Saturday, February 28, 2009

Not So Perfect Ten

Photo today: Photobucket It seems wrong to get up at 5:30 AM on a Saturday morning. Just wrong. But that's what we had to do in order to eat some breakfast and drive down to La Jolla Shores by 6:30 AM to run our 10 mile run with WCRR. Photo above taken by me, coming down the hill with a view of the other side of La Jolla Cove. On the left is Cathy, my running mate. My group started running about 15 minutes before Todd's group, because we're slower. Todd also carried a small camera with him on the run, and apparently we have the same eye for photography because he took a photo at almost the exact same spot: Photobucket The sun rising in the east from the La Jolla Shores parking lot: Photobucket Arriving at the edge of the Cove, I captured this beautiful scene of the morning light: Photobucket Running along the coast at Ellen Browning Scripps Park: Photobucket View of the hotels on the south side of the park: Photobucket Coming upon the La Jolla Children's Pool. I don't know why they call it that when it's a seal refuge. Photobucket Photobucket Running further south, this is Windansea Beach: Photobucket View of La Jolla Shores on the way back: Photobucket The beach, just steps from finishing: Photobucket I felt like I didn't have enough energy for this run. I probably only felt good in the middle 4-5 miles. The rest of the time I was struggling. Plus somehow I made a wrong turn somewhere, because when I got back to the starting point I only ran 9.74 miles. Todd did really well, so I will put his Garmin stats up this time. :) Photobucket After the run, we went to get some "breakfast". We were going to go to this breakfast place, but in the same plaza was Porkyland, one of our favorite Mexican places that we hadn't been in a couple of years. Plus, who can't use a little porky-ness after running 10 miles? Photobucket They were open when we arrived at 9:40 AM, and Todd was really into it since he doesn't like eggs or breakfast food. Photobucket Todd's carnitas tacos plate: Photobucket Todd digging in: Photobucket I got an egg & machaca (shredded beef) burrito. I would have liked it more if they didn't put refried beans in there too. I didn't know until I bit into it. So that was our busy morning of running and pigging out. Tonight Todd is playing a show with Kim Divine at Lestat's West. We'll be going out to dinner with Anne & Gilbert and then heading to the show. Photos and story will be in tomorrow's post.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Domesticity at Its Finest

Well, maybe not. But I did cook today. Photobucket Todd had band practice with Kim Divine and Matt Thompson tonight, so I cooked pesto pasta with chicken and roasted tomatoes. The pesto consisted of chopping fresh basil, pine nuts, and garlic in the food processor, along with some olive oil. Then I mixed the pesto with the penne pasta and chicken, adding the roasted tomatoes last on top. Added parmesan cheese and salt & pepper to taste. We're carbo-loading for our run tomorrow morning! The final product: Photobucket After dinner Todd & I headed over to World Market, because Todd found out that our favorite scone mix is on sale there. Their Mexican hot chocolate is our favorite as well. Photobucket Going to World Market is such a treat. I love looking at all the coffees and teas, chocolates, candies, gourmet sodas, etc. All not so good for me, but I love it. :p Photobucket I got caught up on my weekly Project 365 pages. Week 7: Photobucket Full credits here. Week 8: Photobucket Full credits here. I have to go to bed early tonight. We have to leave the house tomorrow morning before 6:00 AM for our 10 mile run!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

How We Connect

Photo today: Photobucket I got something new for breakfast this morning at my work cafeteria. I'd never seen anything like this before. It's like, a bunch of favorite breakfast things baked into a muffin! It was pretty good, but it cost $1.75, and I usually get $1.97 worth of scrambled eggs and hash browns. It's a breakfast bar and you get whatever you want and they weigh it. It's a game I play when I get breakfast at work, to get just enough stuff so that it costs $1.97. :) I have an old friend whom I love very much, but I'm constantly struggling with how I connect with her. You see, we're very different in how we want to be reached. She gets overwhelmed by email and the internet, and prefers to connect by calling on the phone. I love emails and the internet, and hate to talk on the phone. The latest episode occurred this week when I tried to coordinate a get-together in April between two groups of friends. When planning ahead like this, and between a number of people, I prefer to use email. It's less disruptive and people have time to look at their calendars and respond. What I didn't count on was that it took her 10 days to respond, after the other friends already responded the day after I sent my email out. Turned out all the dates that everyone said they could get together conflicted with each other. That was when I got frustrated with her again. I even sent the email to both her work and home email addresses. She's told me before that if I want to make sure she reads the emails, to copy her work address. 10 days. So I told her that the other friends responded with available dates first, and since she can't get together on those dates, I'd have to go with their dates. She was gracious about it, but I felt really horrible. I wasn't very nice about it. I was short with her. I think what really bothers me is my pridefulness in thinking that my way is the better way. I love the internet and can't live without it. I love how convenient it is to just shoot an email to someone to communicate. I can't imagine why anyone would not like the internet. It frustrates me that she doesn't like to communicate the way *I* like it. It becomes a test of wills to see who will cave in and email/call the other one. Then I'm reminded of what happened the last time I was struggling with this, back in January (see I told you it's almost a constant struggle, LOL). I distinctly remember that I was in the shower and getting really angry about it, when suddenly a Bible verse popped into my head from 1 Corinthians 9: "19Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings." If I want to show my friend that I care about her and about our friendship, how could I not swallow my pride (and my habits) and try to reach her the way she wants to be reached? Basically, I can't let our differences get in the way of connecting with her. So, once again, I swallowed my pride and apologized. Told her how much I cared about her and our friendship, and that I was wrong and kinda mean. Via email of course. She'll read it, eventually. Really, I'm working on it. ;)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Man I Love

Photo today: Photobucket A few days ago, a team of people at Todd's work went by his cube and gave him a note of appreciation for the work he's done to help them. I'm so proud of him. And so overjoyed that other people appreciate him. Paper-clipped underneath that note were a BUNCH of little notes of appreciation from different people: Photobucket The cool part? You can exchange those little "tips" for coffee and treats at the coffee cart! I didn't get to talk about my husband Todd very much this past Valentine's Day, mainly because my mom passed away on Valentine's Day two years ago and it's still too fresh to "celebrate" that day. So I thought I would pay a belated tribute to him and embarrass, I mean, talk about him today. :o) (In the form of a list, of course.) Why I love and respect Todd:
  • He's the kindest person I know. I don't know how it's possible, but he's never said a mean word to me in the 18 years since I've known him.
  • He's so good to my family. He helps out my dad around the house. He was there for all of us when my mom got ill with cancer and died. He agreed to have my sister live with us for a year in the 1990's, when she returned from missionary work in Mexico.
  • He's kind to other people. He doesn't make fun of other people in order to make himself feel better or superior. He has a quiet assurance about himself.
  • He's enthusiastic about life.
  • He's my cheerleader, my champion, my encourager.
  • He loves the Lord.
  • He's an awesome piano player and musician. He's played in some rock bands the last few years, although his main love is jazz. He's literally my rock star.
  • He's super smart. He reads books on quantum physics for leisure. My eyes glaze over when he talks to me about it.
  • He loves learning & improving himself. Example: he wanted to get better at public speaking, so he joined Toastmasters. Just yesterday he made a technical speech about music theory and chord progression.
  • He's self-motivated and disciplined.
  • He's a great chef, as evidenced on this blog.
And he loves me. He loves ME! I don't know how I lucked into this. I think of it kind of like God's grace: I don't deserve something that good, but I'll accept it with humility. And I'll return the love the best I can.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Photo today: Photobucket Tonight we did our first track workout with West Coast Road Runners. Ran a mile to warm-up. Then ran 10x30x30. Ten repeats of 30 seconds of hard running followed by 30 seconds of easy running. Coach Rick used a stopwatch and a whistle so we knew when the 30 seconds were up. We finished with another mile to cool down. Afterwards we did instructor-led stretching for 15 minutes. It was actually pretty fun. I met two nice women, Shelly and Linda, who ran about my pace. Change of topic... After getting three bids from contractors, we had a favorite one. We negotiated some money off yesterday and officially picked them for the kitchen and bathroom remodels. Today we sent off the deposit check in the mail. We're excited, but not without trepidation. I fully realize we're taking a risk in this economy. It feels weird and a little bad/guilty to be spending money right now, when my instinct is to hold on to it. Of course, thoughts of "What if we lose our jobs?" have entered into our minds. But if not now, then when? The conditions might not ever be perfect. And rather than being afraid, I want to be optimistic. I want to believe that the current economic situation in our country, and the world, will turn around. We've thought about this back and forth a lot. I think one of the things that pushed me into going forward with the remodeling was the death of Chris & Kim. I've been a cautious saver my whole adult life. Before I even see my paycheck, a large percentage goes into retirement accounts, of which I won't see the money until I'm 59.5 years old. I've lost 40 % of it during the last year anyway. What's my point? Chris & Kim died in their 30's, in a car crash that happened in a couple of seconds. There's just no telling what will happen tomorrow. So while we'll continue to save a couple of dollars for retirement, we're going to enjoy a new well-laid out and ergonomic kitchen where we can cook & entertain our friends and family. Yes, it is a leap of faith to go ahead with it, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Digi Dare Call!

Photo today: Photobucket I came home from work and looked across the street and saw the pretty sunset. I actually lowered the ISO on the camera so that I could get more of a sillouette look and make the sky more striking. I have something exciting to announce! We're having a call at the Digi Dares! Here's the 411 on it: Photobucket Info here. Apply here. Can't wait to see who will be joining us!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

750 Miles Later...

Photo today: Photobucket In the foreground is Jose Luis Rubiera Vigil of Team Astana. Today we went to the starting line of the final leg of the Amgen Tour of California in Rancho Bernardo. This is the largest cycling event in America (750 miles of California) and it is a Tour de France-style cycling road race featuring the world's top professional cycling teams. Lance Armstrong rode with Team Astana and played a major role in helping Levi Leipheimer become the eventual winner of the whole Tour. Our friends Anne & Gilbert invited us to go with them. Here's everyone at the starting line: Photobucket (Photo pilfered from Anne's blog.) We walked around and look who we found! Cindi of AKA Alice! I've never met her before but she said she recognized me from my blog, and she had just met Anne yesterday. It was so cool to meet a blog friend! Photobucket I got to step out into the lane for a quick photo of the starting line: Photobucket We had to jockey for position quite a bit in order to be close enough to take photos of the cyclists at the start of the race. Anne can tell you that it was hard work! Frank Pipp of team Bissell: Frank Pipp of Bissell Jens Voigt of team Saxo Bank: Jens Voigt Saxo Bank Robert Gesink of team Rabobank, Mark Cavendish of team Columbia, and others I can't identify: Photobucket Tom Zirbel of team Bissell, Cameron Evans & Patrick McCarty of Team Ouch: Photobucket Photobucket After the start, the cyclists headed towards Palomar Mountain for some killer elevations, finishing in downtown Escondido. We left and went to lunch at Chile Peppers with Anne & Gilbert. Turns out our favorite Mexican place is also a favorite of Anne & Gilbert's! I turned on the TV when I got home to watch the cyclists en route to the finish in Escondido. I didn't know hardly anything about cycling, but learned a lot from the commentators. I enjoy learning new things so it was fun. Dinner tonight was Chicken Penne Salad with Green Beans. We've been making this one for years and it's one of our go-to dishes. Photobucket

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Finer Niner

Today's photo: Photobucket Today's nine mile training run with WCRR was supposed to be a trail run in the Los Penasquitos Canyons. But it was still too wet from the rains the last few days, so we took it to the roads. More HILLS for me! In fact, the most ups and downs yet. And I thought the last two weeks were hard. Ha! I got there bright and early at 6:45 AM. I chatted with Cathy, the woman I met a few weeks ago. Her pace is similar to mine, so she and I kept passing each other during the whole run. I must admit that I got kind of bored during this run. The scenery wasn't as pretty as running at the coast. I have not been using my iPod during the runs, because I didn't use any music players the last time I trained and ran a marathon. But this time around it seems different. The runs are getting longer and what could I possibly think about for hours at a time while I run? I think I'm bringing my iPod on my next long run. This was probably the best photo I got during the run. A slight view into the canyons. Photobucket I finished the nine mile run with a time of 1:42:56, which averaged out to 11:19/mile. I was really happy with that, considering how hilly and up and down it was. And my pace was actually faster than the 11:31/mile for last week's eight mile run! Here's the info from my Garmin Forerunner: Photobucket I made an unpleasant discovery after the run. The inside of my upper right arm got pretty chaffed rubbing against my side. This has NEVER happened to me before! Has my arm gotten so flabby now that it can't help but rub against my side??? Are my arms the flabbiest ever?! I always wear performance tank tops while I run, but I'm going to wear a t-shirt next week so that I don't get chaffed. :( Perhaps it's time to do some strength training on the arms and tighten them up! After the run I went home and made myself an egg sandwich. I was hungry. I burned 863 calories by 9 AM. Todd was running a Toastmasters speech contest today, so he wasn't able to do the 9 mile run. After he came home around 1 PM, we headed to Point Loma Seafoods to meet Sally for lunch. They both acted like they were starving, and ate their whole sandwiches before I had a chance to eat even half of mine. :p Photobucket I love Point Loma Seafood. Such great seafood for such reasonable no-nonsense prices. After lunch we headed down to Cabrillo National Monument for some photos and to tour the place. This is only the second time we've been there since we moved to San Diego at the end of 1999. From CNM, you can see the whole San Diego harbor and skyline, as well as Coronado. On clear days you can see into Mexico as well. Today wasn't quite as clear, so we couldn't see that far. I took several photos but none of them turned out that well. I'm not really sure why. I took this panoramic photo using the stitch assistant function on my camera. This is actually a combination of seven shots. Photobucket Another photo of the view: Photobucket Sally took this photo of us. Photobucket We went inside an auditorium to watch a half hour film about Juan Rodrigues Cabrillo. When we came out, the weather had totally changed. The clouds rolled in and it got very windy and cold. So we decided it was time to go home! I crashed on the couch when we got home. I still feel tired from the run this morning.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Carb-loading?

That's my excuse for eating a bunch of carbs today. I'm just getting ready for my 9 mile run tomorrow!

Photo today:
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I took Meera out to lunch today for her birthday. We had a lot of fun chatting. It has been quite a while since we had a lunch date with just the two of us, without our husbands.

Meera was excited to have sushi for the first time in two years! She didn't have sushi during pregnancy and nursing, so she finally got to eat it today!
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I got the fried shrimp and teriyaki chicken lunch combo special:
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For dinner, Todd and I went to Brett's BBQ, because he's never been there before and I thought he would like it. I wasn't wrong.
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I saw this post at DST about people thinking that they got computer viruses at 4shared, so I decided to move my template giveaways to Box.net, just to be safe. So all the links to templates in the "Giveaways" section are now to Box.net.

Digi Dare #121 is now up! Come join us and get a chance to win $40 worth of gift cards for products from our sponsoring designers this month!
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Here's my layout for it:
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Full credits here.

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