| Friday, October 31, 2008
It's the last day of October, which means that there will be a lot of men going clean-shaven tomorrow morning. The Snook is officially registered this year, and is in fact Captain of his company's team. You can see his fundraising page here. If you're feeling charitable, please head over and give him a donation. (It's to raise funds for men's health issues like prostate cancer and depression.) I'll be tracking his 'tache progress throughout the month here at W-G. Oh! And I'm officially a Mo'Sista. I wear fake mustaches enough; I figured it was time to get involved.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
What's that? Oh, I'll tell you what that is. That, my friends, is a METRIC ASS-TON of Chex Mix.
Except it isn't really Chex Mix, since you can't get Chex here. It's Nutrigrain + pretzels + bagel chips + macadamias + other nuts MIX. And seriously, there's like two gallons of snack there.
Edited to add: Here's a letter from someone in California that this affects personally. I found it very moving.
Itís wrong to make gay couples pay the price for someone elseís misplaced fear. On November 4, itíll be only you in the voting booth. Nobody will see how you vote Ė thatís your business. But before you mark your ballot on Prop 8, please take a moment to ask yourself, in all honesty, what does it hurt you if gays and lesbians get married? Will it make you love your spouse any less? Does it make you love your children any less? Would it hurt your family if, after 16 years, Bill and Robert finally get to tie the knot? I think your answer will be no. Your marriage will be no weaker if Prop 8 doesnít pass. Your family will be no less under the law or under God.Speaking as a straight married person, the only negative I can think of regarding gay marriages is that it would just mean more social engagements for my calendar. (Seriously! So many weddings these days!) And maybe that cute barista at Toby's would stop flirting with the Snook if he had his own husband. (Not that the Snook minds. He has no scruples when it comes to good coffee.)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Last night I was in Harris Farm picking up some more stuff for the Halloween party when I noticed that they were still flogging their $20 orange pumpkins. I took a quick photo, shrugged, and continued my shopping. Later in the queue, I noticed a guy standing next to me juggling three of them.
Me: Pssst! If you can get over to Paddy's this week, I found them there for fifteen!
Him: Fifteen! That's pretty good! Did they have many?
Me: Actually, not really. And they were priced by weight, $4/kilo.
Him: That's okay. I'll stick with these.
The poor guy paid SIXTY DOLLARS for three pumpkins! That's some dedication right there. And judging by the accent he was an Aussie, not some nostalgic Yank. Obviously my campaign to bring this holiday to the Antipodeans is gaining momentum. As he was leaving, we wished each other a "Happy Halloween!"
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
"Stress may make you itch." The Snook just sent me that link. In the past six months my skin has just been crazy. I thought for a while I might be developing some sort of allergy, because I kept breaking out in itchy red welts. There doesn't seem to be any pattern though, and Dr. Chin (and Emily) both diagnosed a random case of "dermatitis". It certainly does seem to have a stress component though. Great. So on top of non-specific stress-related stomach pain, I also have skin irritation. I really need to learn to meditate or something.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Thanks to the generous Kate, the Snook and I headed to the Opera House tonight to see Europa Galante performing Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons" (along with some other Baroque pieces). The group of 14 musicans are known for performing on period instruments, including a mandolin and a harpsichord. It was fascinating. Look, I'm not a big classical music person. I've been to the Concert Hall a few times, but it's always for things involving Lord of the Rings or Bugs Bunny or videogames. That said, I really honestly enjoyed myself tonight. A good part of that was recognizing the music, I'm sure, but also it was impossible not to get caught up in the passion these guys had for it. Most of them were standing throughout the performance, so when they were really going at it during a vigorous passage it was almost like they were dancing (or even head-banging). The harpsichord gave me shivers with its first note; it felt like we were listening to Music for Kings and Queens. (I did feel bad that the player had to sit with her back towards us throughout the performance!) During the intermission, the Snook and I talked about why certain pieces of music evoke pictures in your head. Why should this melody feel suspenseful and anxious, while that one feels light and happy? I don't know enough about music theory and the human brain. It was sure fun though.
OH! But people suck. The audience is always what ruins these things for me. Look, if you have a cough, STAY HOME. If you want to take 50 pictures with your ginormous digital SLR, GET A PRESS PASS. (The bright LCD of the girl next to me drove me crazy.) Don't eat candy out of rustling plastic bags. Don't come in 15 minutes late and clomp to your seat. Don't rush for the exits the second the final piece ends, and definitely don't try to slink back in once they start up an encore. And for the love of God, TURN OFF YOUR MOBILE PHONE. ARGH. They really should hand out etiquette leaflets at these things.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Some of you will probably guess what's in the jar. And yes, I did manage to dye my fingertips red while making it.
I was feeling a little depressed and alienated this morning, wondering if all my Indiana relatives are resentful of my interest in the election. Then I called my Grandma. Holy crap! If Indiana goes Democrat this year, you have my Grandma Veva to thank for it. "George Bush has RUINED THIS COUNTRY over the past 8 years," she told me. "I wouldn't vote for John McCain if he was all there was!" We talked about how she'd been a big Hilary supporter and she was disappointed that Hilary didn't get the VP nod, but the fact that HRC was campaigning for Obama convinced her to get behind him. We talked about how if he did win, the Republicans would probably try to get votes invalidated. ("Dirty tricks!" she called it.) We talked about people we knew who'd been swayed by emails calling Obama the Antichrist. (She tells them that if it's God's will that Obama gets elected, "nothing can stop it!" I thought that was neat way of turning the evangelical argument on its head.)
Anyway, yeah, you may well be tired of hearing me bang on this particular drum. I'd ask you to please just respect that some of us are genuinely optimistic about this election, and we genuinely believe we stand at a huge crossroads. After eight years of feeling let down by the electorate, I actually feel hopeful. And if you feel like my posting about Obama is somehow a personal attack on you, well, I'd suggest you just take this site off your bookmarks for the next couple of weeks. I'll understand.
I'm just happy to be reminded that I'm not an outlier, that my liberalism and passion do run in the family. I come by it honest.
Hooray! I just got an email telling me to check the Race Photos from the Half-Marathon again. I looked before but there weren't any of me, but now there are THREE! I'll saved them here for posterity. [more...]
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
Also, the New York Times officially endorses Obama.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
10 years ago I was:
1. A senior at Notre Dame, enjoying the hell out of my best and greatest year at college
2. Stage managing a new Mainstage production about a plane crash survivor
3. Trying to figure out how to get back to London (where I had spent the previous semester)
4. Avoiding a good friend that I had hooked up with in London, and whose girlfriend (probably justifiably) wanted to kill me
5. Eagerly awaiting the release of The Phantom Menace.
Yeah, there were some bad choices. [more...]
Monday, October 20, 2008
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Great depth of character, strong, and eloquent. This very appealing blend unites coffees from Africa and the Americas to produce a cup which has gotten us excited. Formidable middle palate flavors, syrupy with an uplifting finish. Excellent drink for going forward.HA! Rodd and I are both enjoying it right now.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Edited to add: I just saw them at Harris Farm at Broadway for $20. I must be going insane, because I'm actually considering it.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Update: And we're back. The vet explained that cystitis in cats can be caused by a number of factors: stress, infection, crystals in urine, or even cancer. Her age makes cancer unlikely, and he didn't feel any stones during the examination. So we're going to treat her for an infection and hope that clears it up. He gave her a shot of anti-inflammatory something-or-other and a prescription of tablets. We just shoved the first one down her throat and - thank goodness - she seems to have eaten it without too much drama.
All up it cost us about ninety bucks. Do any of you have pet insurance? I was asking the lady at the vet about when it becomes a good idea. She seemed to think that a younger, strictly indoor female cat was probably a low risk, and it wasn't really necessary. Given that we've had her for 4.5 years and this is the first treatment she's ever had (beyond yearly checkups), I think we're ahead of the curve. I'm just wondering when to start thinking about it...
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Since we missed the Food for the Future Fair in Chippo this past weekend, I had a look at Eva's photos to see how it went. I got really excited by this one which shows a leaflet about "veggie boxes." The idea is that for $25-30, you get a box delivered every week full of in-season fruit and veggies from local farms in the Hawkesbury. The Snook and I immediately agreed that it's a good idea. We always struggle with eating enough veggies, so this will force us to use them up (and learn new ways to cook them). I immediately filled out the order form and got an email back from the organizer right away. They were selling boxes at the Fair, and he still had one remaining box left if we wanted it. I walked over last night and picked it up!
So for our $30, we got a dozen organic free-range eggs, a few onions and potatoes, two different varieties of apples, oranges, a leek, a bulb of fennel, a head of cos lettuce, a bunch of celery, a tub of Blue Mountains honey, and five bottles of organic ginger beer. Nice! Now I just have to figure out what to do with it. I think the eggs, leek, and potatoes are crying out to be used in a quiche or frittata. The fennel will be good braised or used in a stew. But what to do with a whole head of celery? Neither of us particularly likes eating it raw...
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Of course, the half-marathon wasn't the only thing I did in Melbourne. We arrived on Friday morning and, as it was too early to check-in at the hotel, we dropped our bags and headed out into the city. I was on the hunt for a specific element of my Halloween costume, so we walked to the Queen Victoria Markets to do some shopping. I didn't find what I was looking for, but a stall holder gave me some good leads on other places to check. We had lunch at the Markets and then headed back to the hotel for a rest. In the afternoon, we caught a tram to the MCG for the Race Expo so I could pick up my free swag. I also bought a pair of Skins shorts to wear in the race (on the recommendation of Emily and Clare). Then we headed out to Richmond to meet up with some Ravelers at a wine bar. There we hung out with Sonia, binkaboo, foreverknit, madaco, and of course, Damo. Afterwards we had a burger in Richmond and then headed back to the hotel to sleep. [more...]
Edited to add: Two more! Patrick the Pumpkin Patch Prince and La Catrina.
Monday, October 13, 2008
If you've been following my training at all, you know that the last month has been difficult. I peaked too early, caught a cold, and found it difficult to stay motivated as Race Day approached. I think I expected that my second half-marathon would be way easier than the first, but that was definitely not the case.
Race Day dawned unseasonably hot and windy in Melbourne. I'd had a terrible night's sleep but still felt relatively okay in the morning. I had, however, forgotten the #1 piece of pre-race advice: Get everything you need to wear or take with you ready the night before. So I was a bit frantic trying to get ready and eat some breakfast (toast with peanut butter) before the cab arrived. Once we got to the MCG, I discovered my mistake. I'd forgotten my iPod. Crap. That meant I had no way to track my pace or keep an eye on my split times (not to mention no way to distract myself). There was no time to go back, so I just had to accept it.
There were thousands of people streaming down from the MCG to the starting line, so I rushed to use the bathroom and get ready. I pinned on my number and attached the timing chip to my shoe. I ate a Gu pack and drank some Gatorade from my water belt. I rubbed Voltarin (an anti-inflammatory gel) on my back and hamstrings. The Snook took a quick picture of me in front of Rod Laver Arena, where the Australian Open Championships are held. Then I kissed him goodbye and headed to the starting area. There were 7,700 runners in the Half-Marathon but you'd never know it by how well-behaved and orderly the crowd was. I did some easy stretches and tried to quell my nerves. Someone sang a lovely a capella version of the national anthem. And then we were off! [more...]
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Thursday, October 9, 2008
Toast: "Are you kidding? They've been together FOREVER. They've been together since... dot coms."
It's funny because it's true.
I know I was blathering about it yesterday, but it really has been lovely this week. (It helps that I'm on vacation.) On Monday the Snook and I took the GoGet car out to Lidcombe to go to Bunnings and Spotlight. We'd settled on a compromise in the garden: I can have a small veggie patch in the corner, but I have to weed and water it myself. We came back with enough plants and soil to get started. And here it is! We picked the spot that gets some good sunlight for part of the day, but it's still partially protected by the tree and the roof. (See all those rocks on the ledge? Those came out of the dirt!) I bought a combination pack of seedlings that included four tomato plants, two capsicum, eggplant, beans, snow peas, and chillis. (I've also planted two pumpkin seedlings in their own patch elsewhere.) So far they seem to be doing great! Today I'm going to put down some wet newspapers as mulch. Yep, here in Chippendale we're all about sustainability! (I'm sad we're going to miss that Festival this weekend.)
Oh! And here's the other thing that really made me feel like the Farmer's Wife this week: Risotto Primavera. It's from the September issue of Delicious magazine. While the Snook manfully heaved dirt and sifted rocks in my garden, I sat barefoot on the patio shelling fresh peas and broad beans into a bowl. The peas were so beautiful nestled in their pods, and the broad beans revealed a brilliant green under their thick outer skins. The recipe also calls for onion, garlic, white wine, parmesan, and asparagus tips. It turned out so delicious. I garnished it with chopped mint and extra cheese. It's easy to eat well this time of year.
The NYT calls out the Republicans for running the dirtiest Presidential campaign in memory. Experts declare Obama won the 2nd debate. Both Joe Biden and Jimmy Carter send me emails (via Democrats Abroad) reminding me to send in my absentee ballot. And lo and behold, Indiana may be a swing state!
I rushed to the Post Office yesterday and spent TWELVE DAMN DOLLARS to send this thing via Express Post. It probably would've gotten to Indiana in time with normal Air Mail, but I wanted to make sure that this Hoosier gets to play her part in history. Thanks for the reminders, Joe and Jimmy!
Interestingly, the Aussie clerk at the post office was astounded that I couldn't just go vote at the US Consulate on Election Day. "Why don't you do that? That's what we do!" I had no answer. It really would be a lot simpler than this craziness (which changes for every single state).
Why in the world is the Democratic symbol there a ROOSTER?
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sunday, October 5, 2008
Happy birthday, Eileen! I was remembering back to Eileen's birthday freshman year, when it suddenly hit me: That's when she set our dorm room on fire! I pulled out my box of photos and started digging, and at last I found it...
I'd been at an audition for a play that night, and when I got back to PW (our dorm) I immediately noticed a funky smell in the air. "That's from your roommate," some girl in the common room said. "She set your room on fire." "Yeah, right," I joked. "No, seriously. She did." I took off running. This photo is pretty much what I found. She'd been burning some (contraband) candles that a friend had sent her as a gift, when Erin Fair burst in and threw a handful of birthday cake at her. Eileen had, of course, given chase... knocking over the candle onto a pile of her own laundry. Little did I expect I'd be embarrassing her with the story thirteen years later on the Internet!
I found two more fun photos of us if you want to see. [more...]
Saturday, October 4, 2008
Friday, October 3, 2008
When you don't take your own career and reputation seriously enough to pause before striding onto a national stage and lying about your record of opposing a Bridge to Nowhere or using your special-needs child to garner the support of Americans in need of healthcare reform you don't support, I don't feel bad for you.Biden is going to trounce her in the debate today, and this feminist will be cheering. I hope Hilary is throwing a party somewhere. Me, I'll be streaming it from SBS.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
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