Monday, May 21, 2007

Weekend Report

It's been a long time since I felt like I've had a "normal" weekend with no big schoolwork obligations. I sent my advisor what I hope is my final draft of my degree project a week ago Saturday, so it feels like a great weight has been lifted (although I haven't heard back from him yet, so there could still be some rework to do).

Friday night a dozen or so coworkers and I rode out to Redhook Brewery in Woodinville, on the northeast side of Lake Washington. It's about 20 miles each way. We rode out and had a drink, and then some of the riders headed back while the rest of us (including some coworkers who had driven over) stayed for a second round and dinner. It started raining some time during dinner inspiring most of the remaining riders to take the "Enpei Express" (the huge circa-80's van driven by one of our coworkers) home. Two of us biked it, though, and had a very wet (and very dark last half) ride back to Seattle.

Saturday, Jeff and I had a tasty brunch and then he went to work while I did a little homework, some errands, laundry, and slow weekend-style cooking. I made pulled pork with a eastern Carolina-style vinegar sauce and cole slaw. I also made these, which were easy and addictively delicious. I didn't make the filling in the recipe; we chose to fill them with vanilla ice cream instead.

Yesterday, I woke up early and headed down to Olympia (~70 miles south) to run a half marathon. A friend of mine was looking for motivation to get back into running shape, so I said that I'd run this race with her. I was a little worried about the run. I've only done one 10+ mile training run and my legs weren't exactly fresh after the ride Friday night. Usually my pre-race taper strategy involves doing nothing two days before the race and a light workout (3-4 slow miles) the day before a race, something I didn't follow this weekend. I didn't have any specific goals, just wanted to make sure that I had enough energy to last the entire 13.1 miles. The weather was drizzly and cool (mid-50's all day), which made for a shivery start, but perfect running conditions after the first mile. I tried to run slow and easy the first half, which turned out to be ~ 8:30 pace. I was then able to pick things up for the second half, running closer to 8:10 or so for a 1:48 finish (8:16 pace overall). Since this race was a marathon as well as a half, I was hoping to see the leaders run by at some point in the race. Since the marathon began 45 minutes before the half, I was pretty confident that I'd see someone near the end of my run. Sure enough, as I was passing the Capital building with about .2 miles to go I was passed by a motor cycle with flashing lights and the lead car quickly followed by a guy in a yellow shirt speeding down the road. He passed me just before some photographers snapped his picture, probably trying to get a shot of the winner passing the capitol. Unfortunately for them, I might have ruined the photo op as I tried to stay as close to him as I could for as long as possible out of excitement (oblivious to the possible picture spoilage).

The rest of the day was spent in rainy-day recovery mode. A little more homework and laundry and then I made Mario's gnocchi with tomato sauce and pesto. Jeff and I tried to get through a movie, but the early wake-up, long run, pasta, chianti, and more cookies and ice cream all contributed to an early bed time. Life after school is looking pretty good! Only a few weeks left...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sunglasses Required

Yesterday afternoon I took a brief stroll from my office to neighboring Gas Works Park. It reached the lower 80's yesterday, the warmest it's been this year and the warmest it will probably be for several weeks. The park's grassy knoll was covered with pale young Seattlites basking and blinking in the sunshine. Where, I wondered, did all of the people come from? Who spends their Tuesday afternoons lolling about in a park? Are these people normally in a coffee shop or surfing the internet at home this time of week? Or did they realize that it would return to cool and cloudy weather with a drizzly weekend forecasted and decide to take the afternoon off? Regardless, I've exceeded my white skin viewing quota for a while.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Never underestimate the power of good punchline

I'm sure that Dooce has written posts that have made me laugh harder or more closely connected to a neurosis I share, but I'm linking to this one for Jeff.

And I don't care how great the skiing is; I'm glad I don't live in Utah.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Jeff and I are now officially registered (and officially half-crazy).

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Rush Hour

There are days - many, many days - when commuting via bike is not something to look forward to. Dark, rain, cold: there are months at a strech when the commute is some or often all of those things. But coming in to work today, the skies are crystal clear and blue, the air is warm, with a briny cool edge from the lifting marine layer, the mountains are showing off their snowy and melting peaks, and there is nothing I'd rather be doing than biking through Seattle.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Waking from Hybernation

Spring here in Seattle starts very early (February), but it lasts through the end of June, so forgive me for awaking from a long winter's nap a little late. One might say that I woke up a couple of months ago, stretched, and then rolled over to catch just a few more zzz's.

You'd think that I'd feel a bit more refreshed.

I am feeling that way about blogging. I'm antsy about posting, and I've starting having those "this would make a great post" thoughts every now and then. The 24 hours of flickr group challenge for 5/5 helped with that. I signed up to take pictures throughout the day several weeks ago and was excited to have a good excuse to pick up my camera again after a several month photo hiatus. I didn't remember to follow through with the program, however, until about 1 pm yesterday. Scenes my camera missed: views from my run around the neighborhood, piles of brunchy goodness, test rides from bike-shopping, and the entertaining sights (and sounds) of local fire-fighters shopping for the station dinner. You can catch the photos I did take here.

Things that are holding back that refreshed-feeling: the DP/thesis that's still not done (working on citations: so close to completion, and yet STILL NOT DONE!), the job search (fun, but time consuming; rant related to nylons could be coming soon), and triathlon training (enjoying the workouts, but stressed about the time commitment).

I graduate in 4 weeks and 5 days, however, so there is a light at the end of this tunnel, one that is (hopefully) connected to some time off followed by a paycheck... Stay tuned; more posting to come!