Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Happy Holidays!

I'm in Virginia, driving out to internet-and-mobile-phone-free-zone tomorrow morning, so this will be my last communique for a while. My thoughts and best wishes go out to all durning the holidays, but in particular to those men and women serving our country abroad, far from family and friends, and especially to Matty on the Big E.

Monday, December 22, 2003

What do you do when life gives you lemons?

Well, it was really an apple, an orange, half a lemon, and a slightly shrivelled-up lime that Jeff found while cleaning out the fridge before our imminent trips home for the holidays. But to answer the question: you make SANGRIA!

Jeff ran to the internet as I chopped up the apple, peeled and zested the orange, and juiced the lime into a pitcher. We added a shot of light rum and poured in several cups of red (from the box) wine. We let it sit for an hour (during which time I had a surprisingly good run around the block), then squeezed in the half lemon. It tasted a bit strong and sour, but a packet of sugar and can of diet Sierra Mist later, it's the perfect poinsettia red cocktail. I feel just a little like Martha.


This picture reminds me of the lighting of the signal fires in Return of the King. Stay safe and allow extra time, holiday travelers!

Sunday, December 21, 2003

C is for Christmas Cookie

Jeff, Kate (my sister) and I made decorated Christmas cookies and chestnuts* this afternoon.

*Chestnuts are those peanut butter spheres dipped in chocolate that look like roasted chestnuts. Mmm...
Week in Review

Sunday: Went for longish (7 miles) run, watched Two Towers extended version at the Cinerama, made beouf burgandy for dinner, wrote holiday cards
Monday: First day of team "on-site" (cost conscious team goal setting session) followed by games at my house and team dinner at Buca di Beppos
Tuesday: Day two of team on-site, then returned home to recover (it was long and tiring) and write more cards (got in a 3.5 mile run)
Wednesday: After a United Way meeting and team holiday lunch, I finished the day with a trip to Westway: a very needy neighborhood in Federal Way; more about this later
Thursday: Advancing Leadership Day; theme: Community Service. I worked in the food bank for a few hours, learned some terrific things about journaling, and started getting that coming-down-with-something-feeling. Then RETURN OF THE KING! (Jeff's done a great job of summarizing our post-film critical discussion)
Friday: Definately coming-down-with-something. Went home early and climbed into bed. Only got out to go get nourishment at Hales brewpub (feed a cold, right?)
Saturday: Yup, officially have come down with something. Sat on the couch moaning and watched second half of Angels in America. Unfortunately, the final hour of tape had some kind of techincal problem. Managed to get dressed to get a little more shopping done and go to a few holiday parties, where I did manage to start feeling better. Must have been all of those tasty appetizers I scarfed down.

So, very little writing this week. My trip to Westway was pretty intense; there's a story there somewhere. I'll have to wait to write it after this headache fades, however.
Which Lord of the Rings character and personality problem are you?
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Congratulations! You're Elrond!

Friday, December 12, 2003

Getting tired of me running on?

For those looking for more running inspiration, check out Sean's running blog. It's complete with inspirational quotes and pictures, a training journal, and running links.

And while we're on the topic, I'm sending positive thoughts out to Amy (Kris' sister) who is running her first marathon in Hawaii this weekend!

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Trail Note

I went for a run around the block (the 3 1/2 mile loop around the top of QA hill) for the first time in several weeks. I was not too excited to go. For the last several weeks I had been exercising less than usual while overindulging in calories (the pizza from lunch was still heavy in my stomach on the drive home from work). The cold drizzle and black skies (the sun had set almost 3 hours before the time that I was dressed in my running gear) were not bolstering my motivation. Once on the road, however, I was glad I made it out.

I live on a hill that overlooks downtown Seattle to the south, Lake Union to the east, and the Puget Sound to the west. It's full of beautiful homes of varying architectural styles. As I run through the neighborhood in the spring and summer I admire the well tended gardens and mountain views; in the fall the turning leaves; and now, in December, I was somehow surprised by the holiday lights. There was a Tudor home complete with Santa, reindeer, elves, a nativity, and Frosty, a contemporary house with a white rope of lights outlining its clean lines, and everything in between.

Some people think that holiday lights are a waste of energy; others that they are tacky, and still others that they represent a glorification of one religion over another. But despite not necessarily believing that a few drops of oil burned for seven nights or that a savior was born in a manger 2000+ years ago, I think that the lights are a wonderful thing. I think that it is special to shine whatever light it is that guides us, especially at this time of year with its dark and chilly nights and often troubled days. The holiday lights and decorations remind us that there is still beauty and warmth in the world and that soon the days will begin to get longer again.

This is not something that I'd have seen from my couch, or my car, or even a treadmill.

A Morning Message

I received this in my inbox this morning:

Subject: A message from your car

I'm feeling the need for fresh oil, wiper fluid, and TLC!

Please take me in so that I can stay like new for a long time!

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Ready to Run?

I just registered for the Vancouver First Half Half Marathon; with less than 9 weeks to go, I'd better jump on that treadmill tonight!

(Aside: the above "clouds and sun" picture was taken the evening before last year's half from Vancouver's Grouse Mountain. Perhaps it's time for another pic.)

Monday, December 08, 2003

Angels from the Eighties

Observations from watching Angels in America part I:

Does marrying a homosexual Mormon cause emotional problems and Valium addiction, or do emotional problems drive one to marry a closeted Regonite and self-medicate?

Al Pacino does a great impression of my current VP

It's a good think they've carved this thing up into 6 parts (and that our cable company messed up the first airing last night), because I don't think I could watch more than an hour of this at a time.

Taping tomorrow night (don't I wish I had tivo right now)...
T.G.I. Atkins?

Yup, someone's finally done it. T.G.I. Friday's restaurants are partnering with Atkins Nutritionals to provide low-carb menu items for the 30 million (?!) Americans who are watching their carbohydrates. Just pair those entrees with some fries and a beer, and I might just order them. ;)

as heard on Marketplace

Wednesday, December 03, 2003

Working in Virginia - Posting should resume next week

In the meantime, I highly recommend going to see Lost in Translation.