Wednesday, 30 September 2009


i am a libra. and turns out, that besides being awesome, libras are also indecisive. that is where you come in. i can't decide what to do. i know i "need" a fixie.

i want a bianchi to replace my bike that was stolen. and i can't decide between this:



the "coffee and milk" via brera has a sram cog which allows you to change from fixie to single speed with the turn of an allen wrench.

the via condotti is celeste blue.

basically, it doesn't matter much about components, because i know how to change those. but which one is prettier.

please vote!

Monday, 28 September 2009

total eclipse of the heart

for any number of irrational reasons, bonnie taylor's '80's hit total eclipse of the heart has been going through my head for weeks. my friend rob introduced me to the video i am going to post below. liz shared this chart, which has helped the song stay trapped in my brain.

here is graph that will help you understand what bonnie is hoping you will do . . . or at least understand

and the video to the literal version of the song. please DO NOT skip watching this video!

and then there is this duet of josh groban and ellen degeneres

big lick tri

this year, for my birthday, i decided i wanted to do the big lick triathlon with some friends. i could only convince two people to do it with me :) tho i did convince ali to come out to cheer us on.

the big lick was my first triathlon. i was super untrained and didn't know what i was doing. i changed my clothes, completely, between each sport. rented a bike and a wetsuit. etc. i made a myriad of rookie mistakes. that was 2002.

in 2009, i own a couple of race bikes, have a tri suit, 3 wetsuits, and a lot more experience. and still i can't break the 3:00:00 mark. i am doing big lick next year, and i will most definitely break 3:00:00!

on our way to the tri
early in the morn
i am obviously, not very organized

the swim was super cold
it was kinda misty rain
when we first started to swim, i had a hard time breathing
you know how when water is cold and you struggle to breathe
that is how i felt for the first 600 yards
i am pretty sure i swam an extra 100 yards at least
i hadn't practiced in open water and i forgot to look up as often as i need to
i would find myself really far away from the buoys

my transition from swim to bike was okay
i just got tied up in my wetsuit
and then my hands were cold so there wasn't heaps
of fine motor skills
thanks to jon for taking all these photos!
here i am coming in from the ride


the transition was a disaster
mostly because of my shoes
those five fingers are really tough to get on
i might have to get a pair of newtons for next season
to improve my transition time

coming up the first hill
on the run
please note that this is a LONG hill
for some reason, i started the run doing 7:30 miles
i had to slow myself to 8:30 or i would have burnt out.
i still don't know my average pace, but i am guessing not 8:30

decent form,
tho i am concerned that my arms are crossing so much of my body
and it looks like i am not running on my whole foot

also, i am turtling my neck when i run
so i have to strengthen my deep neck muscles so my head isn't tilting like that

here is sara
she was getting close
which was good
it reminded me i was in a race
for some reason, the whole time, i was just having a nice peaceful training ride
and then i saw sara are remembered
i didn't want her to beat me
so i tried to pick up the pace a bit

here i am turtling my way to the finish line
not that i was necessarily going slow,
but i am doing that thing with my neck

please note how wet it is
once i stopped running, i got SUPER DUPER cold
i think i needed a warm bath

i think we all did
everyone had a good time
i think everyone is pumped for next season
and we also know where we will stay for the
smith mountain sprint and the big lick next year

so we left the tri and went to our new found
huddleston haven:

sara and jon BOLTED out
sara wanted to get the drive over and they weren't spending the night.

the rest of us TOTALLY lazed around all day
and ate ALL DAY.
i am not sure how many calories i consumed but it was significant
we watched some television
read some books
and mostly just talked
it was SUPER relaxing

sunday the weather was PERFECT

ali went for a run
while liz and i did yoga on the dock

ate and amazing breakfast with tomatoes and zucchini from the garden

ali tried to be a mermaid

and we kinda just vegged out looking at the beginning of fall

then packed up to leave
and a guest came
he was super cute
and seriously wanted me to take him home
he just walked in our house and made himself comfortable
it was pretty crazy
but also kinda cute how fast he attached to me

but in the end i knew i had to leave him

he tried to keep us from leaving

and even jumped in the car to try and keep us from going
finally liz got out of the car and coaxed him to follow her
it was sad to say good-bye to this little guy
but i am pretty sure he is better off in huddleston

as we left i decided i wanted a photo of us near the
entrance of the smith mountain lake state park

when we got to the sign we found this guy hanging out
not a guy tho
most definitely a girl
this is her from the front

from the back

this is her egg pod

there were heaps of her little ones crawling around

hence the photo being taken away from the sign!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

hot, biker, ho

i am not sure i have the commas in the right place, but that is what i was called today. now, that might be a compliment but i am sure it is not completely accurate. and if they knew anything about my personal life, i am sure they'd agree.

here's the story:
i was cycling home from one of the most intense days, from one of the most intense weeks, of work. i was wearing a dress, because i had to moderate a panel and wear grown-up clothes.

(a tip for the ladies -- if you are ever having low self-esteem, i have a fail proof pick me up. put on a dress that you like, but that is kinda stretchy. there is a difference between dresses and skirts, so make sure it is a dress. get on a bike. ride it around dc. men seriously don't know what to do with themselves. they are so distracted it is crazy. i think there is a direct positive correlation between the level of sportiness of the bike/femininity of the apparel and the amount of attention.)

so, i am passing these two twenty-something neighborhood dudes. one was "pumping" the other one on his bike. (pumping is what we called it in gilbert, where i grew up. if you gave someone a lift on your bike, you were "pumping" them. i don't know if there is a real verb for that action.) as i start to pass they cat call. and then ask me, loudly: "how do we get a hot biker ho like you?" i don't really respond, because . . . how do you? and i hear them begin a discussion about how they could get a "hot biker ho" like me.

sounds like someone needs to write a "how to" guide. DIY steps? something!

unfortunately, i don't have the answer to that one.

this is what google images comes up with when you search "hot biker ho"


MOTORIZED???!!!!! sheesh people.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

just thought yall might wanna know:

Community and Faith-based Organizations and

Response to 2009 H1N1 Flu

Thursday, September 24

1:30-2:30 pm EST

Please join us for a conference call with Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius; Assistant Surgeon General, Anne Schuchat; Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Joshua DuBois; and other HHS experts to discuss the release of a new resource “H1N1 Flu: A Guide for Community and Faith-based Organizations.” The call will focus on the important role of community and faith-based leaders and organizations as partners in 2009-2010 flu response and prevention. The new guide was developed by the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (HHS Partnership Center) with support from the Centers for Disease Control. Speakers will provide the latest information on H1N1 flu and vaccination plans, and an overview of the guide.

You and your organization are crucial leaders and resources in your communities, and essential partners in comprehensive state and local flu response. We want to ensure you and your communities have this resource and the most up-to-date information on H1N1 flu. The HHS Partnership Center will keep an open and dynamic channel of communication throughout the response effort. Following the completion of the call, we will send a call summary to our listserv. If you are not part of our listerv, you can join us at, click ‘Join the Mailing List’ under the ‘Newsletter’ box on the left-hand side of your screen.

At the time of the call, copies of the guide will be available for download at and at our website

Dial-In Information:

Toll Free – 1.800.369.1899

Passcode - 1696323

and if you kinda don't care about it. this outta warm your day.
parental discretion is advised!


i started making pizza again.

everything on this pizza is from the garden
the olives are from mom's
the fresh mozzarella is from costco
i made the pesto with basil from the garden

this is murat
he supplied the dough
he owns roscoe's pizza in tacoma park
when cheryl told me he was coming over for pizza i got really nervous
but he offered to bring dough
and she stretched it for us so . . .

it was a super fun and delicious night
i wish i had taken more photos
diane and monu came over too
it was a SUPER awesome party
and even though i had to be at work at 8:am
it was worth it to stay up until midnight
thanks for coming over and playing with us!

Monday, 21 September 2009


i am bummed that i have been so lame about documenting the growth of my garden! but i am repenting right here, right now.

i came home from my crazy trips to ripened tomatoes! finally!!!!!

when i was on my trip i got this photo from cheryl

please note that there a peaches
i had 10 peaches this year
they are SUPER sweet.
and there is something super awesome about picking peaches in your back yard!

i got home from the airport and went immediately out to the backyard
this is what i got!
so so so awesome

then about 1.5 months later i decided to take photos of the garden

every morning, for some reason, i go into the study with eyes that are still having a hard time opening and i look out at this view
this is my kingdom, i guess
i just love to watch the progress
from here i can see almost all of it

here is a close-up from the study on the garden in mrs. jackie's yard

this is the zucchini

one of the dahlias from the garden
i have left the study and am now outside . . .
can you imagine the zoom that would take this photo from the study?

more of the zucchini
please note the additional bed i built this summer

the basil garden

the first of my fall '09 planting

i was really excited the sunflower grew
and that it attracted monarchs!

this is the view from the mrs. jackie's alley steps
looking at both gardens

little "tiger asian" melons growing

just to help you get a feel for the size of these guys

i am really hoping that i win this rodent war before this guy starts to ripen


the zucchini, like usual, has grown over my fence and is taking over mrs. jackie's yard
thankfully, she doesn't seem to mind.

this is a athena melon

all the stuff in mrs. jackies garden grew late
which means that we might not have much melon this year and that the tomatoes are late
but next year that garden is going to be off the chain
we used leaf mould instead of compost and topsoil for soil
because it was free
so, now it has composted
and next year will be great!

the giant tomatoes in the garden in mrs. jackies yard
there was the HUGEST tomato ever
and it started to turn red
and i was SO excited
it was way bigger than my hand
and i checked on it one day
and some stupid rat had eaten it

here is another one
this is a tomato that was growing over the fence into the stairwell to the alley
i was excited about this carmello too,
and then some stupid rat!

and then there is this
i can't decide if this is a rat OR a bird
at any rate they are in trouble
i have declared war
i also found mouse droppings in my kitchen towel drawer
so, today i went to home depot and bought some WMD
i am pretty sure i am going to win this war
and it is going to be WAY more effective than the war on drugs
and way more necessary

this is the wall'o'tomatoes in the mrs jackie garden
they are dense, productive and mostly romas . . .
they make for some killer slow roasted tomatoes.

i use this concept, essentially, to make them
but i have variations...

and this is where it gets depressing
i think i overdosed all my fantastic heirloom, vint lawrence tomatoes,
on wormpoop
just please remember this,
liquid worm poop must be diluted 10-1!

these are the craziest sun gold tomatoes you will ever find.
i didn't plant them, they just showed up in my garden
they were not effected by the overdose of wormpoop
they grow and produce like crazy
i am pretty sure that i won't have to plant any next year either
and i am not going to!
they are tasty, but i am not going to waste precious grow lights
on tomatoes that grow spontaneously

the herb and strawberry garden
plus a heliotrope
which smells like vanilla

strawberries from seed

this year i decided everything i grew had to come from a seed
and it all did
everything you are looking at once was a seed in my hand
crazy to think about
that those 10 ft tall tomato plants were once a super tiny seed


a gardener's delight