Friday, November 28, 2003

Turkey Talk

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I certainly did. My sister Kate and her boyfriend Michael, our (newlywed) friends Chris and Rebecca, and Jeff's friend Curtis came for the feast (Curtis staying for the weekend). It was much more satisfying cooking for 7 than it was last year cooking for 2. It also took some pressure off, as folks brought dessert, a side dish, wine, and an extra 1/2 turkey.

I was lucky enough to find this entertaining and helpful guide to cooking the Turkey Day Feast on Wednesday. I followed as much of the advice as was practical, and had my detailed schedule and menu listed on the Palm, and assigned "tasks" (pouring wine, plating cranberry sauce, etc) all lined up and ready to go. Our newly finished dining room table groaned under the weight of the brined-then-roasted and slow-cooked turkeys, giblet gravy, stuffing (with fresh herbs), squash casserole, mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts w/ bacon, broccoli, cranberry sauce, and rolls.

After stuffing ourselves, we retired to the living room for a fun fireside game of Beyond Balderdash; Kate cleaned up. We burned all of the answers, which was a shame, since I can't remember any of the classic "definitions" that set us off giggling.

Finally, we topped things off with Kate's pumpkin pie (her first ever from scratch crust was a flaky success!) and Rebecca's chocolate torte with rasberry sauce.

Good food, family, good friends, a warm home, and good fun. I'm very thankful.

UPDATE: I (gasp) forgot to mention Jeff's not-for-the-children homemade eggnog. It was quite a treat: all eggs, cream, and booze, topped with freshly grated nutmeg. Mmmm.
Black Friday Five: Shoppin'

1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not? Not often; certainly not in American malls. I loved shopping in various markets overseas. I really really dislike shopping malls. I'm not sure exactly why, but I can get a little freaked out and crazy. Perhaps, like Max it's the "rubbing elbows with the unwashed masses" that I dislike.

2. What was the last thing you purchased? A latte and vegan oat bar for breakfast

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why? Actual store, if it's a store I'd like to be in, in order to really see, touch, and know what I'm buying, but online is so much more convenient and less unpleasant an experience.

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it? Yes, but I certainly can't remember what it was. I think it increased as I got older. It stopped at a certain point, however, I believe when I started babysitting (in junior high) and made my own money. I remember getting $1.50 an hour for babysitting, with the parents of the most difficult kids paying that out to the nearest quarter, and the parents of the easiest kids paying a lot more.

5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing? I still have mixed feelings about my car. I love it, and don't regret choosing the one that I did, but wish I could have waited a little longer, or only leased it, since the weight of the remaining years of payments weigh heavily on my mind.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

It's beginning to look a lot like... SNOWBOARDING SEASON!

Saturday, November 22, 2003

Trail Note: Hearty Souls

This is a belated trail note from last weekend, intended to inspire me to run this weekend. After some glorious New England style autumn weather through October and into the first half of November, I flew back into Seattle last weekend to find real Seattle fall weather: a cold rain. I ran a slow 5 miles on Saturday morning, happy to stretch my legs after the long travel day on Friday. Sunday, however, was a little harder. Jeff and I had planned our route in advance: the 8 mile trip up to Greenlake, around, and back. It's a beautiful route, taking us past the Zoo, through Woodland Park, around Greenlake, and back through Freemont. The trees were at the height of their colors, and were just starting to fall to create gorgeous red and gold carpeted sidewalks. The weather was not so beautiful: 40 degrees and rain. Not drizzle, but a hard rain. We must have stared at the rain for 20 minutes, all dressed in running gear: caps, windbreakers, tights, and gloves, trying to talk ourselves into getting out into it.

We eventually got out there, and started running. We kept going the entire time at what felt to be a consistent 9 minute mile pace. By the time we were leaving the Greenlake trail, however, my knees were hurting, my feet were sodden, and I was getting cold again. The last few miles were certainly not fun, and the beautiful leaves beneath my feet were no longer Tolkien-like carpets of gold, but rather trip hazards in disguise.

We finished cold, wet, but happy to be finished. I'm glad that we got out and did it, and felt better the rest of the week for the run. Today I'm going to try to get a 4 or 5 miler in along with a longer run tomorrow. It's even colder this weekend than last (it snowed Thursday and yesterday!), so once again, I'll have to be a Hearty Soul.
Destination Anywhere..

I've only been to 11 of the BBC's 50 Places to See before You Die: the Grand Canyon, Florida, New York, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Paris, Alaska, San Fransisco, Dubai, Singapore, and Bangkok. Guess it's time to book a trip! (We've been talking about Vegas forever; maybe we'll actually get there this winter.)

via Kris, Brigita, and Max

Friday, November 21, 2003

The "Official" Friday Five

1. List five things you'd like to accomplish by the end of the year. This is a tough one. There are some things for work that I'd like to do; I'll just that as a general work placeholder (1). (2) Knit some scarves for Christmas gifts (3) Start going to the gym that I'll be joining on Monday on a regular basis (4) Apply to grad school (I think; I'm still working through this) (5) Learn more about my elected officials

2. List five people you've lost contact with that you'd like to hear from again. This is easier. My 10 year college reunion is coming up, so there are a few people from college I'm planning on reaching out to whom I haven't seen or spoken to in a long time (some since college): Joelle, Josh, Cari, and Meghan. This fifth is my friend Nancy from high school, who I've been thinking about a lot recently, but haven't actually phoned, despite best intentions.

3. List five things you'd like to learn how to do. (1) Knit a sweater, (2) speak French, (3) manage stress more effectively, (4) use Access, (5) really fix my bike (beyond the basics of patching and changing tires)

4. List five things you'd do if you won the lottery (no limit). (1) Pay off my house and car, (2) buy the land next to my parents' place in Montross, (3) go to graduate school, (4) after school work in the non-profit community without having to worry about paying my mortgage (5) between now and grad school, go on a trip around the world.

5. List five things you do that help you relax. Running, swimming, massages (professional), zone out (often in front of tv), listen to music.
Personal Friday Five: Excuses for recent lack of posts

1.) Working. At work. Busy working at work.
2.) An 8 day trip to Virginia for work with very limited internet access.
3.) Celebrating my 31st birthday!
4.) A little more busy after work (finishing chairs, running a little more, watching TV - yes these are getting lame)
5.) Guess I haven't had much to say.

Okay, I thought this list might magically become clever, but in general, I've been a little stressed, a little busy, a little tired, and not too focused. The busy working during work bit is probably the biggest driver. Oh, well, happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Horoscope Highjinxs

Fun meme where you strike out what you don't think applies from your horoscope.

Has a lot of ideas. Difficult to fathom. Thinks forward. Unique and brilliant. Extraordinary ideas. Sharp thinking. Fine and strong clairvoyance. Can become good doctors. Dynamic in personality. Secretive. Inquisitive. Knows how to dig secrets. Always thinking. Less talkative but amiable. Brave and generous. Patient. Stubborn and hard-hearted. If there is a will, there is a way. Determined. Never give up. Hardly becomes angry unless provoked. Loves to be alone. Thinks differently from others. Sharp-minded. Motivates oneself. Does not appreciate praises. High-spirited. Well-built and tough. Deep love and emotions. Romantic. Uncertain in relationships. Homely. Hardworking. High abilities. Trustworthy. Honest and keeps secrets. Not able to control emotions. Unpredictable.

found via Brigita

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Happy (belated) Halloween from the Addams Family

Monday, November 03, 2003

So, I'm not good with the lyrics

A great '80's music quiz that I found via Kristen (and yes, I had no excuse for my pathetic score).
What are you doing Election Eve?

Since I live in a flakey West Coast State, I just completed my absentee ballot for tomorrow's election. I've filled in many an absentee ballot before becoming a Washington State resident, mind you, but that was always because I lived out of state and/or was out at sea. I'm going to be in Seattle tomorrow, driving through my district, and posting my ballot in the mail. Crazy.

Anyway, I was filling out my ballot in front of Monday night football (requisite football-watching-beer in hand) this evening in time for tomorrow's election. Not being too up on the local voting issues and candidates, I made my decisions partly on the newspapers endorsements, and partly on Tricia's Rules of Voting. I didn't really realize that I had these rules until I was walking Jeff through my decision process. Here they are:

Rule # 1: Vote for the person most qualified for the job whom you think will do the best job.
Rule # 2: If you know nothing about the candidates' qualifications, vote along party lines. You can't go too wrong this way.
Rule # 3: If you know nothing about the candidates, their parties, and don't really know the issues, vote for the woman.
Rule # 4: If both know nothing about the candidates, their parties, or the issues, and the candidates are the same gender, vote for the person of color. They've probably been marginalized at some point in their life, and will be more sympathic to others on the margins.
Rule # 5: If there is only one person running, vote for that person. You don't want a joke write-in candidate actually taking office.
Rule # 6: If you get to rule # 6, then you just shouldn't vote on this topic. Or write-in someone you know who you'd like to see have the office.

I left several sections blank. I'm just lucky there were no punch cards.

Democracy in action; I'm proud to be an American!
Trail Note

I've really been trying to get more running miles in lately, but between the longer hours at the office, the shorter hours of daylight, and the minor cold that's been hanging around my head the last few weeks, it's been hard. I had a good weekend of running however.

Saturday, Jeff and I were in Scotsdale AZ for the wedding of some friends. It was a terrific wedding, by the way; the bride and groom were so gracious, and all of their friends were so nice. I've never been to a wedding before where everyone made such a point to introduce themselves and get to know the other guests.

But back to the trail note.. So we went for a run Saturday morning. It was terrific weather, a little overcast, about 70 degrees. We ran from our hotel to the church, since we'd be walking there later in the day and wanted to get a good idea of the exact location and the time it would take for us to walk there. Right behind the church (which was closer than we had originally thought) we ran into a little bike path / running trail, which we proceeded to follow for a couple miles. It ran past parks and golf courses, and was pleasant and flat. For some reason, however, we felt really tired. We were hoping that Phoenix was at a very high altitude, giving us an excuse for our poor performance, but at less than 1000 ft above sea level, there wasn't much excuse. We went for about 45 minutes (5 miles more or less).

We returned on Sunday afternoon to a very cold, clear, and dry Seattle. While this is the weather I remember from early November in my East Coast youth, it's very odd weather for Seattle. It should be grey and raining, and a little warmer. I'm not complaining, mind you, It's just surprising. I went for a run around Lake Union in the afternoon, a 7 mile route that starts on the Burke Gilman Trail. This was my first run in tights for the season, and was actually cold enough - low 40's - to need gloves!