Sunday, October 30, 2005

So, it was a great party, excepting the crappy bits....

All was going great on Saturday. I had created a massive excel spreadsheet outlining the party menu and tasks and to-do's for all in the house, and we were running on schedule. We actually had time to take pictures, have a beer, and watch a little of the Standford game (the good part) before our first guests arrived. Considering the fact that the last time we entertained guests one of us was in the shower when they arrived, we were doing great. We planned well and had the right amount of snacks and sips and our guests seemed to be having a good time. Our basement tenant, however, was not having a good time, as lots of guests and lots of beer seemed to push a lurking plumbing issue over the edge and her bathroom flooded with sewage about halfway through the evening.

So, today the plumber came and snaked out the line, we rented a steam cleaner, Jeff cleaned the soiled carpet and bathroom, and all is (hopefully) back to normal. We are so lucky that our tenant was home to notice the damage before the entire basement flooded, and that she's such a trooper. She handled the issue without blinking an eye - a situation that would have most people headed for the hills.

As you can tell by the photo, Jeff and I dressed as a corpse bride and groom. We used the party and the costumes to share the news of our engagement. (Yeah, we haven't been very forthcoming about the news; more to follow). Apparently we weren't the only ones to use costumes to tell personal stories: one of our guests came dressed as an oven, and when asked about the costume, she opened the oven door to display a bun in the oven. She's due in March. (Guess this is a sign of our growing up; we had two pregnant guests and two sets of parents of newborns in attendance).

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Manny's at the Pahr-tay, Manny's at the Pahr-tay....

We're hosting our annual (mostly annual; we punted last year due to major household projects and vacation) Falloween Party this Saturday night, and it looks like we're finally going to have enough people over to give me an excuse to buy a keg. Not just any keg, mind you, but a keg of my favorite beer that can only be found locally on tap: Manny's Pale Ale. I just hope that the Washington Cask Beer Festival doesn't interfere with their keg sales this Saturday!!

We're also having other stuff at the party (mulled cider, spooky snacks, creepy costumes, deathly decorations), so it should be fun for all, even those who aren't on the Manny's love train.

BTW, if you're in the Seattle area this weekend, are reading this blog, and didn't get the evite, let me know!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

And once there was a time when I blogged several times a day!

I was tagged by Riona on the following meme:

1. Go into your archives.2. Find your 23rd post.3. Find the fifth sentence (or the closest one to it)4. Post the text of your sentence in your blog along with these rules.5. Tag five other people.

So, in June of 2002, I wrote about tattoos:
In fact, I find it extremely interesting to see the different designs that people care to permanently paint on their bodies.

I'm not sure if everyone's already done this yet, but if you haven't and you'd like you, let me know. Tag, you're it!

Monday, October 24, 2005

I'll take the chicken and dumplings, hold the headache, please

Where do these weekends go? Every weekend, I plan to get tons of reading done to stay up with my classes and catch up a bit with my hours at work. By Sunday evening, I find that I've read about a quarter of what I'd intended to read and still didn't catch that movie I wanted to see or go hiking or on a bike ride, or do any of those other things I pretend that I would have done if it weren't for my school work. A few things that did get done:

- Smokers (smoked onion rings), smoked oysters, and pints at the Jolly Roger: my favorite pub
- Prep for the Falloween Party we're hosting this Satuday night: we found most of our costume parts and assembled our pumpkin porch display
- Laundry. Always lots of laundry
- 7.5 mile run; it felt really good to have tired legs on Saturday. It's been an entire 2 weeks since I've felt that way. ;)
- Meatballs: Brent (Jeff's brother) made the most amazing spaghetti with meatballs on Saturday night. I didn't know that meatballs could be that good. (Speaking of knowing what's in your food, we only buy ground beef from our local butcher who grinds it in-house).
- Crash. I cried.
- More food: I made chicken fricasse for Sunday night and squash soup for tomorrow night's dinner. The chicken recipe calls for canned cream of celery soup, which happens to have MSG in it. I found a low-sodium can that appeared to not contain the taste (and headache) enhancing ingredient, so used that. I'm amazed how many common foods still contain this stuff. Don't check your snack food ingredients if you really don't want to know.

Update: Okay, I may not have been entirely truthful earlier. I may have actually included one can of the soup w/ MSG in the recipe (it's only one can of soup; can't be that bad, can it?), and then I ate a large portion of leftovers two hours ago, and now my head is throbbing. From this day forward, I can no longer ignore it; I must become a compulsive label reader.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

As the Autumn Leaves Crunch Underfoot

Sometimes I like to sing the wicked witch theme from the Wizard of Oz to myself as I bike off in street clothes to go to work or class.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Trail Note: On the Road Again

Last time I ran a marathon (October 2002), I took the entire month afterwards off. I swam a few times a week, probably did a little cycling or hiking on the weekends, but really wasn't up (physically or mentally) for much else. I just read an article this weekend in Runner's World about life post-marathon and how important it is to have a plan for that, else run the risk of post-marathon depression.

This time around things are different. I got on my bike and rode to and from work on Tuesday, and ran for the first time on Thursday (4 days after the marathon). I felt great. I ran again Saturday and Sunday, both times wanting to get on the road. I'm crediting it to the Advanced Marathoning training plan: despite running more miles faster than ever before, I never had aches or pains. And while I did feel a little mentally burned out a few months ago, by the time I was into my pre-race taper, I was itching to get more miles in. I feel really fit right now, and don't want to lose that. So, training's back on. I'm not going back to 50+ mile weeks, and plan on adding swimming and cross-training into the mix, but I'll run 3 - 4 times a week. Next race: Vancouver First Half Half Marathon.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Another great reason to love Seattle weather...

watching movies... can't wait to catch this

(How cool that CC included his wife's music in the soundtrack!)

Check out "Claire's Diary" on the home page. Beautiful stuff.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Trail Note: The Portland Marathon

The short version: 3:37:39! Boston, here I come!!

Longer version to come tomorrow.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Carbo Loading Never Tasted So Sweet

Thank you, mystery co-worker, for bringing these cookies into my life and my belly today (one ginger and one double chocolate stout).

48 hours from now I hope to have successfully completed the Portland Marathon. My stomach ties itself into knots just thinking about it. The last few weeks have been pretty anti-climatic training-wise as my miles have tapered off and my attention has shifted to school.

What worries me:
- I've been feeling a little creaky when running the last week or so. My left Achillies tendon has been really tight, to the point where I can't walk down stairs first thing in the morning without hobbling.
- I never did lose the 10-15 pounds that I wanted to lose.
- I didn't do all of the speedwork that I was supposed to do.

What gives me confidence:
- I did almost all of the recommended mileage, up to 55 miles a week on my longest weeks, of my plan. This is much more than I've ever run before, and I did it all fairly comfortably.
- I ran 12 miles on Sunday just the slightest bit slower than race pace without even pushing myself; that's just what felt comfortable.

So, I have one more jog around the block tomorrow morning, and then it's off to Portland. My sister and her boyfriend are coming with us, so I'll have my own little cheering section. Runners will also have their names on their bibs, so I might have some stranger support as well. Supporters rock. It should be a blast!

Good luck to everyone else running races this weekend!
Maybe it's because I'm a student again...

...But I've joined Friendster. If you're on and want to be Friendster-friends, let me know. :)