Saturday, December 31, 2005

2006 Stretch Goal

...after reading the paper this morning, I came up with this one...

Stretch Goal: Do at least one humanitarian act
I am thinking more along the lines of some kind of volunteerism.

Such a shame that that's an afterthought instead of being at the top of my list.
Maybe next year, that will change.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Uh oh...

...I think I ate too much at dinner...

I feel like crap.

2006 Goals in a Nutshell...

...and in their entirety can be read here...

But to encapsulate for the record, here they are:

1) Read 12 books
2) Get a Library Card and use it at least once
3) Lose 5 more pounds and maintain
4) Run 1000 miles in 2006
5) Take a photography class
6) Take a yoga class
7) Focus on Strength and Flexibility - Stretching, Lifting, etc.
8) Eat a piece of fruit at least five days a week
9) Take pictures every week and post at least one every week to my blog
10) Maintain a good skincare regimen and follow weekly schedule
11) Try a new recipe once every two weeks and reuse a new recipe every other week in between
12) Take all medications and supplements on schedule with missing a single one

Unaccomplished goals from last year

1) visit 1 more baseball park

2) go to NYC at least two times

- go to the Cloisters
- go to a Broadway show

3) Compete in Sports, again.

  • run a marathon in 2 new states or more
- Florida (Disney Marathon - January)
- Ohio (Flying Pig Marathon - May)
- Utah (St. George Marathon - October)
  • run a half marathon in a new state
  • compete in a duathlon (bike and run)
  • ride in a half-century
  • ride in a century
  • run an ultra (Across the Years)

4) Play golf 6 times.

5) Go on a camping trip (Get a tent and MAKE THE TIME)

Phew! So glad this is done!!!

2006 Goals: 2005 goals that were un-accomplished

I just got back from Trader Joe's and I thought I would post once before I go out again.

The following are the goals from 2005 that were un-accomplished.
I did some tweaking to bring them into modern times...meaning more achievable.

So, here I re-present The Un-Accomplished Goals from Last Year:

Last year - visit 2 more baseball parks (we visited one)
This year - visit 1 new baseball park

Last year - go to NYC at least four times (we went twice)
This year - go to NYC at least two times
While there:

  • Go to the Cloisters
  • Go to a Broadway Show

Last year - Compete in Sports (I had a damn ankle injury)
This year - Complete in Sports, again. Unless I die trying... looks like a lot.

  • run a marathon in at least TWO new states, maybe more
    - Florida - Disney Marathon
    - Ohio - Flying Pig
  • Run a half marathon in at least TWO new states
  • Compete in a duathlon
  • Run an ultra - Across the Years
  • Ride in a half-century
  • Ride in a century

Last year - play golf 6 times (didn't play at all)
This year - play golf 6 times.

Last year - go on a camping trip (we were BUSY! )
This year - go on a camping trip (Get a damn tent and MAKE THE TIME)

I ran outside today...

...because the thought of getting on the t-mill made me want to poke my eyes out!...

And boy was it WINDY! ARG!!!
But that was okay. Really. Anything was better than running indoors without any air circulating. I had a slow start. Might have been due to the headwind. But doubtful.
My legs were sluggish and had slowly become unaccustomed to asphalt after a week of running on the bound tramp of a t-mill. So, I started out slow and of course, wouldn't you know, the stupid iPod ran out of JUICE! *&^$%$!!!! But I left the headphones on because they felt strangely comforting in my ears.

The first half of the first loop was headwind. The second half of the first loop was half tailwind, half swirling head-side-tailwind. ARG!!! I hung in there.

As I kept running, my legs started finding their rhythm and I started having to reel them in a little - I thought, must be the stupid tailwind pushing me along...

I got home in another record time for a 6-mile run.
My watch must be wrong.
My distance calculations must be off.
ARG! No WONDER the run was so damn hard!!!

I have noted, and Joseph has noted, that not running - even skipping ONE DAY - really sucks. My legs get too sluggish. I have a feeling that even if I get out there for only a mile or two, I am the type that needs to do that. I want that wonderful feeling of looking forward to my next run to come back and STAY with me. I wasn't feeling it on my run today but now, I am sorta looking forward to my 10-miler tomorrow. SORTA.

Time to go run errands....

2006 Goals: Numbers Eleven and Twelve

Goal Number Eleven: Try a new recipe once every two weeks and reuse a new recipe every other week in between
I stole this one from My Good Friend Cher. I love to cook and in the mad rush of life, sometimes I forget what I love to do. And often I tend to forget the ones that I liked and we never have it again. So sad. This will help me keep the favorites in rotation until I memorize them and help us try new foods!

Goal Number Twelve: Take all medications and supplements on schedule with missing a single one
This has been hard. I tend to slack off and it's bad for my cholesterol. I need to keep on the wagon with this one for my life's sake. Heart disease runs in the family and it's a silent killer for women - I believe it is number one, superceding breast cancer. Anyway... I do not intend to be a statistic.

2006 Goals: Numbers Eight, Nine,and Ten

Goal Number Eight: Eat at least one piece of fruit five days a week
Okay. I am going to go out on a limb here. First of all, this goal entails FOOD. Second of all, it means that I am going to plan what I am going to eat for the next year. The thought horrifies me, but I must do this.

Goal Number Nine: Take pictures every week and post at least one every week to my blog
This will keep me going all year in practicing my picture-taking skills and learning new things. Gotta make it a habit to take my camera everywhere. Just the other day, I was walking with Joseph and The Dingle Doggie and I saw a perfect picture opportunity and I did NOT have my camera with me! ARG!!!! I was so bummed out.

Goal Number Ten: Maintain a good skincare regimen and follow weekly schedule
Okay. This is one for vanity. This means giving myself facials and getting facials, and using the right products and really taking time to make myself feel good and look as good as I can. I haven't been doing this and I am noticing my skin is dull and lifeless lately, and it's got me all freaked out. I. Am. Asian. Skin is very important to Asian women! Foundation is the number 1 seller in Asia. Flawless complexions. Illuminating glows. All that kindastuff. Get my meaning??? Good.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

To go out or not to go out...

...what to do what to do what to do...

It's raining out.
It's windy.
At least it's not that cold.
Feels like 41 with the windchill which is okay, I suppose.

I need to do a bunchaerrands (it never ends) and walk all over the place - back and forth, to and fro - and the rain just makes it unpalatable.

I did have a little pad thai to bolster myself, however.

Sigh...
here goes nothing...

2006 Goals: Numbers Five, Six, and Seven

Goal Number Five: Take a photography class
I would like to take a class on technical information and another class on technique. But I will try and get in one class of either-or. Doesn't make any difference to me which one because at this point in my hobby, I am still just a novice and any information will do.

I want to learn how to take pictures as well as this guy!

Goal Number Six: Take a yoga class
And I don't mean any ole yoga class at the gym. I mean a serious yoga class at a yoga center, like at Back Bay Yoga and try out Ashtanga Yoga.

Goal Number Seven: Focus on Strength and Flexibility
This has been the year for ankle injuries. I am a believer in the "use it or lose it" principle. I have always suspected that as a result of forward-movement-only exercise (running), my lateral muscles have been weakening. And since my ankle 5 ankle injuiries this year, my tiny little quick-firing proprioceptive muscles, required for balance and quick reactions, are not working as well. I am not even going to mention how my lack of core strength is affecting my back and shoulders.

This year, I concentrated on gaining health, recovery, and establishing some endurance in running.

Next year, I will concentrate on building strength, not just in my legs but total body, as well as working on balance and flexibility - whether that means standing on my wobble board daily or turning onto Yoga on a regular basis.

Our friend Josh (aka Flash) swears by it. A muscular (weight-lifting), fast (2:30-2:45 marathoner), flexible (a yoga regular) should know.

Not sure how I will be implementing this program. Still working on that.

2006 Goals: Numbers Three and Four

Goal Number Three: Lose 5 more pounds and maintain
I did good with this one last year. If I can lose 5 pounds next year, I will be 2 pounds shy of my end goal.

Goal Number Four: Run 1000 miles in 2006
This might not seem too hard but for me I've never been able to do this because of one injury or another. Joseph pointed out last night, as we were walking the Dingle Doggie, that none of my injuries have been running-related (except for a short bout with a stress fracture a few years ago that sidelined me for 8 weeks, and a case of PF when I first started running many years ago, and a case of shin splits which I had to run slowly through for about three weeks). He pointed out that most of my injuries had to do with my inability to focus on what I was doing -like walking foward and looking up or to the side instead of looking in the direction that I am moving. Ahem. So, my goal is to run all year without mishap and make it to the 1000 mile mark in 2006. Perhaps my goal should be to watch where I am walking but that is harder than making it 1000 mile mark. I must be realistic, after all.

Another all-time low...

...just two days before the new year...

Weighed in this morning.
I am down another 1.4 pounds since yesterday.
I am at an all time low since I started this process of controlling calories.
In fact, I think I haven't weighed this since we bought the house a year and a half ago.
Wow.

Not sure what I am doing right at this point except monitoring what I eat on Fitday. I certainly don't deprive myself of anything. Of course, I am running and walking, too. The interesting thing is that when I log my weight into Fitday, the software takes that weight and adjusts my BMR, which then determines how many calories I can eat for the day. I always try to take in 200 calories less for the day; sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't.

I noted last night, as I sat down and ate those Neiman Marcus Cheddar Biscuits, I hate eating new foods because that means I have to take the time to log the nutrition info into Fitday. This task does some curbing of eating activity but not a lot since I don't do a lot of what they call "mindless eating." And again, the hardest point of the day is to determine if I have the time to eat lunch and mentally calculate that into my routine for the day. That and deciding what to eat. In fact, my breakfasts are usually determined by how much I would like to eat at Lunch - if I am looking forward to a special take out meal, I eat a little less in the morning with a mid-morning snackie. If I decide that eating lunch that day is a PIA, then I usually have a Big Breakfast and no mid-morning snackie. It's all subconcious - not realizing that I am really doing it until I sit down and look back at my habits.

My hope next year is to lose more weight. I would like to get back to my pre-wedding weight and that means another 7 pounds to go. I think I can do get rid of 5 pounds next year with all the extra exercising and running I plan to do. I think that is my optimal "racing" weight where I have a balance of speed and strength. Anything less and I won't be able to generate the energy to get faster and stronger with my running. I would like to run Across the Years in 2006, especially since my plan to run Comrades in June is out. Anyway...

Recently, I did make a note that I need to eat more fruit. More food. Great. How the heck am I gonna fit that into my schedule?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

What not to eat before a run: #2

…Portobello sandwich with a half sour pickle spear…

Can I just tell you???
It ranks right up there with rice and cabbage kimchee for breakfast right before a long run.
Yup, did that too a few years back.

So, I got on the treadmill tonight.
Going along good.
My belly starts pooching out.
And it doesn't stop.
Then at mile three, my stomach feels like it's going to pop off my body like a plantar's wart.

GAS!!!!!

I basically ran/walked the last mile.
Totally sucked.

4 miles tonight in the slowest time ever!!!

I am getting worried.
My runs haven't been so good lately, at least not since I sprained my left ankle.
And today, Sarah the MT said it's still inflamed and swollen! ARG!!!
When will it end!!?!?!?! WAHHHHH!!!

Okay. Enough of that.

So dinner tonight was marinated pork tenderloin - baked.
Wine - delicious meritage (combo merlot and cabernet) which was a bit young but the finish foretold how wonderful it would be with age (hopefully) so we ordered a half case of it.

Garlicky spinach - always beats the hell out of me that 16 ounces of raw baby spinach turns into barely a cup cooked.
Baked potato - we split a big one and I slathered mine with a tablespoon of butter (the real stuff, thankyouverymuch) and a couple tablespoons of sour cream (the fully fatted kind) - life is too damn short to go without, ya know??

Then we walked the dingle doggie who is now up to 80% love.

I also had a snack of some of those Nieman Marcus cheddar biscuits I bought on my shopping spree yesterday and a couple of Almond Caramel Clusters that Joseph brought home from the office (three is a serving but they were so sweet that I could only eat 2 - and they were not that good but I had carried them all the way across the damn room and I wasn't about to get back up and walk back across to put the second one away. So yes, I indulged without enjoyment. So shoot me.)

Tomorrow is a rest day.
And I am getting tired…

11 more days until Disney.

Happiness is...

…a hot, freshly made, portobello mushroom sandwich from the Appleton Bakery

Complete with carmelized onions, lettuce, tomato, cheese, roasted red peppers on whole wheat bread.
Acompanied by Madhouse Munchies Sea Salted & Vinegar kettled cooked potatoe chips.
And a half sour giant pickle spear.

After getting a massage.

After successfully arguing why you don't owe than 80$ balance on parking at their garage for the month of December and having them cancel the account without charge.

And with the temperature warming up (before the big chill tomorrow).

It's been a good day so far...

On a more uplifting note...

...I have lost another pound, give or take...

And that's another 1.6 since yesterday!

Weight fluctuations are so bizarre.
But I believe this is actually .2 pounds lower than my lowest since embarking on the quest for "finding myself under the lard" began in earnest since September 1. Yes!

It helps that I find eating to be a Pain. (Notice the capital "P".)
And that I forget to snack - not that I ever did but I think I should snack more and then I forget.

Today I have 4 miles.
I was going to do it outside this morning but my massage got rescheduled from 3 to 11 and so, I will run this afternoon - slow and easy on the t-mill upstairs.

I also have to do my workout goals for next year.
I must strengthen my ankles and lateral muscles - if I do nothing else, I must do that.

I've near of this before...

…but Joseph says that any goals you don't accomplish this year must go onto the goals list for next year…

And I do not think that they can be a part of the new goals.
I think they have a section all their own called "Unaccomplished goals from last year".
What happens if you don't get it done the second year?
Put it in the section called "Unaccomplished goals from the year before last year"?

Shoot.
If so, then I am screwed.
I'll see how it looks on the list before I make it official.
Here goes nothing.

"Unaccomplished goals from last year"

  • Last year - visit 2 more baseball parks (we only made it to one, so…)
    This year - visit 1 more baseball park

  • Last year - go to NYC at least four times (we only went twice, so…)
    This year - go to NYC at least two times

  • Last year - Compete in Sports (I had a damn ankle injury, so…)
    This year - Complete in Sports, again.

  • run a marathon in a new state (dependent on my recovery and injury prevention)
    run a half marathon in a new state
    compete in a duathlon (bike and run)
    ride in a half-century
    ride in a century (dependent on riding in a half century)
    run an ultra (dependent on my recovery and injury prevention)

  • Last year - play golf 6 times (didn't play once, so…)
    This year - play golf 6 times. Blast.
  • Last year - go on a camping trip (we were BUSY! So…)
    This year - go on a camping trip (maybe we should go see what REI has on sale after all)

That's a total of FIVE GOALS! ARG!!!!!
On top of the twelve I've got going…
I am so screwed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

2006 Goals: Numbers One & Two

I am going to start posting my goals for 2006.
Seeing as how there's only 4 more days in 2005, there is no time like the present to start!

Goal Number One: Read twelve books

I already have a pile to choose from. I've been saving up. No sense in over doing it in 2005 when the goal was only 6 books, and I got to number 11. Might as well save it for 2006. And that is just what I did.

Goal Number Two: Get a library card and use it at least once

Is that one goal or two?? I am sad to admit that I have stepped into the Boston Public Library only twice in the 22 years I've lived in the Boston area. And now that I only live 3 [big] city blocks away, you would think I'd get there more. I hope to get a card and use it at least once!

Working on Numbers Three through Twelve. I have think about this. Yes. Might take a while...

Post-Christmas sale booty...

...is best had a couple days after when everyone is working...

No crowds.
No tugging.
No jostling.
No sweat.
No stress.

Makes me almost like shopping.
And most of all, it actually makes me think I might like people.
I did duck into the bathroom a couple of times to wash my hands clean of disease-inducing germs.

So, I ended up getting some eye serum from C.O. Bigelow. Okay, it's not on sale. Whatever. I still needed it.

And some nice sedate non-denomiational holiday cards from Crane.

And some drunken cakes and cheese biscuits from Neiman Marcus. Yum yum yum.

That's about it for the booty.
It's about all I could take for mingling with the masses.

2005 goals redux...

...since it's the end of the year...

Almost.

Don't think much is going to change between now and oh.... Saturday.

So here goes nothing...

1) Gain all-around fitness (prevent further injuries): Okay. Can we talk?? Basically, I ended up spraining my right ankle 3 times in 6 weeks - all starting in January. Then I sprained it again a couple of months ago, culminating in the LEFT ankle sprain only 5 days ago. We we talk about this??? I will say that if I did balance, core and strength training, this could have all been avoided. Lesson understood, but did I actually learn anything?? Time will tell...specifically, 2006.

2) Read 6 books: I did great on this one. I read 11 books! I rediscovered my love of reading! Of course, it did nothing to help my distaste for fiction writing, but I did read a couple that I liked. It took a long time to decide because I didn't want to start one and not finish it.

3) Lose 5 pounds and maintain: Other than the daily fluctuations and the 2-4 pound edema weight gain after long runs, I can honestly say that I have lost 5 pounds and maintained. In fact, I have lost 7 whole pounds! Yeah! I need to lose about 9. Sigh...

4) Put together wedding album
- frame and put up pictures
- pictures for the family

Uh... right. I forgot about this one. I was BUSY!

5) Visit my brother and sister : we did this at Thanksgiving and it was wonderful. We plan on visiting them at least once a year.

6) Visit 2 more baseball parks : We wonly made it to one - Shea Stadium: July 15th, Mets vs Atlanta Braves - 4-6. It's better than none.

7) Go to NYC at least 4 times : I went twice. One of them was for work but I got to meet up with Debbie for a coffee so it counts.

8) Compete in sports : What the hell was I thinking??? I didn't do anything because of my damn ANKLE INJURIES!!! ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, on my list which I didn't not do any of...

run a marathon in a new state (dependent on my recovery and injury prevention)
run a half marathon in a new state
compete in a duathlon (bike and run)
ride in a half-century
ride in a century (dependent on riding in a half century)
run an ultra (dependent on my recovery and injury prevention)

9) Play golf 6 times : Uh... yah. Nope.

10) Go on a camping trip : Did I mention we were BUSY BUSY BUSY??? Well, we were.

11) TBD : Did this one!

12) TBD : Did this one, too!! LOL!

Stretch Goals:
1) Go to Scotland and take a distillery tour, and take my sister with me - okay, we did this other than the "take my sister" part. Sheesh. She was BUSY! And she is on some weird stupid schedule for three years where she can't do ANYTHING!!! BAH!!! Even if it is FREE!!!!

I cannot explain my sister.

And we can forget the other two stretch goals. Did. Not. Happen.

Now it's time to assess for 2006 and set up some more goals.
Hopefully, they will be easier to accomplish.

Can there be anything more perfect...

…for a gift other than a weather station...

Yes. I got a weather station. It tells me everything about the indoor and outdoor and all the stuff about the moon and the last 30 hours of pressure and the last two hours of H-something-or-other... and I look at it before I go to bed and I look at it before I get out of bed in the mornings - even before I turn on the news to catch the morning's weather forecast!!!

I tried looking up that H-something-or-other and well... it's all a bit complicated. So I decided that this is a situation when I don't really need to know the why's and how's and any more detail than what I get on the screen of my wonderful weather station. So I am now free to just enjoy in my ignorant bliss.

BTW, the sun rose at 7:12 am today.

Happy happy happy!!

I also got another Louis Vuitton handbag to replace the one I have just like it (for about 10 years) because there are little tiny rips where the zipper attaches to the fabric.

And 70-300mm Nikkor Lens for my camera. ACK!
Of course, thereafter ensued the great adventure to the camera store to get a camera bag, UV filter and other accoutrements. I ended up with a cute back pack style bag that has red accents. Very happy about that. And I did get a couple of 1 gb compact flash cards - turns out the putting the quality setting on the best not only produces the best grade of pictures all of the time, but instead of holding 1K or 345 pictures on the 512gb memory card, it only holds 145 pictures. Grrr.... so I invested in more memory. I am hooked on highest quality!

Oh and Joseph put in the new Bose Acoustimass Surround Sound system... after going to three different stores to get more parts - yikes! talk about spending money!!! BUT, we can now watch CSI and Law and Order in STEREO SURROUND HIGH DEF DOLBY FANCY DANCY KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF SOUND!!!

So glad Christmas is only once a year. Don't think I could take this kindaexcitement much more than that!

Another merry Christmas has come and gone...

...and it was quieter than ever before...

And that was just wonderful!


We opened a bunchapresents on Christmas Eve and then finished up on Christmas morning.
We went to dinner at Joseph's sister's house on Christmas Eve and then came home. That night. Not to be a grinch and all, but the whole mayhem of Christmas with the crowds and gatherings that continue for what seems like days just get more and more daunting for me as the holidays go on. And on and on. And it all culminates with going to the Berkshires to Joseph parents' house and there are PEOPLE there and lots of them and other people are coming and going, hither and thither, and to and fro, and in and out, and here and yon - GAH!!!! And they are all talking and yadda yadda yadda and blah blah blah - all in my ear and all at the same time and I think I will explode!!! It's very hard for me, no matter how much I love his family - I have such a small family and growing up, this just didn't happen so it's still hard to get used to.

They say that introverts are autistics that haven't crossed The Line. That we can't take too much stimulation and that what gets through our "sensitivy shield" must be closely monitored. So the holiday season is a nightmare for us. GAH!!!! No matter how much we love our family and friends, at the end of the day, it's all a bunchajabbering noise coming at us from all directions and I become less and less human - until it's over and I can regenerate back into the human race.

Sigh...

This year was soooo excellent! Quiet. One dinner with Joseph's sister. A couple of phone calls. Quiet. Did I mention it was QUIET??? Happiness!!!

And for Christmas dinner... PIZZA!!! And wine. Lots of it.
Last night, we had Yaki Mandu - Joseph's favorite.
Tonight I am doing picture stuff - like I have been for the past week - and Joseph will go to track.

Dinner will be leftover Perogies from Christmas Eve dinner at Joseph's sisters house.

Happiness. Did I mention that?? Yes. HAPPINESS!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

It's a veritable heat wave...

…at 44 degrees outside…

And it's also a great day to run outdoors.
So, I will be running indoors on our upstairs tenants treadmill instead.
No potholes to fall into, no cars to hit up, no possibility of ankle-turning events.
Unless I fall off the treadmill, which has happened twice in my life.
Anyhow, I am charging up the iPod to make the journey to nowhere a little more enjoyable.

Joseph is off running with our friend Josh.
They are running to Fresh Pond, will run the 5 mile race there, and then run back.
They are crazy.

Tomorrow is Christmas and we are still 3 presents short.
Not a problem since we aren't seeing them for a little while.
Of course, I still have to mail the other presents to my family.
Yes, I KNOW TOMORROW IS CHRISTMAS!
WHATEVER!

Read prior note about the lack of holiday spirit.
Sheesh.

Yesterday, we went out and got more presents.
I was so hungry that at 5pm we stopped off at Bukowski's for a few beers and a burger. I had the Mac and Cheese, but Joseph's burger was much better. And they have good fries.

We came home and Joseph basically fell asleep in his chair while I started wrapping present. It was a very comfy cozy night. Family time. Wonderful.

Oh, and I am up to about 50% love for the Dingle Doggie today.
Things are looking up for the Dingle!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Where is it????

ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just posted a blog entry and it is nowhere to be found.
But Zee has commented to it but I can't see it!
ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!

Goals for the new year...

…are starting pop into my head fast and furious…

Of course, some of them are harder than I would like them to be, no thanks for my Good Friend Cher…

I am thinking of running down St. George in Utah in addition to getting jiggy with the piggy. That would give me two new states instead of one next year. It would help to get me to 50 States plus DC faster. At the rate that I am going, I will be 136 years old. Not sure I can hang on that long, ya know??

If I only do 1 a year, then I will be 91 years old.
If I do two a year, I will be 69… not much better.
I might have to do 3 a year, I will be 61.
I might have to do 4 a year - two as goal races and two as training runs - which will make me 58. ARG!!!!

Maybe I should do 5 a year…

I think I will sign up for St. George and see if I get in.
Now I need to find 3 more marathons for 2006...

Random Thought: Where is it?

That good ole magic Christmas feeling?

I am devoid of holiday cheer this year.
What gives?

Holiday cheer...

…on the day before the day before Christmas Eve…

Someone who works for me brought me a present yesterday.
I think I fired her the day before for being 10 minutes late to a meeting.
Of course, I IM'd fired her. LOL!
So she gets on the call (we do everything by phone), I said, didn't I fire you?
She laughed and said yup.

So yesterday, I said, didn't I fire you?
She said, yup, about 5 or 6 times now.

LOL!
I told her, you're fired again for bringing me a present…sheesh…
Anyway, she was heading down to NJ for the holidays and stopped in to bring me something. That was very nice of her.

Last night, Adam came over for dinner. He works for me and he shares a love of scotch and wine. So we have Korean BBQ, which he loved. He is a good guy and we like him a lot.

Late to bed, late to rise this morning.
My ankle is feeling better but it was really swollen last night from all the standing in the kitchen, etc.
I iced it this morning and later on I will go upstairs and give the treadmill a whirl.
We will see how it goes.

I will be working a half day today. From home. The commute is much easier that way! LOL!

17 days to Disney.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Ankle note...

...walked 1.15 miles on the treadmill upstairs in 30 minutes...

Sucks that I couldn't run.
Doesn't suck that I was able to gradually increase pace.
Sucks that there was a steady throbbing tenderness.
Doesn't suck that there was no jabbing pain.
Sucks that it's swollen like a medium egg.
Doesn't suck that it's not black and blue and the size of a grapefruit.

This morning, I am back to loving the Dingle Doggie 10%.
I am still 90% pissed off.
But I did give her a 10% love-treat.
Hmph.

Tomorrow, not sure I can run 10 miles.
*sob!*

I will now negotiate with walk to the train to go to work.
I am not packing lunch so that I am FORCED to go for a walk in the middle of the day.
Exercise is crucial at this stage, alternating with icing.

17 days to Disney...

How can you negotiate...

...when you have no legal standing...

On the news this morning, the union leader from the NYC Transit strike said he would be willing to talk if "they" take pensions off the table.

I find that ironic, comical and pathetic.

First of all, they have no legal standing. They are guilty even before they start. The law states that they cannot strike. They went on strike. They should be in jail. How much bargaining power can one have when you are blatantly breaking the law and thousands, no, millions of people are affected.

Second, the "they" that the union leader spoke about do not want to touch the pensions of existing workers. They are covered under existing agreements. "They" are talking about new workers.

Third, do people even get it about pensions at all? As the baby boomers retire, there may NOT BE ANY PENSIONS to begin with. So you want empty promises? Okay... you're gonna get a pension...sure....yeah....heh heh heh... Not what I would personally want. I'd want to know so I can try and DO something about it instead of walking along dumbly in a state of denial.

Fourth, there is a pension insurance fund. This insurance funding is seriously in trouble and there is no way it can handle all the default on pensions that may happen in the future as a result of number 3 above.

So, before anyone goes and gets mad and pissed off about what I am saying, I am NOT defending, accusing or stating that this is bad or good or whatever. It just IS what it IS. I am merely stating FACTS as I understand them. If someone else has a different understanding that is NOT based on pure opinion then I would like to have that information so I can learn something.

How do we (or "they") fix it?
I have no idea.
So there ya go.
I have nothing to offer.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

And to think...

...that I've been walking around on eggshells trying not to twist my right ankle again...


What's next?
The DAMN FLU?

I not leaving the house for the next three weeks.
Just so we are clear.

NO FAMILY CHRISTMAS.
Just so there is NO CONFUSION!

And that is my final final answer!

And just for the record...

...my memory is looooong...

I may forgive. Eventually.
But I never forget.

Dumb Dingle Doggie HEAD!

Right right right...right...LEFT...

…ankle turn…

ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so BUMMED OUT!!
It's not the right one, it's the LEFT one.
Now I have a damn SET of bum ankles!!!

So, tonight, of all nights when it is FREEZING out, I decide to be a good damn doobee and take out the dumb DINGLE DOGGIE for a damn walk…

From the start she was awful.
Pulling, pushing, here and there and everywhere and not listening to me!
I had to stop her about three times because she is very strong and almost pulled me into the damn street.

Then finally, amidst the pulling and running, trying to keep her at bay, I step into a damn sidewalk that is NOT THERE and DOWN I GO!!!

Left ankle turned, hurt like a damn muthahfuddah and my right knees SLAMS into the sidewalk and I drop the leash and the DOG DOESN"T EVEN GIVE A DAMN SHIT and slowly goes about her damn business sniffing and walking TOWARD THE DAMN STREET!

Joseph has always told me that she would take care of me if something happened to me. I never really believed it. Never. I thought, maybe she would but she is a DOG and DOGS aren't that bright unless it's their one and only master and that is Joseph. And tonight, I was proven right. She did not give a damn that I was writhing in pain! SOME KINDA UN-INTUITIVE STUPID DOG!!

I couldn't even get up I was in such pain and so I called her.
Not once, not twice, I called her THREE TIMES and I had to almost SHOUT and then she MOSIES BACK TO ME as if NOTHING HAPPENED!
ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BAD BAD DOGGIE!!!

So, I sit for a while and I finally manage to get up and hobble home.

I have a cut on my right knee - right through the thick fleece!
And my left ankle is swelling.
I am Resting, Elevating, Compressing, and Icing.

Just for the record, I have DISNEY IN THREE DAMN WEEKS!
And tomorrow I have four miles in the morning,
And 10 miles on Friday
And 15 miles on Saturday.

Yes, I could have watched my step but I wouldn't have gone down if the DAMN DOG was NOT PULLING THIS WAY AND THAT LIKE DAMN LUNATIC! SHE WAS WILD-EYED!! Like a FAT MAN who just saw FREE ICE CREAM and get to it fast enough!!!

Can you tell that I am pissed off?

I can tell you one thing.

I am NEVER EVER WALKING THE DAMN DINGLE DOGGIE HEAD EVER AGAIN!
NEVER.

And that is my final answer.

Oh, and if I can’t run Disney
Or if the DOG conspired with the DEVILS to make me run a lousy race?
I am gonna boil her up and feed to Harriet when she comes to visit.
I hear the Chinese think DOG SOUP is a DELICACY!

GAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so pissed.

What to do...

…what to do what to do…

Joseph is entertaining the idea of running Flying Pig with me and Cher.
Together.
As in WITH US.

BAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Suddenly, getting' jiggy with the piggy doesn’t sound like such a good idea…

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

You are sleepy....

....you are sleepy....

I am so tired right now.
I could fall asleep right in this chair. Right now. While blogging and eating.
Joseph is on his way home.
Thank goodness for Joseph. If not for him, I'd eat like crap and at any ole time and in any ole place - not like a real person but more like a child. Eating can be such a pain. I made some kimchee stew with tofu so I am having that until Joseph gets home. Then I will have a chicken cutlet. Where are the green veggies??? ARG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am so tired.

Tomorrow I am taking the day off. Two hour massage in the morning, and a hair appointment in the evening. I was going to do some shopping but a couple of people have scheduled meetings with me. So at the very least I'd like to get stuff wrapped for mailing. Yes. I said mailing. I am always late with gifts.

Work was a rush today. Met with a Big Vendor. One of the account reps are going to a different role so I met the replacement today. I shook his hand and it was CLAMMY! GAH!!! I hate clammy hands. Not to mention shaking them. AND not to ALSO mention I hate shaking hands with men. Men don't wash their hands. 'Nuff said. I rushed to the bathroom afterwards and had to sing "twinkle twinkle little star" TWICE to time my hand washing to make sure that I got all the germs off.

Lots of issues to resolve, a huge reorg in a division which will impact me in more ways than I care to think about and I don't understand why I always manage to step to help address problems.

On a good note, the hiring is pushing forward. Two people who were going to be located in Texas is now going to be in NH. Three other people are being hired full time - two of the positions are already pretty much filled - need to do a search for the third, which was filled but isn't any more because we took so long to open up the positions and they had a change of heart! ARG!!! His loss! And ours too. Damn.

Did I mention that tomorrow is a rest day?
Thank goodness. I could use it.
I am so damn tired!

Random Thought: Gettin' jiggy...

…with the piggy

I am thinking about it.

Registration is open. What to do what to do what to do.

ARG!!!

I bared my belly this morning...

…as I ran on the treadmill…

Of course it was in the privacy of our upstairs tenants apartment, with no one around, not even a mouse. It got so hot in the first mile that I remembered I could run without my singlet! As I ran, it suddenly occurred to me that I could probably run naked and no one would be the wiser! Of course, that would have been more painful than running with flapping belly - all that other flapping body parts and all… Anyway, it did make the running a tad bit cooler. And the fact that the temperature was set to 64 in the apartment because our tenant is traveling to India (don't ask) did not hurt either.

8 miles in the treadmill. Felt good. I tried to keep it slow - probably 15-20 seconds slower than usual. Slow does not feel good. Running slow is, in fact, hard. How do I know this? Because the last .4 miles, I did crank it up and my legs felt much better!

I did feel a little bit of pain in the right TFL. So I went back downstairs and I ended up doing front and side lunges.

I have a feeling that after Disney, I will need to start working on Strength. These past few months have all been about endurance - enduring the long runs, enduring through the fatigue, hanging on through the pain - and I think I have the enduring thing down pat, somewhat. To improve, I will need more leg strength - to go faster and farther. I will be hitting the gym soon.

Tomorrow is a rest day. Thank goodness!

I think for dinner tonight, we might have breaded chicken cutlets.
We'll see.

Monday, December 19, 2005

I sooooo need to run tomorrow...

...after dinner tonight...

Fried catfish.
Steamed broccoli with cheese sauce (a drizzle - not a lot).
Red Rice (rice with onions, tomatoes, chicken broth, garlic, butter and olive oil).
Glass of wine.
1/2 baklava.
1 glass of Springbank 21.

Thank goodness I have 8 miles in the morning.

Time to sleep!

Another sluggish run this morning...

…on the treadmill at the gym…

I am also up about 4 pounds since my long run on Saturday.

I am starting to figure this out.
If I don't eat enough calories to counteract the deficit from running,
And if I don't drink enough water to hydrate- like 1 ounce per pound of body weight,
Then my body totally rebels, freaks out, and retains retains retains! Ugh.

That means today, I need to drink a TON of water.

Ran 4 miles this morning at the gym.
My breathing was hard to get right.
My HR was okay.
And when my breathing finally settled down,
My LEGS were rebelling at the turnover rate.

But I insisted and everyone reluctantly went along.
Sheesh.

Tomorrow is 8 miles.

Tonight, I am thinking fried catfish and greens of some kind.
We will see.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Running through the galaxy...

...with the twinkling stars around me...

That's what it felt like tonight.
After a day full of activities and errands, I went out for my 3 mile easy recovery run.
I was looking forward to it and even though it would be the latest I've ever gone out for a run, the thought of not running never even entered my mind.

Did a 3.1 mile loop with the usual half mile warm up and then a left turn down the Comm Ave Mall...and there it was, hundreds of trees decorated with stars lining the route before me. I felt I was running through space, in my own personal universe. And I thought to myself that I had to get out there sometime this week with my tripod and take a picture. It was just beautiful!

My legs were tired but they warmed up pretty quickly. My breating was off and my left heel was bothering me just slightly, but I knew I was tired from yesterday.

Tomorrow I have 4 miles easy.
This week, I will be running indoors - three weeks to Disney and the possible heat is really starting to worry me.

Dinner tonight was as simple pepperoni and mushroom pizza. Accompanied by Seghesio Vera Gold. This is a wine that is only sold to the families and workers at Seghesio but we convinced them to sell a case of it to us since it we were visiting on a Friday (long story).

Don't know what to do about dinner tomorrow night.
Maybe fried catfish? Maybe.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Last long run before Disney...

...and it was a tough one...

It was actually the second to last long run but tonight, Joseph changed it to the last one. Next weekend, I am to run no longer than 15 miles. In fact, he changed the whole week all around. So, next Friday, I am now doing a 10-miler instead of a 2-miler. Grrrr....

My running has been really good since coming back. I used to hate going out the door. Once I got out there, I was usually ok - actually, more up and down - glad I got out there, feeling good until the aching starts - usually around mile 3 - wondering what the hell I am doing - blah blah blah...

I think a part of the change has been the iPod. Listening to music prevents me from listening to my mind's inane chatter - usually negative about my aches and pains. Listening to music doesn't keep me from thinking - it just keeps me focused on other things besides my aches and pains. I think that I once heard or read somewhere that music is used as a pain management or therapy tool.

Today, I was scheduled for 20 miles. I ran the same 3.15 mile loop from last weekend and made a couple of water stops conveniently placed at 12 minutes and 26 minutes into the loop - no idea what the mile marker is. I ran it 6 times. In the middle of the 5th loop - oh, around mile 16 or 16 1/2, I thought, "uh oh... I am feeling the pain..." but I kept going. I finished the 6th loop and then ran the .9 mile loop around the Public Gardens in definance of tired and achy legs, and for good measure.

Today's run came to around 21 miles, give or take and all in record pace. I didn't believe it when Joseph told me, and so I decreased the miles and added more minutes, etc., until he said, "ok, you can lie to yourself. I'm okay with that." Hmmm... So, I put it back to 21 miles and I added 3 minutes just in case my watch was off and it was still record pace for me. I gave up. Whatever.

Right now, my knees and everything below it hurts. That means that the shoes are wearing out. It just hit 211 miles. I am rough on my shoes. This pair now goes to the rotation for runs less than 5 miles, the DS Trainers will be used for runs 5 to 14 miles, and I will crack open a new pair of Mizuno Mavericks on Monday. I'll wear them starting next Thursday to break them in for Disney. By the time Disney rolls around they should have about 50 miles on them - just right!

Tonight, we had Korean Beef Dumpling soup. I am still down 1300 calories - NOT GOOD, PEOPLE!!! But I can't eat any more - I am too damn full! GAH!!! Still drinking water, though - now on my third liter. I. Must. Hydrate.

Tomorrow is 3 miles easy. I was going to do 6 but Joseph nixed that real quick. Not sure when I will get the 3 miles in. I was worried about the week's total mileage. I was complaining to Joseph that I only had 38.3 miles this week. He told me to check the rolling 7 day total - from last Sunday. Oh... well... let me see... Hmmm... oh... 55.30 miles. FIFTY FIVE POINT THREE OH? Oh. Jeez. Well, at least I know that I can run a 55 mile week and not die in the process. Details. Whatever...

Friday, December 16, 2005

On the A Train...

...to Attleboro....

Actually, it's the P Train to Providence but I am getting off in Attleboro, two stops before and J (who works for me) is going to pick me up on the way to the office and drop me off later today.

Joseph has the car today and I am trying out commuting like the suburbanites do. So far so good. I can blog freely and read email and be warm and have no stress. Especially on a day like today with FREEZING RAIN! BAH!!!! Walking the .2 miles to the train station was TREACHEROUS!!! Had to walk on the damn street!

Got home late from the concert last night. Needless to say, I skipped my run this morning. At least it was for a better reason than slippery sidewalks!

The concert was awesome and Joseph was in his element. He sang to every song and knew what songs would be played! Amazing. We went with N, who looked me at one point and said, "he's not a fan, is he?". LOL!

Dinner beforehand at The Purple Shamrock. I had a Guiness, a burger with mushrooms, cheddar, onion, lettuce, tomato, bacon and some spicy bbq "chips". They were french fries shaped like Ruffles with Rrridges, only a lot thicker.

Not sure what do with the run today. Tomorrow I have 20 miles. I might do today's run on Sunday. Not sure. I'm sure I'll figure it out.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The violin player in the Dave Matthews Band...

...went to the same art school that Lizzy the Niece is going to now...

She says he "doesn't have much talent".
"Because if he did, he'd be playing in a real orchestra".

She's 16.
By the time she's 20, she's going to be insufferable.
She is soooo funny!

In the old days...

...they used to flick their lighters....

These days, they light up their cell phones.
Times have changed.

Dave Matthews is starting to play.
Gotta go!

2 miles easy...

…this morning in 11* temps…

I wore this face thing that is made of neoprene and velcro's closed at the back of my neck.

I think it's too small.
Why?
Because of the downward skin-pulling when I put it on.
Not to mention the possible neck chafing it might incur because it's so tight that it pulls my face into my neck and the bottom of the mask hits against the front of my neck - all due to the aforementioned downward skin-pulling action.

But on the other hand I look like Mikie on Halloween only with a black mask.

I made it about .6 of a mile before I tore it off my face.
It has a nose hole that hoods over my nose.
But the mouth has little round dotted cutouts and since I breathe through my mouth, not my nose, half the vapor from my breath was escaping through the little dot-holes, while the other half dispersed to my cheek. Which meant that my cheeks got wet. And I felt it when I ripped that thing off my face.

After the initial skin-freeze, my face warmed up.
2 miles in about 9:18 pace.
It was okay.

Tomorrow I have 6 miles. Might only do 4.
I have a time crunch thing going on in the morning.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

What a great run...

...I had this morning...

8 miles this morning. But the temps were around 9*. So, I went to the gym. Hit treadmill and I felt great! So great. It was an incredible run. I got into a zone and I was bookin'. I did 8.1 miles in a faster pace than I've ever done 8 miles on a treadmill. It felt so good that I wanted to do 10 but wisdom prevailed; I am too close to Disney to take a chance on injury or peaking too early.

Speaking of which, I never understood what that meant - "peaking too early." But the latest runs have been so good that I am beginning to understand. I feel like I am holding the edge, and if I go over, I will leave my marathon on the course of a training run even before the taper starts.

Then off to the massage therapist. This is another new one I wanted to try. Her name is Sarah and she was excellent. I would put her into the top two. She wants me to try another person who does zero balancing once I get back from Disney. But she felt that I should come back and see Katrina next week for the myofascial work. Then the first week of taper, I will go see Rick for the once over general well-being massage to tie everything together and then I will be good to go until Disney.

I am looking forward to this run.
I am actually looking forward to my 20 miler this weekend. Go figure.

Dinner Note:
Baby back ribs grilled by my Hunny Bunny
Spinach salad with craisins, pine nuts, tomatoes, unfiltered olive oil, balsamic vinegar
Tator Tots, the perfect food
Dutch Henry Syrah
Cammomile tea and a Godiva Strawberry dipped in Milk Chocolate for dessert

Tomorrow, it's back to work. Ugh. I have two miles in the morning and then I am off to NH.
Tomorrow night, we have the Dave Matthews Concert - hope I make it home in time!

Jeepers!

Look what happens when I am out with Lizzy the Niece all day.
So many comments and so little time!
And yes, this is LONG LONG LONG...

Actually, it's interesting how polarizing the topic of whether you should say "Christmas" or use some other generic holiday term is. It's also interesting that in all the comments that I got, there was only one about how wonderful the evening was. It seemed that in spite of how 100% wonderful the evening was, the thing that overshadowed the whole evening was my somewhat facetious and off the cuff remark about being able to say "Christmas" without looking over one's shoulder or feeling impolitic or afraid of offending someone. It's very interesting.

A little background for a little perspective.
I am Korean. Duh...
I was not raised in a Christian house.
And I would have to agree with Cher who pointed this out. I am Christian in that I believe in The Christ. I am sort of on the "fringe of Christian" because I do not believe that Jesus is the only way to Salvation.

Having said that, I didn't know what "church" was until I was in the 10th grade, and a friend of mine took me to her Episcopal Church so I could get a good look inside. I thought the building was beautiful and wanted a peek. The whole idea of G-d and what other people believed about G-d also made me curious since we didn't discuss G-d at home. Afterwards I went to church with her almost every weekend. After months of this, my father finally asked where I went every Sunday morning and when I simply said, "church," this very non-religious man just nodded and didn't say a word.

My second full exposure to religion was "religion as a way of life." One of my best friends in college was a Jew. We were so close that I even joined her as a "Little Sister" at a predominantly Jewish fraternity. I have enjoyed Jewish weddings, and shared the Passover Meal and celebrated The Seder, even taking my turn reading from the Haggadah - English translated version, while everyone else read from it in Hebrew. I identified so much from the richness of that heritage that even today I spend "G-d" as "G-d" because who am I use his name with more familiarity than that?

I was raised by my father who embraced no religion outwardly. He was a product of a country awash in thousands of years of Confucianism and Buddhism. His parents were Confucian and when he was a young boy, the missionaries arrived from America. They converted his village and his parents, and tried to make him go to a Christian Church. I once asked him why we didn't go to church, he told me that story and finished by saying that he "hated sitting there on his knees for hours, praying to a god that he couldn't 'feel' just because someone told [him] that [he] should". I think I was 10 years old. We never discussed it again.

My father was a very spiritual man, but I don't think that he realized that. In fact, I myself didn't realize it until I came home one winter break and we had a chance to sit on the couch, in front of a roaring fire in our over-the-top gigantical fireplace in the family room, sipping a fine malt whiskey (yes, I was an underage drinker and he condoned it and neither one of us cared), he sat playing Korean solitaire, and I sat jabbering on and on in my usual way. We took that opportunity to really really talk and listen and exchange ideas and philosophies. In fact, I don't think I had ever heard him talk so much before. It turned out that he and I, although we never knew, thought much alike. I mean, he did raise me, right? Go figure. The biggest surprise for me was that he would be so surprised. The conversation focused on Soul, or Chi, and our souls, that we both thought also has a soul, and what G-d is and who He is and Everyman's search for G-d, and Truth and Hope and Love and what all of that means for all of us in this universe - and the next five universes that are out there - although a seventh one was found recently (this is a longer story).

And when he looked up, finally, and asked me how I knew all this... I just looked back and said... don't know... feels right... and when I think of it my whole core just vibrates with "something." And then when I told him that when I was two years old, I wanted to be a monk and to that day, I still held the belief that that was one of my rightful paths, he looked surprised, then thoughtful but didn't say a word.

I approach religion in an academic way. I know that religion is shaped by social, economic and political events during which that religion was born and continues throughout history. But the basic belief has a core that contains "G-d". I know what I believe and what is religion to me. My religion is shaped by what my personal studies have brought me to, regardless of how amateurish those efforts might be and even though I know that there are large gaps. And if I were to explain the whole spectrum of what I believe, some people will implode, others will think my soul needed saving, and more than a few might actually think I was crazy. But I suspect that a few people out there might agree with some of what I had to say - and I also think they would be from a full spectrum of different belief systems. I know it sounds like a paradox - academia and religion? But as my brother says, who is one of the smartest scientific people I know, "with all that I have done and with all that I have seen, how can I NOT believe that there is G-d?"

I believe that there is one G-d. And He doesn't care how we get to him. Whether it's through Islam, Hindu, Buddhism, Confucius, The Pope, Jesus, okay... going out on a limb here ... even though Joseph Smith. But regardless of how He would like us to find Him, I am interested in all the religions.

I have celebrated the richness of Hindu and with half my staff being Hindu, I have a whole wealth of information right outside my door!

I was always drawn to Buddhism and when I went to Korean a few years ago, I visited 100 temples. Okay. Slight exaggeration. But I visited a LOT and learned first hand what my heart longed for.

And sometimes, I go to Church at lunch - I am baptised and confirmed Episcopal - that "that heathen church" as a couple of my born again Christian friends call it. And as I sit there, in a pew - half way up, on the aisle in case of fire - I watch people come and go, some in prayer, some to warmup or cool down depending on the season and think about the lives that G-d looks after. Then I look up at the alter and I see G-d. I smile at Him, and He smiles back at me, and I know that regardless of everything that is cold and sad and unseemly outside, there is Rightness, Goodness, and Hope, and that all is well with the world.

So, I guess this is a long way to saying, there is nothing wrong with Christmas. I want to wish people Merry Christmas. I want the freedom to wish people Happy Ramadan, or Happy Kwanzaa, or Happy Diwali, or Happy Hannakuh. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. I believe that all people should learn about various religions and beliefs. It is a way to gain knowledge. And Knowledge gains Wisdom, and with Wisdom, all prejudice disappears. Yes, I am an optimist.

Oh, and I believe it's a Christmas Tree, not a Holiday Tree. Just like the Dreidl is associated with Hannakuh, the Christmas Tree is associated with Christmas. And it's not a religious symbol, it's secular - well... if you are Mormon, you would consider it to be "pagan."

Regardless, I think that someone mentioned the "in your face nature" of Christmas. I blame that on commercialism. When I was younger, I remember going into tastefully decorated stores, and decorations didn't go up until December. Now they are going up before Thanksgiving and I am just waiting for the day when they go up the week after Independence Day. It's getting to be ridiculous. So I can see where the irritation might stem from. And someone was right. I only hear about these issues on the news. So, let's see. They are spread by the media because it seems negativity is news. So glad I got out of journalism when I did - even though my journalism degree is from one of the best journalism schools in the country. Sigh...

I guess what I am really trying to say is that instead of trying to "vanilla-ize", genericize, ignore in the name of atheism, what is a very important holiday in one of the major religions around the world, we should understand and celebrate the richness. We should help each other celebrate the richness of all the religions that we all believe in. And if it's the "in your face" commercialism (which I am also sick and tired of), that is at the root of all evils, then let's just eradicate that - no idea how so don't ask. And let's embrace knowledge, and gain wisdom so that we can all be "free" before G-d.

So, I say to all the people out there whether they agree or disagree with me - Peace. Peace to you and the world in this season of Holy Days - whether it is is Christian or Jewish or Hindu or any other religion I don't know about yet. May you gain knowledge and discover wisdom in the process. But most of all, may you find Peace.

I sang with the Boston Pops last night...

…when we went to the Holiday Pops to treat Lizzy the Niece while she is here…

I haven't been to the Pops in a while…as in years…at least 8 or 9.
The last time I went, it was during a taping evening…microphones hanging from all over the rafters, applause stopping and then restarting - only louder as directed by the conductor. It was fun and interesting.

Last night was a non-taping night and it was still wonderful.
There was a incredible reading of "Twas the Night Before Christmas" complete with Santa Claus and his bad jokes. The whole night was fabulous. And at the end, we had the Christmas Sing-along. And everybody sang. Not like at church when people are only moving their lips in hopes that their neighbor will sing for them - which is why there are so many lips moving but not much music in church, other than the organ… at least in the churches I've been to. Anyway…Lizzy and Joseph also lifted up their voices! And at one point, we also sang with the Tanglewood Chorus.

It was so refreshing to hear the word "Christmas" and "Merry Christmas" and have Santa Claus show up without a buncha left wing liberals, who don't have enough things to do to fill their unhappy lives, protest and picket because we used the word Christmas. I mean, Merry Holiday? How silly would that be?? People need to get a damn grip.

Anyway, the whole night was wonderful and I think we need to make Pops attendance a tradition!

I made dinner before we left. Got home early - dashed out of work to get home in time.
We had Risotto with Chili Lemon Shrimp. Accompanied by a fat juicy California Chardonnay from Cuvaison in Napa Valley. Yum!

I am not off to the gym. Taking the day off. Yahoo!!!

And I have two presents for Joseph already in the works. One more I have to go uptown for. And another one that I am thinking about. Not I might save that one for V-Day. Not sure. It depends.


Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I am looking forward...

...to spending time in NH with Amanda and Gina...

I cannot wait.
I've been thinking about it for over a week now.
I remember how wonderful it was last year spending New Years with them.
I can still feel how relaxed I was!

I think this feeling is directly correlated to the level of stress I've been under at work in recent months.

I just want to get away.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Learning about Life...

…is an interesting process…
Especially when you watch someone else go through it and you see it unfolding before your eyes.

Lizzy the Niece came to visit today - she is taking a lesson at the NE Conservatory tomorrow so it's a short visit. Turns out that her luggage didn't make it.

A couple of interesting things.
She was apparently late to the airport.
And she blamed her friend who apparently was on her own time and wasn't in a rush.
And she also had on cute little fashionable flat shoes because a friend of hers had driven her car all the way to another city (about 2 hours away) with her boots in the back of the car. And Boston has a lot of snow and ice right now. NOT the kind of place to wear only cute little fashionable flat shoes.

I pointed out to her that at any single moment of the day, we all have choices.
She said, what could she do?
I said, she could have taken a cab.
And so the conversation went. It was a short conversation - of course.

The point wasn't to make her feel badly; it was to show her that no one is "trapped" in a single course - that any moment in time, through calm rational thinking, there are other options - each with it's own results and consequences but other options abound. I think in the end she thought about it.

And the bag? It is small enough for a carry on but she didn't want to be encumbered - not convenient for her
And that was a lesson, too.
Every ease and convenience comes with a price - and some prices are harsher than others.

The bag will be here tonight to tomorrow.
Knowing Joseph, he will get it for her. And that is what Uncles are for. To make sad little nieces happy and bright again...

Dinner tonight was a visit to Pho Republique where we pigged out on Fusion Vietnamese "dim sum."

It was a tough recovery

…after a long run this morning…

4 miles turned into 4.15 - I liked the loop from the long run so much, I had to do it again.
I used my Yaktrax because I was afraid of the ice from overnight freezing.
They are slippery on brick but grip well on ice, snow, asphalt, and cement.
I am not sure I really needed them but they gave me confidence that I wouldn't slip.

It was very cold. Like Winter. Except that winter doesn't get here for another 9 days.

My legs were fine - but my heart rate was up - which shows that I haven't fully recovered from Sunday's run yet. And my time showed - much slower than a 4 miler should have been and much slower than most of my recent runs. But I still felt good.

Funny how I am really loving running outside in the cold this year.
Sure beats having a heart attack by heat stroke on the treadmill.

My friend MJ...

…has started another blog

The last one took approximately one week before it went stale.
Then another month or two before the lights went out completely.


She did come back one once after a long hiatus to remind us that she hadn't blogged in a while.

We will see how long this one takes…LOL!

Sunday, December 11, 2005

I am so tired...

...and strangely unmotivated...

Is it time for bed yet?

Dinner report...

Made pizza again tonight.

The only time that I can really have all the pizza that I want is after a long run.
It's so calorically dense.
Tonight pizza had:
  • 2 Trader Joe's Jalapeno Chicken Sausages
  • 5 large mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of jalapeno peppers - from a jar
  • Mexican four cheese pizza mix
  • mozzerella cheese
  • 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
Accompanied by wine - Owen Roe
  • 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Seven Hills Vineyard, Sant Isidore Vineyard
  • Walla Walla
  • 82% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 12% merlot
  • 6% Cabernet Franc
  • From Newburg, Oregon
It was very good and awesome with the Piave Vecchio Cheese - one of my most favorites!

Dessert was a Salty Oatmeal cookie from The South End Formaggio. WOW! And one was gigantical! GAK!

Oh. On another note. I am drinking lots of water. The key to not gaining too much weight after a long run is to drink a TON of water. (Not to mention that you should drink a ton of water anyway - water is required in the fat burning process.) And to make sure you take in almost all the calories you expended for the day, minus maybe 300 calories or less. Otherwise you body totally freaks. Today I expended over 3000 calories. Pizza makes it easy to cover that many calories without the pain and hassle of eating all day long.

Tomorrow's dinner might be baby back ribs. Gotta check with Lizzy the Niece. She has some weird food ideas... like nothing fried. Can't imagine. Whatever.

Six by Three point One Five...

...repeats...

Today was long run day.
Actually, yesterday was long run day but the day after a thundersnowstorm isn't a good day to go running on the roads with all the knucklehead drivers that suddenly forget to drive at the first snowfall. You have to give them a day to just get over it. Anyway...

I was scheduled for 18 miles.
And I really really needed a good 18 miles.
The last three or four runs have been really sucky and I really needed a long run that made me feel like I knew why I was running... because at this point, I wasn't too sure.

The worst part of going out for a run is planning the route. The second worst part is actually getting out the door...
I wanted to go out to the Charles but Joseph didn't think it was wise.
So after great lamentations and much gnashing of teeth (and more than a few reviews of satellite images - all of which were more than a couple of years old - and a couple of passes of my handy dandy DeLorme Map USA software), I settled on a 3.05 mile loop. It would be a half mile there from the house, and a half mile back. I was going to do 5 loops and then a 2 mile loop for a total of around 18.5 miles, give or take.

Well...today's run was on the other side of good.
In fact, the first 18 miles were almost great!
And the whole run was really really good!

Then there is the whole revelation thing.
  • I am back using GU2O. Nothing like it. I love it. It's like unsweetened kool-aid. I hate sweet liquids! GAK!
  • One word: Espresso. As in GU. Espresso GU. I am in love. This is awesome! It tasted GREAT! I alternated it with orange GU since it has twice the caffeine. After I took the espresso GU, my energy was up and my legs didn't ache as badly. I don't care if it's psychological. I need all the psychological I can get!
I love the loop! It was flat and fast - the snow made it a little tough but most of the people in the condos lining the route had come out with their shovels to clean up after the Parks Department came through with their little sidewalk plows, and lots of crunchy parts to run on as well as asphalt. I am going to incorporate it into my regular list of running routes. Multiple loops allowed me to see different people in the same area. I saw a man walking a yellow lab (there were lots of dogs out today), and the yellow lab was looking through a high gate at one of the condos on Comm Ave. So I stopped and asked the owner if he was looking at anything interesting. The owner said that "Bob the Doorman is the [dog's] best friend, and Bob is off duty today, so he is just sort of waiting..." so cute! Then there was the snow person sitting on the bench on the Comm Ave mall, with a snow dog on the ground with the front paws and head in the snow person's lap. It was really wild. Every time I passed it, I wished I had had my camera. There was so much to see today!

So, I got home and then I remapped the route using my handy dandy DeLorme software and it the loop was 3.15 miles, not 3.05. ARG!!!! That meant my 18.5 mile run became 20 miles. At. Least. What with all the snow and such, and going from side to side, etc., I am sure it was more than that. But the loop itself was very consistent. Very important since I want to run even splits at Disney and I proved to myself today that I can do this for the first 20 miles, anyway.

Today had me loving running again. I still don't know why I run, but it made me look forward to my run tomorrow morning. Next weekend, I have my last long run before taper...20 miles. I might due 22 - 7x3.15 with .5 warm up and .5 cool down. And I feel good knowing that I can change my mind anytime inbetween.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Dinner report...

It's been a while since we've actually cooked something new or tried something different.
I've been so wrapped up in work, and end of year activities, working late, and try to maintain maintain maintain so tonight I decided to do something different.

The menu:
  • Filet Mignon (from Trader Joe's. Not as good as the ones from Costco, which are cheaper and more tender. I need to compare the Costco ones to Omaha steaks for price but I think that Costco is cheaper.)
  • Baked Roma Tomatoes (12 Plum tomatoes with a breadcrumb and herb topping. Tomatoes are cooked on the stove with a variety of spices, and then put into a casserole layered with breadcumb mixture - which includes olive oil and such. They recommended making your own crumbs from 5 whole wheat bread slices but I used 4C, which was fine. I did use fresh herbs. There is nothing like fresh herbs.)
  • Horseradish Hash Browns (Used the handy dandy cast iron pan. I LOVE my cast iron pan. The potatoes were from fresh baked, with horseradish, onions, fresh thyme. And it got a crusty brown coating from the cast iron. It was delicious.)
  • Wine was Charles Creek La Sonrisa Napa Valley 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon (from our platinum wine club - wonderful wonderful wonderful. We have to get a case of this wine. Joseph thinks it is a wine you can hold for a while and it will grow nice and fat and juicy in the process. Of course, we both thought it was excellent NOW.)
Tomorrow we are trying to decide on another pizza or baby back ribs.

Oh. And today, I hit a new all time low in weight. Yeah... As long as the all-time-low is getting lower, that's what counts.

Seafood Buffet at the Algonquin Club...

...and pictures from afterwards can be found here...

It was a riotous good time.
Lots of food.
Except for Brian who doesn't eat Seafood.
Who ever heard of such a thing?
He was a good sport and loaded up on carved roasted beast instead.

Our little plot of heaven...


...in the city in the snow...

Some pictures from the aftermath of the thundersnowstorm yesterday.

Our back yard from the porch. We have lots of neighbors.

The Dingle Doggie in the Back Yard.

Friday, December 09, 2005

New shoes...

…arrived today…

They are Nike Zoom Elites.
They are light.
REAL light.
And they feel like they would be fast.

…as long as the person who is wearing them is fleet of foot.
And that would not be me.

Roadrunnersports have a new way of profiling shoes.
They have a bar graph that shows cushioning, stability, and durability.

The Zoom Elites have the same profile as the Mizunos and Asics that I wear.
And so far the Mizunos and Asics have done well by me.
So I thought I would give the Nikes a try.

Even though the prior pair of Nikes only lasted about 180 miles.
But that was a different model and everyone deserves a second change, right?
Especially when time softens the memory of how pissed off you were that your new shoes started feeling "squishy" after about 150 miles.

No problem that they are two generations back.
Nike changes their models every… what… 6 months?
These are like new.
And they feel and look like I might look spiffy enough to run a little faster when I put them on.
The key words being "might" and "look".

So, these are Cheap and Old. Meaning, they are the cheapest pair I could find in the clearance section just in case I hated them and they turned soft and squishy after only 150 miles and they made me look foolish instead of spiffy since I am not really fast enough to carry off "the fast and spiffy look."

Did I mention it's, like… SNOWING??
6 months of winter have thusly begun...

A picture says a thousand words...

…can this guy put together a story…

Thanks to my friend Cher for pointing this out.

On another note, Joseph tells me he is planning on walking home from work.

In blizzardy, side-ways-falling, thundersnowstorming, nor-easterly conditions. Granted, he works only two miles away, but still... Along with the thunder , there was lightning. HELLOOO!!!

He is so. damn. odd.

Sheesh.

It's snowing...

…like a banshee right now…

In fact, it's blowing SIDEWAYS.

The weather report said that it would be heavy between 10 and 3.
And it would turn to a mix of rain and mostly rain by 3:30.
And then it would turn into the heavy stuff again late tonight.

So far, they are wrong. Again.

It was rainy mixed around noon.
And now it's snow is blowing sideways.
Tonight stuff is coming down now.
So much for going to the gym and running this afternoon.
There is NO WAY I am walking out into the Nor'easter blizzardy conditions,

No. Way.

And it just thundered. It's a damn thundersnowstorm! ACK!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Insanity...

...is when you have a 25 mph speed limit...

And you're going through the middle of a little town...
And you have a passing zone....

Can you say "speedtrap?"

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's that happy time of year...

...when we get our bonuses...

Every December.
Like clockwork.
They never guarantee it,
but they have never missed a year either.

I got the highest rating.
And a buncha money...
...most of which will go to taxes and the rest of which I won't have in a couple of month...

Sigh...
it's all too fleeting...

It's that time of the year...

…for new goals…
I've been collecting them for about a month and I've got a whole pile of new ones for the new year.

I love new goals!!!

The brighter the better...

…is a good motto…

Stay on the white stuff,
Avoid the clear stuff.
Aim for the bright gray,
Steer clear of the dark gray…

All of that was going through my head in my slowest 6 miler in a long time.
We got snow…
And there were icy patches.
It was nice running outside this morning after the fiasco of the treadmill on Sunday.
I dressed VERY WARMLY to get used to the heat - for Disney. Did I mention that already?
The icy patches made me slow down a bit and the Charles River bikeway was pretty clear in most places.
And where it wasn't, I ran on the crunchy snow of the dirt path that runs alongside the bikeway - the snow had been packed down from other runners so it was very easy.

I am, for the first time, looking forward to running in the snow this year.

Imagine.
Will wonders never cease?

And btw, my achy brachy body is feeling much better today

Tomorrow I have a myofascial massage.
The pain will be unbearable…

Got something done...

…this weekend…

I mailed the last of the Christmas cards this morning.
Yahoo.

If you don't get one, too bad.
Maybe you will make the list for next year.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Achy Brachy all over...

…from my long run on Sunday…

*sniff*
*sob*
WAHHHHHH

Okay. I ran 18 miles on the treadmill yesterday.
Yes.
18.
Miles.
Whatever.
It was because it was snowing out - lightly but I was still worried about my ankle I twisted a month ago and didn't want to risk it.

I was also worried about the heat at Disney and didn't want to acclimatize to 20* weather too soon!

I was going along just find until about mile 10 or 11.
I had my two bottles - one water, one accelerade (which by the way will have to go…), my GU's, my SUCCEED capsules, my iPod…

I was on a roll, had a rhythm going nice and easy until…

WHAM, BANG, CLACK
My iPod falls off and flings itself off the back of the treadmill.
And that was all she wrote!

After that, I spent the next few miles trying to get my rhythm back.
Then I spent the last three or four miles just trying to do something with the PAIN!
And I failed spectacularly.
In fact, the last three miles were so slow that you would have thought that I had just started running this year.

So, now, my whole body is a testament to the different-ness of running on the treadmill.
And it's not like it's a leg tiredness.

Nope. When you press on various parts of my body, there is no "surface" pain.
In fact, it's much deeper - way down in the recesses of my musculoskeletal system, there emanates a pain from the deepest core. It's my legs, my glutes, my lower back, my ABS (which I KNOW are weak), my upper back, my rib cage - it ALL HURTS!

Forget about the heat at Disney.
I will just add three layers of clothes when I run and run outdoors.

Either that, or I will end up poking my eyes out!