Friday, May 30, 2003

Blog for the Cure

It's not to late to sponsor me in the Race for the Cure. I'm walking with my team, the Boobalas on Sunday morning. Wear pink!

UPDATE: I think that this was my 6th Race for the Cure. 5K is my least favorite race distance (too short, I don't like running as fast as I should to get a decent time), but I will continue participating in the Race for the Cure whenever I can because it's such an amazing experience. There were well over 20,000 people at the race yesterday! It's very moving to see all of the pink signs that people make to celebrate breast cancer survivors and to remember those who have died from the disease. It's also incredible to see the survivors, some of whom are still in treatment, walking and running their way to a cure.

Thank you, everyone, who supported the Race!
Friday Five; making me think on a friday?

1. What do you most want to be remembered for? Solving the US health care insurance problems. I have time.

2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life? Just Do It.

3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year? Not really an achievement, but buying out the roommate to own 1/2 of the house was a very scary leap.

4. What about the past ten years? Well, in the past 10 years I've graduated from college (graduating was the easy part; not a point of pride), served 5 years and 2 West Pacs in the Navy (contender), survived corporate life for 3+ years, and run 2 marathons (also contender-worthy). I think that fact that I have grown and learned form my experiences over the past 10 years may be my greatest acheivement.

5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say? Believe in yourself and keep your sense of humour. (Is that 2?)

Man, cheesy answers. It would take too much time to get really good ones, so this is the 10 minutes version.
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down...

Unfortunately I didn't hear the NPR ATC story about the particularly rainy May that the East Coast is having. My parents live in VA and my company is based in VA, so I'm on the phone to someone out there almost daily. Every time I've spoken to my parents, they'll open the conversation with "we're having Seattle weather out here today..." When I spoke to my work associates yesterday and asked if it was still raining I was told in separate conversations how many straight days they've been without sun (high 20's) and that it's been the rainiest May in recorded history (I think someone said 15" of rain!). I then reply that it's sunny and in the 70's here, and has been like that all week.

While I didn't hear the original NPR story, I did hear some of the letters that they received in response to it. There was the lady in MA who was glad to hear that many were sharing her wet misery, the man in Texas who didn't want to hear complaints about rain while his area was suffering through drought, and then there were the letters from Washington State. Quite a few residents of sunny Seattle had something to say to those damp East Coasters. "Get over it" "30 days of rain is nothing" "go drink a latte" and "we don't let a little rain keep us indoors" were some of the sentiments expressed. While I agree with some of them (I highly recommend drinking the coffee concoction of your choice to keep those spirits up), some were a little harsh. After all, if you live in Seattle, you know what you're getting into. If you can't deal with 9 months of rain and clouds, then move somewhere else. Somewhere.... like Virginia. If you live in Virginia, you have the expectation of a lovely May. After all, it's typically one of the nicer months of the year, predictably warm and sunny, but before the hardcore heat and humidity of the summer really sets in. Also, when it rains in Seattle, it's rarely a real rain, more like a light mist, which isn't enough to cancel a hike or bike ride or run. It's not misting out East right now.

Regardless, I'm still going to enjoy telling those in Virginia about our great weather right now. I've drunk my share of lattes this winter.

Update: Now I'm worried that I've jinxed myself; sources say that the weather's improving out East, and ours is pretty hazy right now. And I changed the title of this entry to look a little less idiodic.

Wednesday, May 28, 2003

The Neti has arrived

Stay tuned for details about how this device has changed me life. Sorry Max, but details won't include pictures. ;)
Wanna scare?

Check out Anne's blog, scroll down to the May 22 "clickable" entry and follow the "haunted painting" link. I won't link the site directly because it's got me too freaked out to go near it again. I swear I was getting light headed before even seeing the picture.
Seattle Slugs

Last week I went for a run on the trails by my office. It was one of those on-again-off-again rainy days so common here in the Pacific Northwest, and the slugs were out in force. Not wanting a shoe-full o' slug in my gym bag, I was hopping all over the place to avoid them.

I continued hopping all weekend with 4 late nights out in a row. I was able to sleep in a couple of the mornings, but never really got a good night's sleep. I was fine as long as the sun was out and I was with friends, but now that I'm back at work, I'm feeling like a big slug. I actually tried to go for a run last night, and had to turn around and go home (usually once I get on the trail, I'm good to go). Today, my body is just feeling old and tired. It might be allergies: I've been feeling off for the last few weeks, but it could just be that I can't party without consequence quite like I used to.

Does this mean I need to affect a Valley drawl?

You are Neo
You are Neo, from "The Matrix." You
display a perfect fusion of heroism and

What Matrix Persona Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Quiz found via Brigita

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

Back to Reality

I just dropped off the last of the out of town guests at the airport and am back in the office. Before tackling the day, I thought that I'd just reflect on a few highlights from the weekend, Friday Five style (hopefully more interesting that last week's toothpaste one):

1. Amazing music festival with great act after great act (the Coldplay finale was amazing).
2. Old friends in town for the weekend.
3. Long days filled with good food, great friends, pitchers of beer, long drives, great music....
4. Sunny Seattle days in a row.
5. Smokey, drunken people squeezed into at cab at 2 am Saturday morning.

Friday, May 23, 2003

From Rocky Horror to Igby Goes Down...

.. the Seattle International Film Festival, like Susan Sarandon, is only getting better with time. It's now the biggest and longest film festival in the United States! Unfortunately, I'll be out of town for most of it, but for when I'm around, a friend of mine has made some recommendations for what to see. In a little SIFF-related research, by the way, I found out that one of my favorites from last year's festival, The Anarchist's Cookbook, will have a limited release this summer. I hope it's playing in a theatre near me!

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

Sweet news for Atkins fans and diebetics

Hershey's is going sugar free! If / when I ever return to the low-carb lifestyle, this will be a good thing.
Summer Bookends

This weekend is, of course, Memorial Day weekend: the unofficial start of summer (phew, I can finally wear white). ;) I'll be spending it with old Seattle friends, attending an outdoor music festival. Labor Day weekend, the unofficial end of summer (maybe it will be warm by then) will be spent with other old Seattle friends, attending another outdoor music festival. It's looking like a good summer.

Update: Looks like lots of overlap between the two weekends, including the man (in)famous for the most costume changes at a Bumbershoot show.

Monday, May 19, 2003

Trail Note

Jeff and I went on a great bike ride yesterday afternoon. It was just over 36 miles, with "medium to strenuous" hills (per the book where we found the ride) for a cumulative elevation gain of 1900 feet. When I ride the Courage Classic in August, I'll have 3, 60 mile, 2000 - 3000 ft. days, so I'm on track in my training for that ride (although really need to start ramping up the distance).

The ride was beautiful; very pastural. I didn't realize that there was farmland in Redmond (an area known to most as the home to a little tech company). The upside to biking through farms is that you get a much better view of the cows and scenery than while driving. The downside is that you're much more exposed to the smells of the cows and their by-products. Once we cleared the suburban developments, there was very little shoulder to the road, which makes it a little nerve-wracking when passed by trucks, but most Washington drivers are courteous to cyclists, and there was very little traffic. The weather was a little iffy early on (some fleeting black clouds and at one point a few drops of rain), but was sunny for most of the afternoon. It really hasn't warmed up here, yet, so we'd get warm climbing the hills, remove layers, and then shiver while on the downhill portions of the ride. I felt fine in my legs despite the hills, but found that my back, knees, and "sitting places" were sore by the time I was halfway through the ride.

We took a few pictures; Jeff or I should post a few soon.

[ Yahoo! Maps ]

Route Map

Friday, May 16, 2003

The Friday Five

1. What drinking water do you prefer -- tap, bottle, purifier, etc.? Britta filtered. I drink a lot of water and almost always have a full Nalgene bottle at hand.

2. What are your favorite flavor of chips? Salt and vinegar, and they must be the kettle cooked / thick cut kind. Freshly cooked tortilla chips are great, too, but hard to find.

3. Of all the things you can cook, what dish do you like the most? The best non-dessert dish is one that I can't make very often because I'll keep picking at it until I get sick: homemade macaroni and cheese with the breadcrumb-cheese topping. I'm good at making things that go into the oven (casseroles, baked goods, etc), but leave the grilling and stir-frying to Jeff.

4. How do you have your eggs? I'll eat them any way, but prefer them with soft yolks on buttered toast (poached, fried, or boiled).

5. Who was the last person who cooked you a meal? How did it turn out? Jeff made pork chops last night, and they turned out great. It wasn't a whole meal, though. He did cook all of Tuesday night's chicken quesadillas, which were wonderful.

Thursday, May 15, 2003

I have, too, been reading!

I've been wondering why I haven't been reading lately. I've been a bookworm ever since I first saw my older cousin engrossed in a book, and was jealous that I wasn't able to join in that activity (I think that I was 4 or so). It's thus strange that I've been having a hard time getting into a book recently. Reading Suzanne's great blog on blogs today, however, I realized that I have been reading a lot... a lot of blogs. They are as interesting and as personal as a novel, providing the same engagement with interesting characters and thought-provoking dive into philosophical issues as "real literature" along with the gossipy and fun nature of those great-to-read-on-a-beach novels. So I have been reading. I've just been reading a different genre. I just wish the medium was as easy to stuff into a carry-on bag.
Speaking of things Seattle..

..let me just mention how freaky the weather can be here. It was cloudy and rainy when I left my Seattle home this morning, and then arrived at my office to find a sunshiny Federal Way. In the past 2 hours, it has turned from sunny and beautiful to cloudy to rain and now it's sunny again. Since I've been writing this post, it's now clouding up again. This is not helping me cancel the bike ride that I have planned but am not anxious to go on this afternoon.
I knew there was a real reason to not be at work today

This morning (10 am PDT) a local NPR show featured blogs. I didn't hear it (that darn earning a paycheck thing gets in the way of everything), but I read that local blogger Matthew Baldwin represented well. Turns out there's a portal for Seattle based weblogs out there and Jeff and I are already listed. So, if you've found this place through the portal (I really like the word "portal" by the way), welcome; please leave a comment.

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

All the cool kids are identifing themselves with music. Here's my 10,000 Maniacs version:

1. Are you male or female? I'm not the Man

2. Describe yourself. Scorpio Rising

3. How do some people feel about you? How You've Grown

4. How do you feel about yourself? Like the Weather

5. Describe your boyfriend. Candy Everybody Wants

6. Where would you rather be? The Painted Desert

7. Describe what you want to be. Tolerance

8. Describe how you live. Eat for Two

9. Describe how you love. Don't Talk

10. Share a few words of wisdom. These are Days..

Sunday, May 11, 2003

Trail Note

Yesterday Jeff and I helped a friend move, so this morning we found ourselved tired and sore. We had planned on going on a long bike ride (bike vacation, STP and Courage Classic looming), so we really had to motivate to get ourselves on the road. We managed to get ourselves going by planning a shorter ride (2 hours rather than the originally planned 3) ending at Redhook Brewery in Woodinville. The trail was packed with families (apparently Mothers Day brings out the active instinct in Seattlites). We did do our 2 hours plus a little bit (27? miles), starting in Woodinville and riding south along Samamish Lake. It was a beautiful afternoon, warm (ish) and sunny. I rode with my clip-in pedals for the second time without incident. In addition to the families, we saw many birds, baseball players, and cricketeers (don't know what they're really called, but that's our name for them). We finished, as promised, with lunch (salmon sandwitch and nachos) and a pitcher at Redhook. Mmm... We were among dozens of cyclists restoring ourselves with the "well-built" beer and food at the Ploughman's Pub. Only in Seattle (and perhaps Portland) will you find a community that shares my view that the combo of biking and beer makes for the perfect afternoon.
Musical Notes

Friday night I saw Dar Williams in concert. I sometimes get nervous before going to concerts. I've been to a lot where I'm less than thrilled with the performance and spend the time wondering how much longer it will last and I will have to force myself to pay attention to the music. This was not one of those shows. Despite only listening to her latest CD a couple times pre-concert, that was enough to be familiar with the songs and thrill to hear them live. Dar in person is pretty amazing. She has an incredible report with the audience, peppering the songs with anecdotes and explanations. She began by saying that she was "courting" the Seattle audience (dressed up with flowers on stage) and court and win us she did. I've been listening to the CD non-stop all weekend.

Ben Taylor opened the show. I had never heard of him and commented halfway through the set how much he sounded like James Taylor. By the end of the set I realized that while not a bad band, the only way he could have secured the gig was through nepotism, and that his sound and last name were not coincidence. Sure enough, today I heard on the radio that Ben Taylor, son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, will soon be apprearing in Seattle again, opening for Michelle Shocked at the Crocodile. Family gets you far in the music biz, I guess.

Friday, May 09, 2003

Pop Literacy

Max found this great quiz from the Guardian which tests your knowledge of pop music's literary references. This is exactly the kind of stuff my friends and I would discuss and debate in high school (when I discovered 10,000 Maniacs and the Smiths). I love it when pop music makes literary references as well as when they bring in strings and other orchestral instruments. I also love literary references in film.

Stock up on your Pringles

Apparantly the pop will stop in stores for a while...
The Friday (ordered numerically) Five

1. Would you consider yourself an organized person? Why or why not? For the most part. I'm not as organized as I would like to be. For example, I really want to keep track of my expenses, and I've set up a rough budget and means to track on Quicken, but have yet to finish entering expenses from March..

2. Do you keep some type of planner, organizer, calendar, etc. with you, and do you use it regularly? I have Outlook at work and a Palm V for non-work stuff, which I will sync once we migrate to XP at work. I use the work organizer / calendar / to do list constantly; less so with the palm, but do have a lot of info (just not the calendar or as detailed a to do as I'd like).

3. Would you say that your desk is organized right now? Well, there are piles... of things to do, things to read, things to file, etc. So, sort of.

4. Do you alphabetize CDs, books, and DVDs, or does it not matter? I don't alphabetize books, because I don't store books as reference material, rather my book shelves are a place to browse. I alphabetize CD's and spices, so that I can easily find what I'm looking for. It matters to me, by the way, and I get a little annoyed when I find these things out of order.

5. What's the hardest thing you've ever had to organize? My thoughts. It's an endless battle.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

The Carbohydrate Roller Coaster

It's been about 2 weeks since I've stopped doing Atkins. It was over minutes after entering an airport, and I haven't been able to go back since. The plan this week was to eat a sensible diet of a variety of foods. This isn't working. Example: this morning we had a "pancake breakfast" at work to celebrate our great financial results. I was a pancake flipper, so had to sample some of my product. Buzz, then 30 minutes later, the crash. After my very sensible lunch, craving sugar, I bought some butterscotch pudding (it's a milk product; it's healthy!). At 2 pm I was trying to learn about some of the reports that someone on my team creates, and I could hardly keep my eyes open. And then I just left another celebration to recognize a successful audit, and couldn't resist a very tasty slice of yellow cake (my favorite). I'm feeling more than a little gross right now.

I think that I have to admit that I need help. My name is Tricia and I am a carbohydrate addict.

Back to the 12 step Atkins plan (Induction) tomorrow.
Job Surfing

Am I the only person who often fantasizes about how great my life would be if I only had a new job / career? With my new job, I wouldn't be tempted to surf the internet throughout the workday because I would be so riveted by my job. I'd actually find myself at home in the evenings surfing the internet looking for information related to my profession. I'd be great at what I do, so I wouldn't have the insecurity that I must be messing something up or doing something wrong, or not doing what I probably should be doing.

The fantasy ends when I realize that I'd only be leaving my current job, and that I wouldn't be leaving my current me. Even with a new job, I wouldn't be a new person.

If I got a new haircut, however....

Friday, May 02, 2003

Those who drive gas-guzzlers shouldn't throw stones

Last week, right before flying to Virginia, my front right tire blew out as I was driving home (70 mph, left lane: scary). Since I've returned, I've not yet had a chance to replace said tire, so yesterday and today I've borrowed a friend's Nissan Pathfinder. I actually might have risked the drive to work on my spare today, but wanted to bring my bike in to work for future evening rides, and it fits into the Pathfinder much better than into my little Jetta. I really don't like driving this car: it's big and loud and hard to maneuver, and every time it shakes, I'm afraid it's going to fall apart.

This afternoon, I was almost done driving the car. After finishing my I-5 commute, I ran a few errands in the neighborhood down the hill from my house. I was having a hard time pulling out of the parking spot (big car, less than optimal visibility, very busy, tight parking lot). I was trying to ease in and out of the space to get enough room to turn, hoping someone would give me a break and stop to let me out. Instead, a driver in a little red car stuck his head out his window and told me to "drive a little more carefully in my (growling out the last syllables) S.U.V."

I recognized that bitterness. I'm very anti-SUV, at least for commuting and driving around town. I know that I should be better about carpooling, but I drive a diesel car that gets 47 miles to the gallon of gas (or vegatable oil). I can borrow this SUV because the owner commutes via bike or bus, and only drives the car when traveling into the mountains with bikes or skiis on the roof. I'm also normally a pretty good driver, and don't normally find myself in a position where I'm hoping that someone will help me get out of a parking space.

Needless to say, I left the parking lot (thanks to the bystanders who directed me out of the space) in a less than great mood. And to think; trying on bikinis wasn't the low point of my afternoon...
I'm so glad that it's time for the Friday Five

1. Name one song you hate to admit you like. that big Britney Spears song: "Baby One More Time"

2. Name two songs that always make you cry. The Navy Hymn and that "Proud to Be American" song. And yes, I am very embarrassed about the second one.

3. Name three songs that turn you on. Throwing Muses "Snake," Smashing Pumpkins "Today," and Mazzy Star "Fade into You"

4. Name four songs that always make you feel good. "Rainbow Connection" (Kermit the Frog), "Peace Train" sung by Natalie Merchant or Cat Stevens, Dar Williams "Sounds" (from the end of summer CD; can't remember the name), and the Hallelua (sp?) Chorus

5. Name five songs you couldn't ever do without. "Happy Birthday," "Silent Night," "This Land is Your Land," the Alphabet song (I would never remember the order of the letters without it), "99 bottles of beer on the wall"