night, long weekend over.

Sigh. Since I went to work on Friday, it's not really a long weekend, but has certainly felt like one. I'm not going to write about the 90's music weekend (I'm leaving that to the Silent P), but it's been good. I've painted the trim of my bathroom (it took 4 &*^% coats!), and the walls will be ready to be washed with color later this week. I had some good running, and lots 'o good eating: I discovered my new favorite brunch spot this morning, despite the citysearch reader's review, and adequate sushi, at least for a 5 minute walk from home. I saw an adequate movie (more of a rental) and a silly one w/ always-fun-to-laugh-in-movies-with-bud, Andrew. All in all, a weekend that I wish could go a little longer.
Trail note: Eight miles today: up to the zoo, around Greenlake, and then home. There's a rose garden at the zoo, and everything was blooming. I'm going to have to go back at a slightly slower pace to enjoy them properly. I felt really good: good pace, no knee problems, and it was cloudy with a few sprinkles, so it didn't get too hot.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Liar liar pants on fire. I said that I didn't eat ice cream in my FF, and then had to go buy a pint to fix the craving that I got from reading others' responses. It appears that B&J no longer sell that flavor I was wanting, but Hagen Daaz mango did the trick nicely, and brought on a sugar stupor.

It's been a while since I've been quite this sloth-like on a Saturday. First the ice cream, then some TLC action, an hour in the sun reading my book, and now I'm just procrastinating the inevitable painting. It's such a gorgeous day outside, and here I am playing shut-in.
It's Saturday, but here's the Friday Five anyway:

1. Where are you right now? In my bedroom at my computer desk.

2. What have you lost recently? A black t-shirt I really liked. I don't know where it could have gone.

3. What was the first CD you ever purchased? Does that embarrass you now? I don't remember exactly which one. I got a portable CD player for Christmas junior year in college (Dec '92), and probablya few CD's along with it. I'm going to guess 10,000 Maniacs' Our Time in Eden because I loved that album and saw them in concert the following spring, but I think it's a little wishful remembering. If that was indeed the CD, I'm definitely not embarrassed; it's still a favorite.

4. What is your favorite kind of writing pen? Black, ball point. I used to search for the perfect pen, but I've given up that search and settled for normal ball point.

5. What is your favorite ice cream flavor? It always changes. I don't eat ice cream anymore (I used to eat a few pints a week), but I have been thinking about a flavor that Ben & Jerry's had last summer that was a pineapple ice-cream with a passionfruit swirl. It was delish.

Friday, July 05, 2002

Trail notes
Wednesday: I had to be (metaphorically) shoved into running clothes for this one. It was the "just go a couple miles" statement that I just couldn't argue with, and ended up having a pretty good run. It was a healthy 4 miles which made up for my not so healthy 11 on Monday.
Thursday: For some reason it's so much easier to get on the road first thing in the morning. If I make a rule that I don't eat until after my morning run, hunger will motivate me to get going. I went around the zoo for 6, and felt pretty good, despite some initial shin tightness.
Friday: Short, around-the-top-of-the-hill route for 4 miles. This run is always scenic with views of the Cascades, the Olympics, and Mt. Rainier, but there were a few bonus scenes today. First, great sidewalk chalk art, obviously done by a creative, prolific, and patriotic artist. Did you know that if you draw the US as a flag, the Pacific NW is the field of stars? Cool. Next I saw a cliche come true: a dog frantically barking at the postman from behind a fence. Finally, I saw a wedding party taking pictures on a picture perfect day in an amazing spot. If you've seen the movie "10 Things I Hate About You," the opening scene where Julia Styles pulls up next to the carfull of giggling girls, look 10 feet to the left and you're at the small park that looks over downtown Seattle, Space Needle and all, with Mt. Rainier gleaming in the afternoon sun behind it and the Puget Sound to the right, ferries, sailboats and all. The bride is going to look like she's posing in a post card. All in all, good running week.
Test test test. Blogger publishing is down. :(
So I had these great plans to write this huge post about holidays away from home (inspired by my favorite blogging expat), and then never really got to it yesterday. I don't really have an excuse; I did very little other than run, shop for groceries, watch movies, drink, cook, and eat. I made a blueberry cobbler from the July / August edition of Cooks Illustrated, which was fantastic. I had intended to make their French potato salad as well, but after hearing about my parents' lack of success with the recipe (it just couldn't compete with my mom's awesome version with the homemade mayo) and feeling a little lazy, I decided to pass until later this weekend.

I watched one of the town's major fireworks displays from my bedroom's balcony. Yes, I have a little balcony that I never stand on. I'm a little scepticle of it's ability to support my weight. I'm close enough to hear the music that accompanies the fireworks as well, which was fun. I didn't really notice it at the time, but there were a lot of purple and gold fireworks. This morning at work, I was discussing them with a friend and he informed me that the fireworks were sponsored by Washington Mutual. Bet you can guess what their colors are.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

We interupt this blog to say a few words about spelling.

I'm a bad speller. Being a big reader has helped my vocabulary, but not my spelling. Quite frankly, not only do I not care about spelling, my lack of spelling ability is almost a point of pride with me. I say all of this because I've mis-spelled a lot of words in posts up to now, and I'm going to continue to do so as long as there's no automatic spell check feature on blogger. I hope that you find this entertaining and not offensive.

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I passed the bloodmobile on my way in this morning, and I've been hearing about how there is a desperate need for blood right now, especially of my O+ variety. I've been giving blood every chance I get ever since I turned 18, but at my last doctor's appt, I was diagnosed anemic and recommended that I stop donating. I guess it shouldn't have come as too much of a surprise, since about 1 of 3 times I tried to donate I'd get turned away for low iron... Anyway, I still feel bad about not giving the gift of life.

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

It's been an absolutely crazy day today (I'm taking a little break after a 4 hour video conference), but there was a bright point as I heard this band on the radio on my way to work this morning. I guess they're considered "Celtic roots rock" in style, are lots of fun, very talented musicians, and are quite attractive.

I don't miss too much about Richmond (with the large exception of living 100 miles from my family), but they knew how to have great summer concerts. Every Friday there is outdoor music, from around 6 - 10, so not too late, it was right on the James river, you could carry your beer around with you and listen to music, not be confined to a tent.

Oh well, guess I had to give it up for amazing weather, gorgeous scenery, a great house, and old friends...
Trail note: I was supposed to run 14 miles on Sunday, so instead ran 11 last night (well, I'm saying it's 11, might not be quite). I was lucky and had a great running partner who put up with my whining the entire run (my knees hurt, my stomach hurts, I'm tired, the sun is in my eyes, are we there yet?, etc). My knees did start hurting after about 4 miles or so, but didn't get too much worse as the milage increased. We had a pretty good pace throughout. We didn't time it, but I'm thinking it was at least 8:50, sometimes faster. Great weather: about 70 degrees, sunny, with a nice breeze.

Monday, July 01, 2002

After checking all of the usual places, I decided to visit this blog and discovered that it's Canada Day!

I love Canada. I fell in love with the country as a girl reading Anne of Green Gables and Look Through My Window (and then proceeding to read everything else I could find by Jean Little and L.M. Montgomery). Because of this, the summer before I went to college, my parents took my sister and me and a pop-up camper to the Maritimes for a week of exploration. As an adult, I've traveled to Quebec City, Montreal, Victoria, and Vancouver. I've loved every city: friendly people, lovely architecture, interesting history, and great exchange rate (you'll find the currency exchange on the Vancouver link; they're just that cool in B.C.). :)

So Happy Canada Day, eh.
Crazy dream this morning (dreamlog a la Brigita; seems to be a night for strange dreams...) I dreamt that I had a baby. Not that I was pregnant or giving birth or anything, I was just taking a bath and thought that it would be convenient to wash the baby as well, so I did. She was very cuty, pudgy, bald, smiling, and a couple months old, and I guess mine (I couldn't remember how she got there). I remember wanting to put her down and there was never any bassinet or crib or anything, because I hadn't expected that there would be a baby around and so didn't buy any stuff. I don't know how the dream transitioned, but later I found myself with my parents in a modern day colony (like Plymouth or Jamestown) with the men in dockers and golf shirts, grilling on gas grills, and the "natives" weren't happy and were making preparations to come and murder us all with machine guns. I knew it was going to happen, because I'd seen the movie of it, and kept yelling stop, as in stop the reel; I couldn't watch it again.

I don't even want to think about what these things mean.