Friday, January 31, 2003

Friday Five Time

1. As a child, who was your favorite superhero/heroine? Why? Dyna Girl. From the Kroft show Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. I liked their cool walky-talky multi-functional bracelets.

2. What was one thing you always wanted as a child but never got? A Snoopy Sno-Cone machine.

3. What's the furthest from home you've been? Austrailia, probably?

4. What's one thing you've always wanted to learn but haven't yet? To fluently speak a foreign language. All I can do is recite a few poems in German.

5. What are your plans for the weekend? Chill with more family. One set of grandparents just left for the airport. I'll hook up with the other set as we migrate south to Nomini this afternoon. Sight-seeing today, Kung Pao cook-off Iron Chef Style tonight, Norfolk homecoming visit tomorrow (I think), and flight home Sunday.

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Family Fun

I'm in Virginia this week for my dad's retirement. Tomorrow he retires after 35 years in the USN. It's sort of like being home for a wedding: lots of family in town, ceremonies, speeches, food, life changes, parties, logistics (cars, directions, seating charts), etc. It's fun and crazy and stressful and.. and... good to be here. I was able to combine this with a work trip, so have been able to spend a couple days checking in with the Mother Ship, seeing people and places I've only known through phone and video conference. It's only Wednesday, and I'm tired. I think I'll follow the grands' example and have a nap now.
I could just keep Rewinding over and over...

I just found out that I could book NPR's Bill Radke for my event! I didn't really have an event coming up, but I'm sure I could find one. How about Take Your Favorite Public Radio Comedian to work day? That would be an event. (He's almost as cute as David Brancaccio!)

Friday, January 24, 2003

The Friday Five

1. What is one thing you don't like about your body? Those 20 extra pounds floating around it.

2. What are two things you love about your body? It's strength and endurance.

3. What are three things you want to change about your home? (1) The interest rate on the mortgage (we're refinancing); (2) the appliances (they're in bad shape); (3) the basement carpet (it's a pinkish industrial kind)

4. What are four books you want to read this year? I'm not sure (other than the latest Harry Potter, of course).

5. What are five promises you have kept to yourself? In this century: (1) Ran a marathon; (2) Not gotten involved with "players;" (3) Moved to a place that I love; (4) Bought a house; (5) Got involved in activities that I enjoy and make me feel good about what I'm doing

Thursday, January 23, 2003

The snow song worked!

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Could Leslie Ann Warren's dress be cut a little lower?

I'm Tim as Wadsworth the butler!

I'm Tim as Wadsworth the butler in Clue,which Tim Curry are you? by Clicks and Buzzes

Monday, January 20, 2003

This time everyone sing: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

While they are getting unusual amounts of the white stuff out East, our Cascades are still pretty dry. Jeff and I found this out first hand on Saturday as we braved the slopes for the first time this winter season.

I wore my new helmet for the first time and felt warm, safe, and a little androgynous. By the time I'm all bundled up in my boarding layers with the helmet on and no long hair peaking out, I could easily be a guy. It's a strangely anonymous feeling. I felt very comfortable getting back onto my snowboard after all of last years' learnings, but it took me all day until I could turn without falling. And that was only when it was flat enough for me to even try turning. All that falling makes for a sore me: bruised knees from the falls and sore abs, shoulders, and arms from getting up again. The snow wasn't too bad (not icy or slushy), but there wasn't that much of it. I saw lots of twigs and many bare patches on the runs.

As the next few weekends are booked, it will be a month until I have another chance to go snowboarding again. Plenty of time (!!!) for more snow to fall.
When is the right time to take down Winter Holiday decorations?

We took the tree down Jan 5, the outdoor lights yesterday, and the evergreen garland is still hanging inside. (The garland is just something that we keep forgetting to take down). We thought that we were super late, but just noticed that one of our neighbors still has a Christmas tree up!

Sunday, January 19, 2003

If the president really wanted to hear from me, he'd get a VRU

My mom forwarded the following email to me on Thursday night / Friday morning:

Here's another way to act on the proposed war in Iraq which you can do before Saturday's march and from the warmth of your home/office.

A call for peace

The Bush White House has an "opinion" line for you to call. So call and give your opinion of the proposed war in Iraq. The line only accepts calls from 9-5 EST., Monday thru Friday. Just call the White House at 202-456-1111. A machine will detain you for only a moment and then a pleasant live operator will thank you for saying "I oppose" or "I approve." It will only take minutes. Note that the weekends are closed for calls. The president has said that he wants to know what the American people are thinking.
Let him know. Time is running out. Then please forward this e-mail to at least five people right away. Tell them what you think: 1 PHONE CALL EQUALS 10-20 PEOPLE WHO DIDN'T CALL. PLEASE PASS ON TO FRIENDS

As I have failed to write to my representatives in Congress and was not able to attend Saturday's anti-war marches, I jumped on this opportunity to voice my opinion. Unfortunately, however, my yahoo mail service just couldn't manage to forward the email along and the 202-number was busy all day on Friday. (If he really wanted to hear from us, you'd think that he could afford a 1-800 number). I did finally make it through at 3 minutes before the lines closed for the weekend, and made my statement.

If you can afford the long-distance charges, I can highly recommend making the call. The operator just asked me what state I was calling from and what I wanted to say to the president. I can probably think of a lot more to say if I really thought about. Hmm... the pnone lines open up again tomorrow.

Friday, January 17, 2003

The Friday Five (still Friday here...)

1. Where do you currently work? In WA state, just south of Seattle in an operations facility of a financial services company.

2. How many other jobs have you had and where? Lots of babysitting in high school, then worked at a movie theatre senior year and college vacations. I was in NROTC in college, which was kinda like a job, and then active duty Navy for 5 years. I've worked at my current company for 3 years (and a week).

3. What do you like best about your job? The bright people with whom I work

4. What do you like least about your job? The fact that it's a financial services company. I don't think that the products we sell really make the world a better place, and I would like to do something that I feel is more socially responsible. The great thing about my company is that it strongly supports the communities of the areas in which it is located. The community relations director at our site has set me up with a position on a local board for health and human services, and we have a lot of volunteer opportunities through work.

5. What is your dream job? A job in the area of health care in which I can conduct analysis, do some consulting, feel very useful and passionate about what I do, and yet have time for a personal life. Work with people, I guess.

Wednesday, January 15, 2003

A foolish consistency is the hobgobblin of little minds. Ralph Waldo Emerson

But I don't think that coming to a place like this is foolish. from Next Stop Wonderland

My Tuesday night trivia team is foolishly consistent. In the four times I've played, we're scored 22, 22, 23, and 23. We're not, however, consistently foolish, as in a field of what looked like 30+ teams last night, we had the third highest score. While some of my team members beat themselves up to figure out which 3 questions we should of answered correctly for the win, I was pretty proud of how we did. Although had we only had someone around who knew the name of Troy McClure's agent, who knows how we would have done....
If Hermione's so clever, how come she's not a Ravenclaw?

Perhaps we'll finally find out about that and other lingering questions!

Monday, January 13, 2003


Sucked in. That's me and Reality TV tonight.

I watched Joe Millionaire for the first time tonight. What's more unbelievable: the fact that one of these women is really looking for a guy to like or that this guy is really looking for a woman who likes him? And what's up about him being a construction worker; isn't he a model? Regardless, it was fun TV. I loved the valet; he's the real star of the show.

And then, of course, RR/RR Challenge. It's fun watching the boys vs. girls competition, althought the girls versus girls is even more competitive. My female reality team of Ruthie and Emily has got to be doing pretty well. The guy team of Puck and Dan (Colin's the not-too-alternate alternate) can't be doing too badly, either. Glad I didn't make trades after the opening show.

Now, it's time to be sucked into American History with Benedict Arnold on AMC.

Update: My fantasy RR/RR team is 1008 out of 117K players! I just picked the folks I liked watching.

Sunday, January 12, 2003

It was never like this on the Nordic Track

I tried cross-country skiing for the first time yesterday. I had been planning on snowboarding, but we haven't received any new snow in a while, and didn't feel like driving the 2 hours to one of the better resorts and paying close to $50 for bad snow. Instead, I could travel to the closer ski area and pay much less for rentals and a trail pass for a less crowded condition. And powder doesn't mean much for cross-country.

I went with my friends Chris and Jeff, both experienced cross-country skiers. I figured out how to get into the skiis (this took about 10 minutes) and then my frustration increased after the next 15 or so minutes, trying to climb the steep hill to get to the main trail. Once I got on level ground, however, I found it to be fun and not too hard. I would say it's about the same amount of work as hiking uphill, but requires a little more upper body effort. The first part of the trail was fairly flat with some very slight up and down slopes, and then we left the green (beginner) trails and headed uphill along the blue (intermediate) trails. Going uphill was a little more work than going flat, but not any more technically challenging. After about 90+ minutes we decided to turn around. "This is the fun part," said Jeff as he started coasting downhill. Not so fun for me, who hasn't been on any kind of skiis in 8 years, was never good at skiing back then, and cross-country skiis don't have the same edges as downhill, meaning that it's all the more difficult to brake. I spent the next hour slowly trying to snowplow down the mountain. At one point, I must have looked so scared and miserable and un-coordinated, that a woman skiing uphill stopped to give me some pointers. My fingers were freezing, my left knee was aching, my legs were tired, my toes were getting numb, and all I wanted was to be off the *&% skiis and in a warm lodge. I eventually made it back to the level trail with only a few falls and once I started actually skiing again I warmed up. Life looks much better when you can feel all of your appendages.

So I have survived the experience, a little sore, a little cranky with my friends, but frost bite and injury-free. Nothing that the post-ski bloomin' onion and 22 oz frosty beverage couldn't cure.

Friday, January 10, 2003

50 Reasons why LOTR Sucks

Some of my favorites:

13. Did someone say plot hole?
Liv Tyler's character is seen easily defeating nine strong supernatural beings, even though she is clearly a woman.

26. Speaking of Elves...
Elves are beautiful and wise and tall? Great warriors? Makers of fine lightweight weapons? Our modern knowledge of elves has observed only an ability to make cookies and toys. All the elves in the film are portrayed as living in a warm paradise (Rivendell) but our own information tells us the aforementioned group of toymaking elves work and thrive in the arctic. Hey, Mr. Jackson: Research is half of writing.

This very funny link found via Nicci
Friday Five

1. Where are you right now? In the office, which is located ~ 30 miles south of Seattle WA.

2. What time is it? 8:46 am

3. What are you wearing? Jeans (casual Friday), sweater (not black! I forced myself to wear color today; pale green), boots, appropriate underthings.

4. Any people or animals around you? Describe them. To the residents of the veal fattening pens count as animals? Just kidding; it's a fun, smart, civilized bunch here. D's to my left, in her purple filled cube, viewing her purple excel files, JC's in the cube adjacent to mine, Ab Fab poster on the wall, stacks of papers everywhere, and he's probably checking email, Miss Polly's on the phone making sure the big boss gets to the right meeting with the right people, Ben's in the diagonal cube, which is so filled with games and toys it's amazing that work happens (it does, of course). He's the one with the "When you ride alone you ride with Hitler" poster.

5. What are your plans for the weekend? Sushi tonight. I think I'm going to head to the slopes tomorrow for the first boarding of the winter. Sunday, I'll have to go on a long run. I'll definitely do some knitting this weekend; I'm very excited about my new skills.

Thursday, January 09, 2003

Competitive Media Consumption

I heard the most unexpected pitch for TiVo the other day. While I am well aware of the fact that TiVo inspires staunch loyalty amongst its owners, I was surprised to learn that my friend Chris is one of them.

Chris is a friend of mine from Navy days. When he got out of the Navy, he moved East to work in finance. He just returned to Seattle in September, and since then has been working long hours with his new company. He has also been playing flag football, working out, visiting and talking on the phone with his long-distance girlfriend, commuting, forming a trivia team (my new Tuesday night activity), cross-country skiing, biking (he got me on my mountain bike for the first time in over a year), and rock-climbing (he's the one who got me to climb for the first time in years). These are just the activities that I know about. When does the man have time to watch TV?

After Chris spoke of the joys of TiVo and how great it's been for him, I had to ask how much television he actually watches. He estimated about 10 hours a week, which is about the same amount as me. He explained that when he sits down to watch TV, he wants it to be something worthwhile, not just watching whatever junk happens to be on. My interpretation is that he is the kind of person who believes that if your going to do something, do it right (he's extremely competitive). Or, as a housemate of mine would say: come strong or don't come at all.

My mother thinks TV is terrible. She never watches it. Her idea of a happy home is a quiet one with no blaring television. (My father is slightly hard-of-hearing and watches TV nightly, volume blaring). I suppose this has influenced my attitudes towards TV. I feel a little guilty every time I watch, even if it's what I consider a quality show (ER or West Wing, for example). The guilt only increases if it's something that might not be of the highest quality (my renewed addiction to RR/RR Challenge). I don't think TV is bad, it's just something that is fine in moderation, but can be dangerous if abused (like food or alcohol, pain medications, fashion magazines). I have a history of abuse from when I lived alone. Now that I share a house with the non-TV watcher (who, ironically, owns a plasma TV), I'm much less likely to sit for too long in front of the tube.

I've finally figured out how to assuage the guilt, though. I'm learning to knit (2nd class tonight!), so can now spend my time in front of the TV listening to stories and creating lovely wollen things.
Are you hot?

Everyone's favorite web site is coming to television! There's a casting call in Seattle this weekend.. Should I cancel the planned ski trip? I'm thinking cold, not hot.

Update: I didn't want to verify my links at work (that whole ethics thing get so in the way) ;), so inadvertantly have been linking Rob Schneider's new flick all day. It wasn't what I intended, but it was funny, anyway. All fixed now.

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Trail Notes

The weather has been amazing the last few days, just begging for me to go out for a run. After over a week away from the running trail, I jumped back in on Friday with a lunchtime 5 miler. Over the weekend I followed this with two brisk twilight jogs around the (slightly less than 4 mile) neighborhood loop. On Sunday the views were breathtaking with the mountains (including Rainier) reflecting pink in the lavendar and orange sky. After a little break, I had another lunchtime run today, although with more walking breaks than usual. I hope that this is merely and after effect of last night's bloodletting (yeah, finally blood donation success!).

Last week I registered for the Vancouver half marathon, which is now only a month away! Since October, I have only run 1 run that was longer than 5 miles, so it's time to get moving to see if I can still make it through 13.1 miles injury-free. Jeff and I ran the Vancouver race last February, and had a great time enjoying the city with it's breathtaking views, proximity to water and mountains, wonderful restaurants, Jetson's-style architecture, friendly people, and awesome exchange rates. The race course wraps around the island and through Stanley Park; the most scenic flat run I've ever experienced. I'm excited for the weekend, but want to be prepared enough so that the experience is not marred by pre-race anxiety and post-race pain.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Resolutions Redux

I've been intending to post my New Years Resolutions (for real) for a while. My hope is that by establishing these as a public record, it will induce me to continue to remember and work towards them. It may not work, but at least I'm making an effort.

1. Eat less sugar. This is new as of today. I just went to the dentist and he found 4 little pit cavities! Those are supposed to be indicative of eating too much sugar (rather than the kind of cavity that means you aren't flossing or otherwise taking care of your teeth). I haven't been eating much sugar this past year or two, or so I thought. This might be a case of all of that chocolate and ice cream from college coming back to me (you'd think the poundage I carried around would be enough punishment), or it could be "secret sugar" that is found in foods that doen't seem like obvious culprits. For example, potato chips have a lot of sugar (and I've been eating a lot of salt'n vinegars the last couple years).

2. Respond more promptly to email: within a day for work and within a week for personal. This one is going pretty well so far. My inbox at work is almost down to one page!

3. Track expenses and eventually create a budget. This one has gone no-where, but I'm saving receipts.

4. Track what I eat, at least 4 days a week. This has gone only slightly better than the expenses one.

5. Pack my lunch and breakfast more often (only eat out 20% of weekday lunches and breakfasts). It's Tuesday, and I've already eaten out twice this week. With the sushi talk at Kris' site today, however, I couldn't resist! At 50% so far this week, however, I'm doing much better than any week in recent months. This resolution will help with both #'s 3 and 4, proposed reductions in each area.

Monday, January 06, 2003

What do you do when it's sunny on a winter weekend in Seattle?

Well, what I did was to follow a normal rainy weekend routine of movie-going, tree-burning, errand-running, indoor rock wall-climbing, junk food-eating, pausing every now and then to look up at the sky in wonder. What was that yellow orb up there? It kinda hurt my eyes. And after rock climbing for the first time in almost 7 years, my eyes aren't my only hurting body parts; I can barely grip a pen this morning!

Call me a hypocrite, but depite my usual dislike of reality TV, I do love MTV's Real World, and particularly enjoy the RR/RR Challenges. The newest challenge airs tonight, and I've actually become a member of in order to play along. (I'm cringing as I go public with this shameful fact.) If you also are a secret (or not so secret) fan, you can find me online under the team name "RealityTVBites." Here's hoping for some good drama!

Friday, January 03, 2003

Friday Five. It feels a little early in the morning to discuss body art, and quite personal, but, oh well...

1. Do you wear any jewelry? What kind? Yes. Earrings almost always (but noticed in the car this morning that I forgot to put them on today, which is very rare). I wear a bracelet made out of a bike spoke that was made for me for my last birthday. I often wear my class ring, but it's feeling pretty tight this week, so I'm not wearing it. I always wear a watch, if that counts as jewelry.

2. How often do you wear it? Almost always (except while sleeping).

3. Do you have any piercings? If so, where? Yes. Ears since I was 12. I double pierced them in college, and then let them grow back together a few years ago. I have a cartilage piercing in my left ear that I got after I got out of the Navy.

4. Do you have any tattoos? If so, where? Yes. I have one on my left foot (a blue pattern, nothing symbolic). I also have a tribal-style turtle on my lower (lower) back. I got one on each of my two Western Pacific deployments.

5. What are your plans for the weekend? Weather permitting, I might try cross-country skiing this weekend. There is a Christmas Tree Beach Bonfire on Saturday night that I might take my tree to. I'd love to see a movie, perhaps a bike ride or long run, too. We'll see how things go.

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

New Years Resolutions

I've done a lot of research on New Years Resolutions recently (namely, I've been watching a lot of TV today and noting all of those "resolutions" advertisements) and have decided that I need to focus my energies on one major resolution. This way, I'm more likely to stick to it over the course of the year. So, I've decided that my 2003 resolution will be (drumroll, please):

I'm going to start smoking in 2003.

I think that if I really focus on this, it is an attainable goal. Changing habits is hard, so I know that these first few weeks will be the hardest, but knowing that is half the battle. I just need to remember the reasons that I want to pick up smoking, and if I keep that in my hip pocket (next to the cigarettes), written down on an index card, perhaps, it will help me through those tough times when I think that I really don't want that cigarette. Those reasons are as follows:

1. Smoking is compatible with my previously established habits of drinking coffee and alcohol
2. It's compatible with my weight loss goals (smoking helps the slimming process)
3. I was planning on running less this year than last; this will help me stick to that plan
4. Smoking is a great way to meet people
5. Smoking is cool, and it will help me to look cool
6. Through the high Washington State sin taxes, I will be contributing to our state funds for health and human resource projects
7. Tobacco is the mainstay of both Virginia (my home state) and North Carolina's (where I went to college) economies. (Wow, this is a very patriotic habit!)
8. Smoking will give me something to do with my hands
9. I won't be bothered by smokey bars, in fact, I will particularly enjoy those bars all the more for the smoke
10. I won't notice or mind my smoke smelling clothes or hair after spending time in aforementioned bars

I think I've got a winner this year. Okay, time for a puff.