Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Stay on the Happy Side

I thought that it was about time to post something positive and apolitical and topical and funny and not about me trying to get into shape for spring or about basketball or work stress and then I realized...

That's about all I'm thinking about these days.

That, and my new highlights. They're honey blond and springy (not curly sprongy, but seasonal spring-y) and I think that I like them. I know that I'd better like them, since the first time I went to the hairdresser she was running an hour late and the highlights turned out way too subtle (like no one could see them without squinting in bright light), and I was tormented for days trying to decide whether to abandon the salon or ask to get them redone. I chose the later. Now, I can abandon salon at will.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Let's get political here for a moment

Oh, who am I kidding. I'm not going to take just a moment: it's an election year.

There are some classic quotes in this (admittedly partisan) article. Like this:

"If Condoleezza Rice can find time to do '60 Minutes' on television before the American people, she ought to find 60 minutes to speak to the commission under oath," Kerry said while campaigning Saturday.


Or, this:

The Bush-Cheney campaign issued a written statement calling Kerry's attack on Rice "part of the Democrats' strategy to politicize the work of the 9/11 commission."

You know, 'cause the Bush-Cheney campaign would never try to politicize the events of 9/11....

article found via Alacrity

Sunday, March 28, 2004

It's Tax Time!

Turbo Tax says: Great news, tax rates are down for 2003!

Tricia says: Great (?) news, deficits are up and chances of my generation getting Social Security are down!

Good thing those making > $ 300K / yr are getting this nice tax break. Not so for those under the poverty line.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

It's Mad I Tell You!

It's been a weekend of highs and lows watching basketball this weekend. Thankfully, we left the house for some spring skiing / boarding today, because I couldn't take another day like yesterday. At least Duke is still going strong... (sorry, Cardinal!)
Friday Sunday Five

If you...

1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?
I'd have a brew pub, like one of these. Brew pubs (good ones) are my favorite eating places. I'm a big fan of all of those pubs listed in the article (Jolly Roger current fav) except one that I'd never been to. We closed that gap, however, on Saturday, when ate a delicious breakfast, quaffed a few (pre-noon!) beers, and watched the Duke game at the Barking Dog on Saturday. It's a great place; I'll have to go back at dinner time.

2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell? Food or books, or both. A few friends and I used to talk about opening a small bar/restaurant with a shop that sold books and music, and we'd serve Pacific NW foods, beers, and wines, and have literature and music written and performed by NW artists.

3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be? I can't imagine writing a book, so I guess it would be some sort of non-fiction essay.

4. ...ran a school, what would you teach? I've toyed with the idea of teaching (who hasn't), and realistically if I taught, I'd like to teach high school math, since I'd be best qualified to teach math (I'm really good at it, as long as it's not about finance) and I'd like to get kids excited about math. I had so much fun in high school English lit classes, however, I'd enjoy being back on one of those classrooms.

5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it? Someone else's.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Trail Note

It's spring, and I'm trying to get this sad body into summer cycling and running shape.

Saturday: The last few weeks I've planned on starting to build up to longer runs on Saturdays, and each week I wimp out and do a short, 3 - 5 mile run. This week I ran the Queen Anne loop (my usual around the block run), but this time I ran it backwards (counter-clockwise) and added a few blocks to the route to make it about 4 miles. It's amazing how different a run can be when you just do it in the opposite direction. All the places that are normally easy (slightly downhill) are hard and vice versa. The views are dramatically different, too. Running along the west side of the hill, right as the sun was starting to set on a clear afternoon, the view of the Olympics was amazing. It was a good run, although not as long or hilly as I should have done.

Sunday: We biked from home to and around Mercer Island and back. It's a beautiful ride, along Lake Washington, past amazing houses, cherry trees all in bloom, making the scenery a study of green and pink and blue. We had to cross the I-90 bridge to get to and from the island, which I hate. There was a stiff breeze from the SE, making the ride across the narrow bike lane particularly nerve-racking for someone who hates hights, narrow bike lanes, and riding close to 60 mph traffic. We were pretty tired by the time we finished the Mercer Island loop, so instead of riding back along the Lake to the University of Washington and home, we took a shorter, less pasturally scenic route through downtown. As we rode through the International District, we passed shop signs in dozens of languages, and delicious smells of exotic cooking (we were pretty hungry by this point). We made it home, tired and creaky. Since we were riding for almost 3 hours with very brief stops, I think we must have riden around 35 miles. (We did the 33 mile Chilly Hilly 2 weeks ago in under 3 hours, with longer rests, and it had similar hill-factor).

Overall, I'm not in the shape that I was last summer, especially when it comes to biking. Not only do I get tired faster, I'm not as comfortable on the bike. I'm still remembering all of those little skills and nuances that one only gets when one spends a lot of time biking, especially in the city.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

$$ Burning a Hole in Your Pocket?

Want to relieve a nagging conscience?
Want to help find a Cure?
Looking for a way to get that charity deduction on your taxes?
Want to help stop the cycle of child abuse?

Well, have I got a deal for you.

That's right, it's sponsorship time. I'm running (or walking w/ my team, the Boobalas) the Race for the Cure this year, and you can sponsor me here for that.

I'm also beginning my training for the Courage Classic (link is going to stay over there to the left through August). It's a phenomenal 3 day ride through the Cascade Mountain passes, one each day. I did the ride last year, and it was challenging and beautiful, and a whole lot of fun.

Last year, since my company paid my entry and minimum donation requirement, I didn't raise any money. This year, I'm going to let my company pay the entry and minimum again, but I'm going to match it with donations. That means that I need to raise $400. And I'd like Jeff (who's just a smidgen more bashful than I about asking for $) to ride in it as well, and my company doesn't pay his way. So, I really need to raise closer to $800.

For those who are concerned with the amount of overhead in large charitable organizations and question how much of their donation actually goes to direct service, sponsoring the Courage Classic is the way to go. The money goes to Tacoma's Mary Bridge Children's Hospital to pay for the treatment of children who are victims of abuse (and don't have the means to pay themselves).

I'm going to figure out a way to set up the button on the sidebar so that you can click and sponsor me directly through paypal or something like that. In the meantime, I'll be training on the bike and hitting the trail.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

A Lesson In the Economics of Poverty

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

A Quiz Appropriate for this 100th anniversary of Dr. Seuss' Birthday

You're A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

Despite humble and perhaps literally small beginnings, you inspire faith in almost everyone you know. You are an agent of higher powers, and you manifest this fact in mysterious and loud ways. A sense of destiny pervades your every waking moment, and you prepare with great detail for destiny fulfilled. When you speak, IT SOUNDS LIKE THIS!

Take the Book Quiz at the Blue Pyramid.

What's funny is that this is the book that took me forever to read; I finally finished it about a month ago. (It's a great book, by the way).

Thanks for the great link, Brigita!

Monday, March 01, 2004

Welcome to Women's History Month!

A few facts shamelessly ripped from my company's intranet:

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, data from the 2000 census shows:

Women make up 50.9% of the US population
15% of married women earn at least $5,000/year more than their husbands
55% of mothers in the labor force have infant children
Every year since 1982, women have earned more Bachelor’s Degrees than men
61% of women of voting age cast ballots in the 2000 presidential election compared to 58% of men
The life expectancy for a woman born in 2001 is 79.8 years compared to 74.4 years for a man