Thursday, March 15, 2007

No, I am not premenstrual

Dogtooth violets, March 2007, Seattle.

Today Seattle vexed me. I have lived here 38 plus years and sometimes I just can't get over how much people find the mundane things about Seattle to be so freaking charming- traffic, cupcakes, cookware stores and little soap boutiques. I think these noobs as I will categorize them just can't realize that while Seattle tries hard, it isn't New York, so just give it up.

Parking downtown, the lack of affordable housing and the 16 dollar pizza will be the downfall of the city. It could also be the proliferation of the three dollar cupcake, but I'll leave that for the economic analysts to sort out.

In a perfect Seattle world or the one that the city, the blawgs and the chamber of commerce portrays life goes like this... Lets all take the bus or the streetcar to work, unless we can walk or rollerblade. We all want to live in the now artificially created South Lake Union neighborhood ( genetically engineered for only 750,000 to start) and buy everything from expensive boutiques. Heaven help you if you need a pair of of less than 10 dollar underwear or buttermilk after 10 pm or a pad of legal paper in case you have a thought that does not require a computer.

Then again, look at me, I am guilty of some of these things I detest. I got a sixty dollar haircut and two 16 dollar pizzas downtown and then fought traffic for 30 minutes just to get home, because some asshats on Eastlake don't abide by the no parking between 4-6 pm signs. Fuckers, I hope your side view mirrors get taken off by busses. Yes, busses, the bane of my existence in the District and downtown.

Enough of that.

I sometimes long for the pre-development up the ying yang, pre-Nickels, pre-Vulcan Seattle, the one I grew up in and the one I wish to god would return.

I know its gone, I just wish I could have enjoyed it more.

nm

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

catch up....

Crocus, March 2007, Seattle, WA taken with macro lens.

Catching my breath here. It has been a week and it is only Tuesday.

My spacebar seems seems to be having some issues orshouldIsay,myspacebarseemstobehavingsome issues?

Oy!

I have caught a small cold from some unknown vector. Half the folks
at my meeting last week were sick. I am not amused. I am still functioning, however, part of me would be quite happy to curl up in a corner and take a nap. The other part would love to be staring at my computer screen trying to reconcile data formats and decide how to archive model runs.

Wow, what excitement my career has brought me!

I love my new very lovely macro lens. It rocks the free world, whatever that means.

I am going to California twice next week. It is a secret, so don't tell my dad.

Tonight was the eve of the last Wednesday before the new year (Persian New Year). I know I have blogged about it before, but this year, I was caught off guard. I did receive my Adele by Mail - Deluxe Noruz in a box kit for young Iranian women who can't get it together in time. Thanks Mom!

I just need to drop all the goods in my own containers and I'm done. The last few years we have been in Italy for Persian New Year, so I have managed to put assemble my travelling haft-sin. This year, I'm here sort of and I can't get things arranged.

It'll get done, trust me, even if I have to call every freaking bank in the Seattle area to find new one dollar bills.

Other than that, last week, Ernest turned one. He's quite adorable. Go see him here.

We're still doing the race a month thing here at floraandflying. Trying to convince my dear friends that the race for the cure is a decent day of running and walking and that we can all wear pink boobage enhancing shirts. I am trying to convince a few (ehem, you know who you are) that it is for a good cause). I may have to bribe them with boas.




Thursday, March 08, 2007

Count me as very disappointed to hear this.

No longer will Flyertalk be a community that I love.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

the fourth day of MYR

Tomorrow, I am getting a car. I am going to take Miss Mony's suggestions and going to Brookgreen. I don't have my camera, but it'll be nice anyways.

There is a reason they hold meetings like this in places like this. You are trapped- free breakfast, hosted lunches and free happy hour. You have no reason to leave, you must spend the whole four days socializing with your peers. So much fun!

I still haven't figured out how I'm going to get a Waffle house mug.

I left the luau right after brick house.

nm

Monday, March 05, 2007

Little things

Okay, from 20 floors up, the beach looks great. I may get out tomorrow after my talk and see it.

Spanx are the greatest thing invented for women who don't want to wear hose and need control.

I still need to befriend someone with a car.

I have been chocolate free for almost two weeks.

I miss TH and Ernest. I wish I was home gazing at all my bulbs and running the boy.

Sigh.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Welcome to Myrtle Beach South Carolina where I am currently trapped for the next four or five days.

There is really a restaurant called the Steak and Shake. I thought they were kidding.

I hope to befriend someone with a car, soon.

nm

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

milestone

I'm up to 1002 views of my profile on blogger.

Wow, what a big deal.

Other than that, I'm back from Paris. It was lovely, the weather was cooperative. We ate well. We managed to do things that we each wanted to do and we bought lots of chocolate.

We bought so much that I refused to go to Patrick Roger because I was sick and tired of chocolate.

What is with that?

So, while I sit here composing this entry I am nibbling on a few mini madeleines we picked up at the grand epicerie - these are matcha madeleines and they are to die for.

Fauchon has redone their Place de la Madeleine store and it has its own madeleine bar. TH loves my orange swirled chocolate ones and my mom makes a wicked vanilla madeleine, but the flavors at Fauchon were wild. Saffron, sesame, truffle along with coffee, matcha and framboise.

I'm going to have to pull out my molds and start working on my recipes again, because these are winners -- they are fast to make, hold for a while and are adaptable to a variety of flavors.

Here is a great discussion on different recipes and some variations. I have used the Williams and Sonoma recipe for years with great luck, just replace that orange blossom water with your favorite extract.

Bon Appetit!

nm

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Friday, February 16, 2007

I wonder if it'll get me into club class.

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Her Eminence the Very Viscountess Nazila the Blue of Lardle St Earache
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Thursday, February 15, 2007

a race a time zone, that is all I ask

Along with the race a month that we're trying to achieve. I figured this year we might try to visit all time zones and try and race in them.

So far, we have done the Pacific and Mountain (well, does AZ count?), we have Eastern coming up and I think Kansas is in the Central.

Now, J has decided that we need to do the solstice half in Anchorage in June.

Okay. Sounds good.

Except that every hotel in ANC is full to the brim. I was able to snag a gov't rate, so we should be good to go.

I'll go from SAN to ANC in the same day.

I think we're crazy and I'm not sure I'm up for Hawaii this year, but I'll find it in me somehow.

nm

barking at a ball

The dog is barking at his squeaky. His squeaky makes a sad stick substitute and it does not cooperate and he gets cranky. The crankiness of the dog, in turn, makes me cranky. Combine that with little sleep, work issues, playing a surrogate travel agent to my parents and everything else and we're all a bit cranky. Naw, make that really cranky.

I have been following the concept of the Compact for the last few months. I like it on one level, but on another it gets my goat. However, alot of the peeps that originally participated are middle to upper class professionals so it can't be too far off from my current lifestyle and leanings.

I'm trying to sort of compact my life. Partially due to end of the year spending and paying for it now and partially because we have too much crap. I'm obviously going to not recycle my cooking oil into hair conditioner, but I'll think twice and maybe three times before I consider buying something. Its amazing what you can not buy once you start analyzing the reasons behind your need for l'object du moment.

I don't know how you can compact and do work travel. However, I am thinking about it. I will admit I'm even compacting trips for leisure. Unless a trip has a purpose - bbq, a half marathon, a wedding or a concert is a reason, for pure mileage collection, no dice.

Yes, I'm trying to figure that one out as we speak.

Thanks for listening.

I'm off to bark at the ball too.

nm

Sunday, February 11, 2007

a race a month, that is all I ask

Sometime last Fall, I agreed to walk a half marathon. I didn't really train, but we went and we did it. It was a very cool experience. After that, my friend J and my friend G and I decided that setting goals like this are a good way to keep ourselves accountable to each other and a fun way to explore new places. We made a plan to do a half marathon in September in Philly and we'll do a few more in more exotic locales.

This morning J and I met and did a fun 5K around Greenlake. Next month, we're doing a race for St. Patrick's day, the following month, we're thinking Vancouver and I'm even going to try and convince a group of bbq loving flyertalkers that a 5K in Kansas City will allow us to each drink one more beer.

So, our goal is to go from walking, to jogging to running. We'll probably not be the fastest peeps on the trail, but we'll have the most fun getting there.

nm

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Texture and contrast, March 2006, Seattle, WA.

What is happening?

I am very fine, thank you, just super busy.

Ernest and I did a nice bunch of walks today. Tomorrow I am sorry to say, he will not be joining me on the love 'em and leave 'em 5K, but we'll go to Greenlake earlier just to get him sort of tired. It doesn't really work. He will walk for three miles, come home, nap and then go for another three miles without even batting an eyelash.

Other than that, spring is springing here. Tulips, irises, crocus, witchhazel and forsythia are amazing to watch.

Bring it on baby.

nm

Monday, February 05, 2007

Really?

Grumpy workers are the best workers.

Just thinking that maybe I'll stay a little more grumpy.

My office mate just left for a nicely paying position in private industry. Sorry to see him go, but honestly, he's young and needs to buy a house.

He'll do great.

I'll miss him.

nm

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

all sorts of stuff

Bleeding heart, March 2006, Seattle, WA.

Thanks for your well wishes. Ernest is just fine after a spacey and clingy Tuesday night. He is currently getting ready for bed by jumping on his new squeaky dinosaur. He went to Mud Bay today (the place we can't even go into without the boy) and promptly made a basset line for the hard treats. We bought him a bag of soft treats instead. They are peanut butter and shaped like little gingerbread people.

How cute is that?

His breath is sweet, but he still is shy about showing us his gnashers.

Uncle Frank and Aunt Beth are working to put together a dental health kit for our boy. Maybe Uncle Frank wants to use Ernest as a after case for better gum brushing, afterall, tomorrow is the beginning of National Pet Dental Health Month. I wish Ernest had not taken it so seriously.

Stay tuned.

Great news from the state of Maryland. Looks like NKK is back in charge of things for another four years. Yeah! They got it right down both sides of the aisle.

Sad news from the state of Texas - Molly Ivins died today. Read some great things that she said here.

I usually disagree with Nancy Leson, our resident food critic. Today she dissed Rachel Ray. Tonight I made a great tortilla soup that I adapted from one of her cookbooks. I am not crazy about either woman, but I like her take on tortilla soup.

I'm off to San Diego this weekend to see my parentals and my uncle and aunt who are here from Germany. I'm not sure what we all have planned, but I have a feeling that I'll be dragging someone to the La Jolla Farmer's Market in search of some citrus.

I realize that my whole pantry is full of Trader Joe's foods. I can't imagine when that happened. Short of stuff I preserved myself, enchilada sauce, green chiles and some wierd ingredients, our staples all can be found at TJs. Yoikes. Things will change as we start growing our own and going to the market, but right now, it just works.

I even spied ibuprofen back on their shelves and TH has me hooked on their gummy vitamins. I hate taking regular vitamins and these are pretty decent and fruity as well. Now if they can only sell real butter puff pastry, aspirin, new mexico green chile and isernio's chicken italian sausage, we'll be in heaven.

Okay, I've rambled enough. I should tell you all that I have been remiss about taking pictures. I have no idea why. TH bought me the most amazing macro lens for the holidays and I have yet to really play with it. Maybe when Ernest is feeling better I'll get a close up of his teeth.

later taters,

n.m

Monday, January 29, 2007

if you could spare some

Ernest needs some good vibes.

Turns out his vole breath is caused by excessive stick chewing which has caused a nice deep pocket of ick that requires anesthesia to take xrays, clean out said pocket and while we're at it, clean the rest of his chompers.

So, tomorrow am, we'll be freaking out until he wakes up.

Cross your fingers the root isn't injured or infected. He needs his teeth.

nm and e.dd

Sunday, January 28, 2007

almost perfect


All I'm saying is that if I was either stuck on a plane, at work or in California these past two days I would have been so pissed. Glorious weather here in the Emerald City. Enough to make you want to open your windows, hang your smalls outside to dry and start doing some winter yard clean up.

Oh wait, I did all that.

The rest of the week looks good, well, unless you don't like air stagnation.

I see a car wash in my future and many more smalls to be dried outside.

Yipee.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Forgive my radio silence.

I am still sick. Sick enough that I have not been at work for the last three days. That is sick for me. I come in with the dengue fever.

TH is better and thankfully took Ernest with her today.

Nothing much to report. We have crocii and snowdrops blooming. The hellebores are starting as well. I think I'm going to force some forsythia this week.

Has anyone been to Greece? I'm going in September for my cousin's big fat Iranian/Greek wedding. I'm hoping to spend 10 days there - mostly with my parents and then a few in London. I'm excited to go, not excited to plan.

How is that for a change?

nm

Monday, January 22, 2007

redux redux

I have another cold. I can pinpoint the vector. TH has it too.

Neither of us are impressed. I'm just a day behind her in the symptoms and I've already cleared my schedule for tomorrow. I'll probably work from home.

My computer came back from Melbourne with a lovely estate bottled Pinot. I'll probably wait to drink that, but I'm excited get some stuff tested this week.

Other than that, off to check on the perfect roast chicken again.

nm

Sunday, January 21, 2007


We're all home. Safely and soundly.

Thank god.

No travel until the first week of February and that is easy.

Nothing interesting to report. I'm dealing with all sorts of news, some good, some sad.

More later.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

back home

We made it.

I'm in pain, but surviving. I look like the old guy who shuffled on Laugh In. I was quite happy to take a hot shower and change.

Now, I have to unpack and pack again.

Ugh.

Friday, January 12, 2007

swooning while powerpointing


Is this possible?

I am so hosed.

I cannot get this going. I will be up until I leave for SAT on Monday am just getting my presentation together for AMS. Why?

I just can't get into to it.


I just can't figure out what to say. Partially due to the fact that I am not doing the programming, but sort of managing the project and honestly, that makes it harder. A concept of operations will be fine, but not very interesting.

So, here I sit, totally rocking out to Blitzen Trapper, Final Fantasy, Bedroom Eyes and other bands featured on 3hive. I even bought a few cds today because I was swooning to the same songs over and over again.

I like that.

Well, short of a miracle, I will be in SAT with completed presentation on Monday afternoon, ice storms and what not be damned.

nm

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Weather - yipee

I am going to Phoenix this weekend with the delusion that I can walk 13.2 miles in a row without collapsing. With all good intentions, I really thought I could train for this, but things (life) got in the way, and now, I'm just going and hopefully glide, two pairs of socks and the fact that it will be cold will help.

I hope.

Ditto for San Antonio, should be damn cold, which is better than hot because it will be okay to bundle up and wear jeans and sweaters and down for my meetings.

Yes, I need a better meeting wardrobe. I am working on it, really!

Other than that, life goes on.

nm

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Snow day

Global warming? I think not.

More of the white stuff and below freezing weather for the emerald city. I was at work and we had two inches of snail - hail and snow combined. Its not a meterological term, its mine.

So, my drive home was interesting because everyone was afraid to go up the hill to the main road. Granted tomorrow morning will be ugly because the road will freeze into sheet ice. I don't really need to go in, I can work from home, but I probably should make the attempt anyways.

Its strange these new fangled snow days. I remember as a child spending all night wondering if school would be cancelled or not and listening to the AM radio station with my mom in the morning to see weather our district and later our school was closed or had a two hour late opening. Now everything is posted on the web, I suppose its also announced on the radio, but the web just makes it easier but less suspenseful if you know what I mean.

The snow was perfect here, not too much, the roads are clear, but probably now icy. I have to leave in a few minutes to pick up my brother from the airport. All the plants are underneath their little blankets and covered with mulch, boughs and lit up with balls of christmas lights. It looks quite festive. The lemons have taken refuge in the front hall. I am looking forward to the building of the library in the next year or so so that they can be wheeled in for the winter.

I'm hoping that you are all snug in your homes as well.

nm

Monday, January 08, 2007

What I had for dinner

Sorry, no pictures.

In my other life I play an harried overweight cranky person (hah, had you fooled) that cares about what she eats. Today I had a great message board exchange about roasted chicken that ended with a recipe and some tips on making the perfect roasted chicken.

We eat roasted chicken once a week. TH likes dark meat, I prefer white. We eat it the first night and then make something with the leftover meat - usually some sort of casserole. The body goes into stock and is seen in a soup or base for chicken pot pie.

Recently my chickens have been a disaster - not very flavorful, too juicy (strange), undercooked or just blah. I started to loathe the idea of that bird for dinner.

My pal, Lili, turned me on to Sunset magazine's roast chicken recipe. This recipe was simple, tasty and everything cooked perfectly. I'm not one for big roasters, since there are only two of us most nights, but honestly, with these results, I'll be reaching for a six pounder next week and trust me, I'll never baste again. We served the chicken with a steamed artichoke and baked delicata squash from the fall harvest. Delicious!

Thanks Lili for the tip. We're on a streak here chez floraandflying, over a week with decent dinners and creative leftovers.

nm

Sunday, January 07, 2007

if I had known I was going to Portland, I would have worn pants

Pearl Bakery, pain aux raisins, January 2007.


Seriously.


Yesterday, we got an email from Ernest's peeps. There was no snow in Goldendale and the Gorge and we could drop the boy off in Vancouver. He always gets nervous when you pack his kibble with his squeaky, but he got in the car and off we went.

I had my purse (no money), my cell phone and a few sudukos. I was wearing polarfleece and yoga pants, as if we were going to TJ's not to drive 160 miles one way.

Anyhoo, we made it in good time. Ernest did not sleep a wink, TH insisted on lane changes. He hates lane changes.

We dropped him and off and since we're beset by basketball on Thursdays and Saturdays and the Seahawks, TH thought we should go to Portland to chill instead of sitting in traffic on the way home.

Smart she is, that girl. However, if I knew I would be salivating over Pearl Bakery brioches and Pix's tarte au citron, I would have worn pants.

Fun times, down to Pearl Bakery, up to Hawthorne for an uninspiring lunch at Bread and Ink, dessert at Pix (swoon), Powell's books for cooks and Pastaworks.

Portland (at least the bakeries) on my flickr.

Home in time to miss traffic and four episodes of To the Manor Born.

Life is good.

Yes, I miss the boy, he's settling in I suppose -Happy to see his sister and family and maybe a bit sad not be climbing on me while I'm settling in for a good read.

nm

Friday, January 05, 2007

Can we get paid right now?

Seriously.

I am feeling quite poor right now.

I think its the beginning of the financial year that kills me. Full of hopes, dreams and great ideas.

I have managed to squander a lot of money last year or so it feels like. All I know is that I made a bunch as well and I have no debt.

This year, I'm trying hard not to squander and save more. I even bumped up my pre-tax deduction another 1.5%. Its a start. I'm up to 13.5% and then the other 15%, so really, its not that bad. Something like 40 bucks a month towards cat food for the future.

Could it be a house downpayment in taxes that I'm going to pay this year - that could be pissing me off?

Could it be my last three trips to Europe that were fun, but really not very necessary?

Who knows.

Serenity now.

nm

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

tag, you are it

I was tagged by Z. By the way, I tagged you a while ago, so have at it.
The rules - taken from Z...

“According to the rules… Each player of this game starts with the “6 Weird Things about You”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog!”

Six wierd things about me.

I am always thinking ahead, that is, I precalculate my moves, which means I basically can't monotask, which means I can't seem to get anything done 100%. I hate that.

If you send me a picture of your kid, I will never recycle it. So, if your child is now 15 years old, I still have the Christmas card you sent me because I cannot throw out pictures of children. It may be buried in a box somewhere, but not in the garbage.

I hate to have my pulse taken. Hate it, hate it, hate it.

I gag when I brush my teeth in unfamiliar surroundings, even 1000 dollar a night hotel suites. I cannot even bear the idea of brushing my teeth in public bathrooms.

I rarely skip to the end of the movie or book, instead I'll plod all the way through even if I hate it. I am getting better, but for some reason I feel this need to complete even the dreariest of novels.

I always call my parents, TH and my brother before I fly. I cannot fly unless I have talked to them or left them a message along with that, I will not erase voice mails left by my parents, TH or my brother while they are travelling, in case something happens to them.

Well, I have very few people to tag. I'm going tag Sheryl, Mony , Jen, Rachel and Mary.

Smooches.

nm

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

neverending pile

Today we stayed home. That is, a national day of mourning meant that we're on lockdown, so I worked from home as did TH. She didn't have to work, she wanted to and good for her.

I have a seminar on Monday to give and AMS is in a week.

Where did the Fall go?

Anyhow, I spent a bit of today doing some more organization and purging at home. I have managed to make many things go away, but I am still stuck with the pile. You know, the pile that really is full of things that have no home.

I hate that pile.

I'm going to spend the next five minutes going through that pile and and winnow it down to a pilelet.

I did a great job on my cards today. I have a grocery bag of cards to freecycle. I even managed to sort out my watercolor and hand craft cards from the myriad of cards that I have collected over the years. I now have a nice pile of such things for my next invitations.

I also found about three hundred postcards that I bought and never sent. Right now they are in a shoe box. I'll just grab a pile next time I'm going to Alaska, Siena or Denver. Who knows, maybe you'll get one.

All I know is that I'll never buy another card again.

Next stop, wrapping paper.

Oy!

nm

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

2007 is here. I like that number.

I'm not here to bore you with resolutions. They are pretty standard. Save more, travel less, lose those now nagging 25 ! freaking pounds, lower my cholesterol (new for 2007!) and not take up smoking or intravenous drugs.

We'll see how it goes.

We had a lovely New Years lunch and remembrances of Rome sandwiched by two visits with some of my favorite young people in the world.

I'm off to see my other favorite young people now and then I'm going to organize something else.

I just reorganized my wrapping ribbon collection. We now have a very organized mailing center. Imagine that!

An addition to the resolution list: Burn more candles. We have more candles than I ever thought. I think they are dividing via mitosis, or is that meiosis?

nm

Friday, December 29, 2006

End of the year Meme!

Taken from Bad,Bad Badger.

Take the first sentence of each month and tell us how you really feel.
Tagging JK, Z, Mony and Jen.

January: Happy New Year from chez nm.
February:White boy flights.
March:JK says her life is pathetic.
April:Don't get me wrong.
May:Busy weekend in North Finchley, not the most swank part of the city, but I got a bunch of stuff done in the garden, well, at least it looks better.
June:Ack, muggy day here.
July:I am sort of taking tomorrow off of work
August:Happy August Peeps.
September:It is hot here.
October:I'm still in the market for a new 2007 planner.
November:It is very rare that I take advantage of the concierge service of any hotel I stay in.
December:Okay, today has been a day.

From my first sentences of each month you can tell that 1. I have lots to say about the weather; 2. I like short sentences; and 3. I like the first day of the month.

Not much else to report. Glorious two days here weather wise. Spent alot time ripping apart my wardrobe (I have no clothes left), some closets and doing some end of the year yard work.

I am happy to see 2006 end. I can't say it was the worst of years, it really was okay, but I think 2007 just sounds better.

2006 brought Ernest the puppy, sale of my condo before the market plummeted in So. Cal, a nice retirement nest egg for nm, lots of travel -both fun and work, some job trauma that got sorted out, lots of job responsibilities, great visits with friends new and old, continuation of my parent's amazing love and their good health, great things for my brother and fun times with TH.

I wish the same for you, good health, fortune and happiness.

nm

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

food for the soul

I have been in a funk recently, I'll admit it.

London was great, Brussels remains fabulous, being treated like a high flyer once in a while is really good for the ego, but it isn't real life, you know what I mean?

Life is dealing with crises at work, running around before the holidays because you forgot that someone needs something, experiencing the joys of teenage puppyhood complete with stubborness and mouse breath, realizing that life is not getting easier as you get older and no matter what they say, there isn't peace anywhere on this earth.

So, yesterday, I sat here, trying to rest and get my body back to a healthy place and I realized that part of me just seems to be not my usual perky self. I seemed to be missing my cooking panache, goove, mojo or what you want to call it. Nothing excites me - most of the little arguments at Chez Florandflying revolve around what we're having for dinner - seriously.

Yesterday, I was motivated to get that oomph back in my cuisine life with the ingredients on hand.

Roasted chestnuts found in the freezer section of Trader Joes, chicken stock from Friday's chicken, half and half, milk, parsely, cloves and onions and a bay leaf became a yummy cream of chestnut soup.

Pork loin, parsely, shallots, bread crumbs and olive oil and herbs became a lovely herb crusted rolled pork loin.

Potatoes from the UDistrict market, milk and butter made some pretty tasty mashed potatoes.

Bitter braising greens from the U District market, olive oil, shallots and balsamic vinegar added some vitamins to our mix.

Butter lettuce gently tossed with walnut oil and balsamic vinegar and herbs de provence salt made a nice palate cleanser.

Leftover brioche, milk, dried cherries, vanilla, brown sugar and eggs created a lovely, rich but not too sweet bread pudding.

Chocolates selected at Wittamer last week finished off the meal that was graced with some yummy Rooster Brothers coffee from Ellsworth, Maine.

Good friends sharing laughs and stories made it even more like soul food for me.

I think I may have found my food groove again.

Thank you.

nm

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

boxing day redux

Um, what can I say, Christmas around here was very unusual. We stayed home, keeping our germs within our watershed and basically other than eating two platefuls of cookies, coffee and a nice christmas dinner, we read, slept, read, looked at ernest and slept.

It was strange, but honestly, it was fine.

I missed my family, our friends and festivities, but there is always next year.

Today is boxing day, TH made me stay home, M&B are coming over for dinner and then we'll schelp in the rain to see the BBG lights.

E.dd will stay home with his squeaky toy and protecting us all from vacuum cleaners.

He's brave that way.

nm

Sunday, December 24, 2006

merry merry merry

Here I sit telling E.dd to leave the tree alone. Our friends R&A said unbreakable ornaments were the way to go.

I have to agree, though the tree looks funny without our normal ornaments. TH picked up some very nice birch and felt ornaments in London, but it just isn't the same.

We're all sort of under the weather here at Chez flora and flying. TH is exhausted, E.dd has the doggie sniffles and I still feel like crud.

I'm hoping a low key tonight and tomorrow will cure us. It will be the first Christmas that TH will spend totally by ourselves - no guests, no family and no 777 to london. My mom and dad are visiting long time friends in Los Angeles and my brother is in the frigid North. I will miss them, but they are in our hearts and I'm sure we'll all talk tomorrow. I will also miss a mild and often sunny Berkeley Christmas. Who knows, maybe Ernest will be a good flyer and we'll start taking him there for Christmas.


Everyone, please have a happy day tomorrow, think of your good lives, your health, your friendships - old and new and save me a mince pie will ya?

smooches,

nm and e. dd

Friday, December 22, 2006

comfort and joy

I am sick. I am not blaming anyone in particular, okay, maybe seat 5G who was sneezing and snorting the whole way back from BRU and talked to us at Baggage claim about his cold.

Ack.

Its not bad, but given my track record for getting over illness rapidly recently, I decided to just stay home.

Yes, stay home. I am missing latkes and my dinner with our godchildren, my manicure, work and many small purchases. However, I am not going to AMS and the half marathon hacking and losing sleep and work because I couldn't be bothered to stay home one day.

later taters.

nm

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

vacation notification

TH and I are off to London for a few, meeting up with JK, NKK and RK for some holiday fun.

We're using points for our hotel stays, even checking out the Park Lane Polonium. :)

Wish us luck.

More tomorrow.

nm

Monday, December 11, 2006

go team M!


Welshpool Munitions Factory, Women's Football Team, 1915. Image courtesy of http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/item1/24655.

Not the Mariners, but the two delightful women I worked with this quarter in my preservation planning class.

All of us wear glasses and our last names start with the letter M.

We were all busy, so we divided up the work, did not obsess over anything and got it done.

What a lovely change.

I will miss them, but I will not miss that class.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

when does it stop?

My day in a nutshell...

Paper, dog, market, dog, Trader Joes, dog, Metropolitan Market, walk dog,Center for Urban Horticulture,walk dog, jumpy dog, laundry, paper, no internet to check references, dog walkies, cookies to be made, cookies to be made, roll cookies, bake cookies, roll cookies, roll dog, walk dog, feed dog, impound dog.

The dog is now sacked out and snoring on the futon in my office. I really want to kennel him, but he weighs 45 lbs. I guess I could wave a ginger bread basset under his nose and see if he'll get up.

My paper is 87% done. I need to clean up the text, compile the bibliography and hope that our third party will complete by 6 pm tomorrow.

I am soo sick of school.

Sick of cookie dough as well.

Who would have thought.

nm

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

sliding down...

Image from VA Tech Image Base - http://imagebase.lib.vt.edu/browse.php?folio_ID=/va/wom/clas

I am two hours and seven pages away from my preservation planning certificate.

Not that I'm acting like I have short timers syndrome.

It just feels like such a downer.

My undergraduate final class was mycology. The last thing I had to take to get my BS in Botany. I hated that course and our final was a lame multiple choice. Mind, it was hard, but it seemed so easy and such a let down after all that work.

My first master's, I can't even remember what I did before I turned in my thesis.

My second, I remember taking History of Housing seminar with Gail Dubrow as my last two credits needed for graduation. I remember it was a great class, lots of reading, one book on housing types a week, lots of writing and some big project time line. I took it as pass/fail since I left for two weeks in the middle of the quarter to vacation in Venice and Rome while my committee considered reading my tome. I loved that class and worked my ass of in it even if all I had to get was a 3.3 to pass.

This time it just doesn't seem that interesting. For one, I feel older than G-d and I have told that to numerous people. My dear Pat, who went through grad school with me has listened to my many strange thoughts about being in school again. My reoccuring dream about losing my felcos that we had to have for our planting design class and that our department chair was mad at me for losing mine. Strange since I never took a planting design studio. She also has heard me lament that I will be happy to never set foot in the Easy Shoppe across from Gould again. It is just time to leave, ya know?

Well, in any case, if I get my act together and my ass in gear, I can be done with my part of my paper by tomorrow, edit on Friday and be done with it.

Next time, I'm going with something a bit more my speed, but for now, I think I'll take a break.

nm

helllllllllllooo out there?

Where are you people?

Shopping?

Baking?

Meeting your deliverables?

Getting better?

I miss you.

Not much going on here. I have had many conversations with health care professionals on the state of my slowly filling with plaque arteries.

No sampling at Neal's Yard anymore, no white flour, no sugar, no nothing.

No biggie.

I managed to do something today that I never thought I would ever... I added a segment to my upcoming flight so that I would qualify without flying another round trip. Cost me 200 bucks, but no change in fare. Now, I get home 30 minutes after TH, but get to visit DFW as well.

So, dish, what is up with you?

nm

Monday, December 04, 2006


I just sent my first evite.

I can't believe it. Me, the woman who makes her invites by hand, used the internet to invite people to an event she damn well knew was happening months ago and could not get the oomph to get it together.
Ack.

Should be loud here on Sunday, if you are coming by, wear earplugs.

Oh, Ernest, he just ate a library book and the fine is coming out of his allowance.

nm

Sunday, December 03, 2006

CMR and other things

Yesterday I went on a Comfort Mileage Run (CMR). This term is coined by a Flyertalker, RTWStarAlliance. It basically means that you go on a mileage attaining trip with confirmed upgrades.

In my case, only my loong return cleared. My outbound was marvelous with an exit row with no one between myself and my seat opponent, a mocha extra dark from Dilettante, satsumas and roasted veggie enchiladas precooked from TJs.

I managed to snag gratis a new snack box served in coach.

  • Bumblebee Sensations Lemon & Pepper Tuna
  • Late July Organic Classic Rich Crackers
  • Stacy's All Natural Pita Chips
  • Tree Top Natural Apple Sauce
  • Bear Naked All Natural Granola Peak Protein
  • Brown & Haley Almond Roca
  • Emergen—C Super Orange Nutritional Supplement
Just needed to snag a yoghurt from the Board Room and bring my own lemon and I would set be the flight. Can I also applaud Alaska Airlines for actually providing milk for a flight? No creamer, dairy or non dairy, but real milk. I enjoyed it in my coffee.

Way better than most snack box options as analyzed by the Diet Detective.

Back home in just under 14 hours (time in transit was shorter, it is the drive to and from and waiting that sucks) and I'm done (sort of for the year).

Today, I went on my first true training walk for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon that I'm doing next month (yikes). We survived. Next week, one more mile gets tacked on.

nm

Friday, December 01, 2006

just saying

Okay, today has been a day.

Really.

Nothing positive to note, but Ernest the puppy did have a nice farewell scritch from Deb Andrews of the Arboretum Foundation on her last day at work. He has a very broad basis of support that dog.

Other than that, like JK, I'm questioning my very expensive stay in London. I am wondering if the night bus is better than spending 400 bucks a night for the Hyatt.

Thankfully, we were only going to stay two nights.

As for JK, maybe you want to go to Paris with me in February and burn those nights at the Vendome.

nm

Thursday, November 30, 2006

hedging

From Photomaven http://www.flickr.com/photos/maven/

The US dollar is tanking overseas. Most of you could give a whack. For those of you heavily invested in foreign stocks, lucky you. For me, I think I have something like that and my portfolio is good, so I'm not complaining in the big sense.

I'm just glad we hedge currency at home. That is right. We take out extra currency when we're overseas (Euros and pounds and CAD) because we know that Bushie and his cohorts will continue a policy that will bring the US dollar to its knees.

We're not talking hundreds of thousands, but hundreds. Honestly, when we spend four nights in London next month at nearly 400 bucks a night (rethinking this as we speak) and meals that are 30 bucks for a plate of noodles that I could get in Seattle for 3.95, I'll be happy I did.

nm

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

fabulous things

Quick post before blogger goes bye bye for the night.

I am five freaking hours away from my certificate. Not five course credits, five hours, 300 minutes.

Whoo hooo.

Trader Joe's now takes Amex. I can now ditch that MC that I only use for Hyatt stays and only use my Amex.

I am soo happy.

Other than that, check out ernest's new pics.

Ernest in November.

What a handsome boy he is.

I was going to expound on food - chile stew for what ails, hot chocolate and what not, but it is going to have to wait.

nm

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

bridges freeze before the roadway

It is cold here in the Emerald City, so cold that we stayed home today because, well we could. Mind you, we worked, but those seven hour walks with Ernest were cold and he wanted to sniff every freaking thing.

However, tomorrow is another thing. We need to go in and in we will go. I hope my locks don't freeze and that the expected snow tomorrow night comes in after I get home. I'm thinking pumpkin soup and since tomorrow night I have to make a dessert for an AIA auction, I better figure it out before I get to work.

Our house is a small citrus holding pen. Not as elegant as a limonaia, but it will work until the weather warms up. The rest of the potted plants are covered with mexican blankets, down comforters and odds and bobs. I hate it, but it is an annual ritual chez nm.

I knew there was a reason we keep such things around.

I hope that you and yours are bundled up and warm.

nm

Monday, November 27, 2006

cyber monday

I have to admit, it hooked me. However, short of buying the kids very cute little flannel robes from Lands End (double miles!), everything else on the list was for moi!

Lucky me, I received a 20 buck gift cert from Lucy today (no strings attached), 15% a purchase of more than one book from the University Bookstore and found another gift card.

Good thing I procrastinated.

Did I say that it snowed? It did, Ernest is in heaven. He loves it.

His grandmere is skeptical. I believe she now wishes she had left with grandpere. However, she has cable, her art projects and food to keep her amused until we can shovel her out tomorrow.

Lucky duck.

nm

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Saturday, November 25, 2006

'tis the season


Sugar! December 2005.

Black Friday has come and gone. TH and I went to the Ace Hardware in Maple Leaf for some double point fun, Cost plus in Bellevue for stocking stuffers and to Exeter Avenue for more turkey. We were lucky enough to have Aunt Pat and Cousin Scruffy come visit for a while and Ernest was able to work it with Scruffy. It was not a pleasant sight.

Today it was cold, but moderately sunny. Much yard work, gutter cleaning, running around and sadly, finding our neighbors deceased cat in our yard. It was a hard phone call to make and though the outcome is awful, at least she has closure.

Other than that, we're at home, enjoying a reprieve from turkey (tomorrow -enchiladas!).

Ernest's christmas presents have been ordered or located. Its the rest of the planet that is going to have to wait.

nm

Friday, November 24, 2006

Ernest in the window, November 2006.

W
ho is that tiny doggie in the window?


Three Thanksgiving meals later, I'm done.


nm

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

four o'clock in the morning

This morning (4 am) TH and I discussed the new security regulations coming down the pike and how hard it would be to conduct research and development when most of your waking hours are spent keeping up with unfunded IT security mandates.

Basically, you can't do any work, so why bother even trying.

Then we discussed other uplifting things and at around 6 am I went back to sleep to only wake up even more groggy and cranky.

I think from now on, I'll just get up and get on with my day.

nm

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

the heavens opened

Seriously, like three times today. I even went out to check on Ernest to see how he was doing when we had lightning and thunder.

He was asleep.

I love Seattle, I even love this weather, but today, I could use a little sun.

I passed 2,000,000 miles on American Airlines today. I guess my miles from my Tmobile account posted. I guess I'm relieved and as much as I know JK and others won't believe me when I say --I'm taking a break from this game.

I'm pooped.

I may even fly on miles this winter and give TH all my upgrades.

Lucky girl.

nm

Monday, November 20, 2006

nothing to report

of note. I feel crappy and this is a Week with a capital W. My hips are killing me and I'm behind today on my training. Yoikes.

Didn't go in for the blood draw today. Am working on liquids, thanks Z! and hopefully tomorrow am they can suck it out of me.

Other than that, E.dd's grandmere and grandpere are on their way up to Rainy Seattle to see their tiny puppy and admire all 44 lbs of him.

He's a bruiser.

Tonight, we're going out to dinner. None of us can stand to cook and whatever we eat, it is not going to be fowl.

later taters,

nm

Sunday, November 19, 2006

close but no cigar

Two weeks to the second of when we bought TH a new phone, we found the one.

Can't return it now, so we're just going to unlock it and have another UK phone.

Sigh.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

thanksgiving saturday again

Regeneration, Mesa Verde, September 2006.

Today is the Saturday before Thanksgiving Thanksgiving. One that has nothing to do with your nuclear family, the bad juju that some people associate with Thanksgiving and family holidays and travel and all that baggage that comes with "holiday rituals". It is a tradition borne of young 20 and 30 somethings who had family obligations on the traditional Thanksgiving, but felt that Thanksgiving is something that should also include friends. This is the 17th year. It continues to amaze me.

Ours is simple, mix friends, some wine, a goose, a turkey, foods that are important to you to have at the table and to sit for four hours and be thankful.

I haven't been in the best of moods the past few weeks and this is a good time to sit and reflect and realize that I am one of the luckiest people in the world.

L is the kitchen with TH making her famous corn pudding, E and L are at the condo watching the turkey and the Apple Cup. Scruffy and Aunt P are off for an adventure, but will be back for dinner and everyone else is due in at 6:30.

We miss those who are in Italy this year, we already talked to L in Maine, we miss B&P in Santa Barbara and we will raise our glasses to toast you.

We know that you will grace our table again, very soon.

smooches,

nm

Friday, November 17, 2006

denial part 3

Posh bangers, Borough Market, November 2006.

I failed my blood test today. The phlebotomist couldn't find a vein. She even tried for my hand. I blacked out and said I'd come back on Monday.

Eck.

We went shopping for Saturday before Thanksgiving Thanksgiving and discussed what to do about our suicidal homeless friend and whether or not he would be committing himself tonight.

This is not what Thanksgiving is about, unless, of course, you are thankful for your sanity and that you have a roof over your head.

It just puts a damper on the whole thing, doesn't it?

nm

Thursday, November 16, 2006

denial part 2

Oxo Tower, London- Remembrance Day 2006.

I am going in tomorrow for a fasting cholesterol test. My doctor tested my non-fasting and it was high. I am 41 years old and starting to fall apart. Something tells me next year will be about oatbran, saving more for retirement and pilates.

Maybe I shouldn't have had brussel sprouts with bacon and hazelnuts for dinner.

Sigh.

nm

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

denial

Three days before Saturday before Thanksgiving and a week before traditional Thanksgiving and I haven't done anything.

Yoikes.

Must order flowers tomorrow.

nm

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

nothing to declare


I have stopped buying things in London unless I really think it is necessary. Everything is so expensive and nowadays, so available anywhere. Most of the time, my bag has the Sunday Times, some cheese, Hello! and OK! and maybe a few things from Muji. I don't even declare 75 bucks and luckily, they never really ask.

The only sure thing is that each trip requires a visit to a chemist to buy feminine protection. I have no idea why, but I am doomed to visit anywhere with the joy of bleeding to death.

It is a given that I will have approximately 2 tampons in my bag at the beginning of my trip and64 minus what I used by the end.

So, next time they hassle me at customs, I'll proudly display my lil-lets and see if they ever bug me again.

smooches,

nm

Monday, November 13, 2006

knackered

My flight is delayed out of ORD. I will arrive at home at 2:30.

I am not amused.

nm

Sunday, November 12, 2006

london kills me redux

Yeah, you know who you are. London, November 2006.

To tell you the truth, I hate large events. I avoid large crowds of flyertalkers, I hate to talk points and miles for very long. We’re all fascinating people who lived fascinating lives away from our airports/hotels and our obsession of miles (1,963,000 to date on AA and counting). I hate the drama that can happen at any event. I’m too old and detached to give a crap about what someone said about someone else. In the last few months, I have realized that life is too short to deal with psychic trauma- mine and yours.

Imagine that all yesterday, there was none.

Okay, I had a little bit when I needed to get John to pick a hotel so that I could go in search of cheese. He bucked up and we moved on.

Thanks John. J

All day yesterday, there was none around me that I could detect. I loved it.

I also enjoyed meeting people I had only heard of and in some cases, admired from afar. You know what, they are all normal people.

It was fun.

Dinner was great. I actually won something (2 nights anywhere in the Hilton chain, I’m thinking Japan) and had some really good conversations and really good food at CafĂ© Lazeez. JK, we’re going here and a panto.


Smooches,

Nm

Friday, November 10, 2006

I'm tired and the idea of sitting on the plane for seven hours has no appeal.

Flight is chock a block full.

I think it's going to be a full on ambien, ear plugs and decaf dunkin donuts expereince. Pardon me if I ignore you for the next seven plus hours.

The doode on the FL desk is dork.

Nuff said.

smooches,

nm

idiots to the right please


Merle, the triceratops, at the BR, SEA-ORD-LHR. November 2006.

Can we talk?


If you don't know what to do at the airport, I recommend you spend 10 minutes at the TSA.gov site and learn.

Smooches,

nm



Thursday, November 09, 2006

chocolat chaud

Chocolat chaud, Marche Raspail Biologique, December 2005.

I love hot chocolate, not too sweet, but very hot and chocolatey. We recently sampled some of EATS hot chocolate at the West Seattle Farmer's Market. TH got some and I was supposed to hold it while she shopped and I chaperoned Ernest the puppy. Well, that hot chocolate didn't last too long around me.

It was yummy.

Today I went to Fran's to pick up some salted caramels and truffles to take to our hosts of the London Mega Do. I declined the caramel with macadamia nuts and she offered me a sample of their hot chocolate.

Yum is all I'm going to say.

TH and I will go to Fran's after perambulating E. the puppy in the Village. He usually is seen jumping into the fountains and woofing at things that squirt him. I get a latte and she gets a mocha. Things may have to change after this new discovery.

Okay, off we go to bed. To the airport in the am, no, my upgrade did not clear. I plan on a nice yogurt parfait from the dilletante, a latte and maybe I'll slice up some of that yummy mouse house cheddar that F&J brought in September.

Travel safe y'all.

nm

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

oh what a day....


Fabulous news on the political front. I felt great last night and this morning I felt even better and gosh darnit, after I came home from my board meeting, I felt like taking ernest for a walk, even if I would be drenched.

Welcome to the new world. I love this country and maybe today, I feel like my vote counted this time around.

Now, if we could get that continuing resolution dealt with and give us a budget...

Other than that, I'm leaving for London on Friday. It'll be fun, I'll see Jen and catch up with some others. I have a Sunday planned that includes Columbia Road followed by five hours of gardening at my aunts (Pray for good weather)....

Oh, I read with fascination about Britney and Kevin. It repulses me, why do I care?

later taters.

nm

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

PSA

Vote today as if your life depended on it.

Because it does.

nm

Monday, November 06, 2006

all good things come

Persimmon, chez NM, November 2006.


R
ainy Day here. We watched the radar all day. Looks like the worst is over.

Not much else to say, we have two persimmons this year. It took 15 years, so I am happy.


nm

Sunday, November 05, 2006

insurmountable

I have 3000 plus pictures in flickr. They all need captions and new tags.
I say 50 a day. What do you think? 75 if I'm procrastinating.

nm
Today we went out and bought TH a new phone. The same freaking one we had. We also upped our plan as we somehow (damned conference call) managed to go over our minutes to the tune of 60 bucks.

For some reason, I didn't have a text message plan. WTF?

Okay, so now we're 100 bucks poorer.

Its been a day.

The dog also has gas. How fun is that.

nm

Saturday, November 04, 2006

motivate me

Hat house, October 2006, South Park.

I have to write a measly 1400 word paper for my preservation planning seminar. I have the topic, I have materials, I have ideas, I just don't give a whack.

I have to be done by tomorrow to finish my AMS extended abstract.

Very interesting topic. I'm looking at a house that a bunch of community members nominated for landmark status and received it, which basically made it impossible for the new owner to short plat the land around it enough to make it economically viable. He felt that the house was not worth saving, the land was valuable, thus the house should be destroyed.

In the process I have learned that this house - very lovely and architecturally significant, was a meth production facility in a old Seattle neighborhood. The house has a happy ending, someone offered to move it to a lot close to its original location and fixed it up very nicely. The house is now being rented for a song if it was say, in my neighborhood, but very expensive for where it is.

The old lot is now a sea of hideous new tract houses.

The landmark is lovely, if not totally out of context in a sea of newly developed market rate townhomes, even with a 10' buffer, it looks strange.

Makes me wonder if things like this are worth preserving when taken away from their original landscape. It also makes me wonder about what motivates people to save things in a neighborhood that is going to change, no matter what.

nm

Friday, November 03, 2006

needle in a proverbial haystack

How hard is it to find a cell phone in a moderately well organized and clean house?

Your guess is as good as mine.

Sigh.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

nablopomo away




Its National Blog Post a Day for Month according to Z, who heard it from fussy. I'm up for the challenge I think even if it means posting from a skanky internet cafe next weekend. NM is not taking a laptop to London unless necessary. Too much overhead these days....


Anyhoo, not much to say, TH is sick, Ernest has pano, I feel like crud, so we spent most of the evening feeling sorry for ourselves. Me, snoring on the couch, TH and E. dd on the futon in my office. I think E. dd now thinks that all beds should be this big.

Now, we're all awake and its close to midnight.

If you blog, join us, link to Fussy and wow us with your witty thoughts and prose.

nm

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Roma, Roma, Moleskine City Guide, October 2006.

It is very rare that I take advantage of the concierge service of any hotel I stay in. This past weekend, I did use the concierge to book a table for me at Lutetia Brasserie for lunch, find me a restaurant and to track down the elusive Moleskine city guides for the cities I am most likely to visit and annotate any guidebook or map I may have.


They were located at the WH Smith on Rue de Rivoli, which is an expat hangout. I did try the Bon Marche book and paper department, called Brentanos and checked a few places that were independent with little luck.


Turns out WH Smith had most of them and at least the Paris guide was waiting for me at the cash desk.


What can I say?

I am a bit dissapointed. They are small, which I guess is good if you are going to carry it everywhere, but the maps are not so great. The London maps have very little detail on them, so unless you stay on main drags you'll get very little use. The Paris guide is much better on maps and the metro map is useful, but why not put in a RER map? I'm used to journalling in a bigger moleskine, so it was hard to adjust to this size.

I didn't start filling out our Paris one, I may do it this week.

I'll take my London one next week. I don't suppose I'll be seeing anything new or exciting, so I'm not sure how much I can fill it out, but it is a step in the right direction.

I'll post the maps and details on my flickr asap.

nm
Colissmo, XL. October 2006.

What I did last weekend.

5.5 kilos of chocolate sent.

Mon dieu.

Monday, October 30, 2006

How can two people who were gone for five days and had done laundry before they left, have generated four if not five loads of laundry?

Geez.

Bags emptied, chocolate aliquoted, laundry started, mail sorted, bags put away, email checked and showered.

Off to bed.

nm

so sue me

In Chicago, tired, but happy to be almost home.

Lots of fun in Paris, getting there was not a lot of fun - sitting on the ground Seattle, not sure we'd make it to Paris directly, long wait for a train to Paris (locale) on the anniversary of the Riots in Clichy sous Bois.

However, it was lovely once we got there.

Chocolate, macarons, a stunning view of the Tour Eiffel, catching up with JB and making plans for collaboration, finding the elusive moleskine Paris and really just trying to chill.

Brussels was much the same, I had a great time watching TH buy chocolate. By then I was on chocolate overload. Not even Pierre Marcolini could tempt me.

Back in the Flagship lounge, where cell phone usage is now limited to the old smoking lounge, I give a dirty look to a guy on his cell phone in the cell free zone. He tells me to call his lawyer if I have a problem.

Really.

So sue me.

nm

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

carrot and stick

Boul. Raspail Marche biologique, December 2005.

If you are a basset who loves both sticks and carrots, what do you do? The carrot is supposed to tempt you, but the stick is also tasty. Its a hard thing. Sometimes, you should just pick one, but which one.

I am realizing that in my desire to lose 15 lbs by the end of the year, that I have gained five and it is all in my stomach. My friend S. calls this the Buddah belly. My spring coat is tight and unfortunately, its 68 degrees in Paris. Oh well, they say black is slimming.

So, do I beat myself with the stick for using food as reward or punish myself with carrots for eating too much? I'll tell you after I have a salad for lunch on Friday in Paris and then stop at Laduree for three macarons - citron, framboise and maybe fruits de bois.

Sigh.


nm

Monday, October 23, 2006

Peppery goodness, Billy's peppers, U. District Farmer's Market, October 2006.

Not much to say. Tired, busy, running around like a chicken with or without a head. Lots to do and not enough time in the day. I still have 40 pages or reading to do for class.

Sigh.

Right now the house smells like peppers. They got ahead of us, so we roasted them. Should be great in soup in say, November.

Sort of reminds me of Santa Fe.

nm

Saturday, October 21, 2006

better than anything

I cancelled my trip to Boston, slept in my own bed, albeit with the equivalent of 15 otter pops on my back (blue ones), woke up stiff and sore and felt great.

The sun was shining after the fog lifted, TH, B and I went to the Market, did the normal TJ's run, hung out and scritched the dog and other things that I would be missing if I spent the day wandering around Boston.

I even managed to prune many things and leave the prunings for my garden assistant tomorrow.

TH recreated a pizza we had from Serious Pie. Chanterelles and crimini mushrooms on a cornmeal crust with truffle cheese and quattro frommagio.

Serious yum.

I even managed to pick raspberries, kiwis and the last of the apples.

Ernest managed to get in a bath and turnip chase.

My back feels way better.

Life is good.

nm

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Feeling your age

Squash, Georgetown, October 2006.


Today I feel all my prime years. To tell you the truth, I have never felt any worse pain in my lower back. I am going to call what I have bulkhead syndrome.

What the heck is that?

It is what you get when you are a short woman, with the luck and desire to usually get seat 1A.

Why?

So that no one reclines into me and that I can put my tootsies up on the bulkhead.

Well, that is all fine and good until you do it for about 20 hours in one week and then your lower back screams in agony because you are putting so much pressure on it by putting your tootsies up on the wall as in this picture.

NM's life on Alaska Airlines.

Today I stayed home and I worked from home, I tried to rest. I didn't go to the gym. The doctor saw me, prescribed massage and sent me on my merry way. I can't get in until Monday afternoon. I have tons of Advil and ice packs. I cancelled my personal trainer for tomorrow and Ernest promises not to pull.

What am I doing tomorrow night? I am flying in seat 1F and I'll be damned if I put my feet up on the bulkhead. I can't take the pain.

I'm still waiting for my upgrade to clear on the return, but honestly, I'll be fine if it doesn't, less chance of injuring myself.

nm

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

a pink pony please

Snow, October 2006, UCAR parking lot.
I'm getting a million emails today about what everyone wants in metadata files (you know, data about the data). I'm thinking the metadata will be larger than the data by the time they are done.

I'm going to ask for a pink pony too.

Sigh.

It is snowing here. I am so not excited.

Monday, October 16, 2006

deja vu

The road not travelled, Colorado, September 2006.

See this post here.

I'm back again, in a different meeting, a different context (data management guru) and a different lab.

I am one of two women at a meeting of modelers, data managers and standards setters for large scale hydrodyamic models. That is right, we're 4% of the population at this meeting. I'm not a modeler and honestly, some mornings I can't even imagine why I am here.

However, I'm enjoying myself and me thinks we may have a new data standard to play with when we get back to the lab.

Dinner tonight is the Ted, he always picks the best places. ;)

I'm bummed that Katja had to go to ABQ to play with her satellite. I'll think of you tomorrow when I replace my missing jibbitz.

Yes, JK, I am going to glam them up.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

words of endearment

Tiny little handprints, October 2006.

Today while in Trader Joes, TH murmured to me the words that are part of our enduring relationship --"when exactly are you leaving again?".

I can't blame her, I'm a nutcase today.

nm

Saturday, October 14, 2006

saturday night and the partying is right

Okay, I'm back from DC. What can I say other than I survived.

One transcon to go and then Denver. Whoo hoo. At least I get to spend the day with my cousin A. who is matriculating at BU and should be good company.

Last night I went to bed without the use of pharmaceuticals and had some strange dreams. The most disturbing is the "getting ready to leave and can't find my passport" nightmare that was a melange of a major work deadline (hmm), extra security for the foreign nationals at my work place that made me nervous and not remembering my passport before I left for the airport.

Yes, campers, this is a nightmare of mine. That and losing my boarding pass (happens frequently).

Today my travel day was smooth, my upgrade to DC did not clear, but I had pleasant seat opponents. I managed to read the paperwork for my meeting, finish two mysteries, take a nap and on the way back watch a really bad movie on the way back. The food in First was nothing to write home about. I ate the beans/rice and the salad and my cheese and apple. My decaf was kept full and I was happy that the Husky game traffic was over before I made it home. I even picked up the Post for Sunday's reading.

By the way, Go Beavs!

Friday, October 13, 2006


The bells of Pecos. Pecos, New Mexico, September 2006.

Nothing to say today, I am tired. I am off for my only mileage run of the season (SEA-DCA-SEA) in one day tomorrow. My upgrade cleared on my return and I'm still waitlisted on the outbound. I have 3 lbs of paperwork for my meeting on Monday, so I have something to amuse myself with along with the new Dianne Mott Davidson and 30 sudukos.

Have a great weekend, y'all.

nm

Thursday, October 12, 2006

its easier the 19th time around

Sunset, Pecos, New Mexico. September 2006.

I'm still cranking on my model outputs. I have discovered a little operator error in the naming of the files and now realize that I could rerun the model without displaying the results faster than I could rename 700 files.

So, I'm praying there are no windows updates tonight and that I can run this overnight and call it art.

I stayed home today and worked. I wish I could do it daily, but it ain't going to happen. I worked from 8 to 3, took a nap and have been working from 8 until god knows when.

I'm still coughing. I seem to be feeling no adverse effects of the codeine. I just wish I could stop the cough.

Tomorrow we'll put the rest of the garden to bed and begin my two weeks of travel hell.

At least my upgrades are clearing.

nm

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

not to freak out or anything

Leaves, Dumbarton Oaks, October 2006.

I have three two transcontinental flights, one to Denver and one to Paris in the next 20 days.

I am still using my codeine cough stuff and feel like crap. Its a viral cough, it'll eventually peter out. Right?

I have a paper to write for AMS by the end of the month (no real progress as of yet), another abstract for another meeting, a paper for class and general work stuff. I have to fly to Denver next week for a work meeting and I hope that 1. it does not snow 2. that I will understand 20% of what is discussed at the meeting.

Not just baby steps, its time to seriously start planning my days by the 15 minute increments.

Yikes.

nm

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

back up and double check

Check out this flickr set on the Bonneville salt flats.

We encountered a little heartbreak on our road trip last month. NM stupidly lost a memory card for the camera. So, we lost the first four days of our vacation pictures. The things that happened are in our brains, the landscape, the silly signs, the pictures of the weather station at the top of the Steens in the 25 degree blowing snow.

I wish I could share them with you, but as TH and Mony have stated, what is in embedded in your brain is more important.

We can easily recapture those images. I had some great pictures of the Spiral Jetty, but I guess we'll have to drive back down that hideous gravel road and take them again. My awe at the landscape of the Great Salt Lake, the salt flats and the semi-permanent monuments are still with me.

This last week, I finally downloaded the memory cards, put them on the hard disk of Thor and uploaded most to flickr to edit. It'll take me a while to them up and running. I wasn't too sure if everything was downloaded onto Thor, so when I was in DC last weekend I was hestitant to delete anything. So, I went to motophoto in Dupont and they copied everything off the card in the camera and put it on CD for a whopping six dollars.

I'll do that from now on - insure myself against loss or heartbreak.

nm

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ernest at 7 months


Isn't he handsome?

Thank you for being literate

Mocha mexicano and french toast bagels, Dilletante Mocha Cafe at Seatac, October 2006.

The title of this post is exactly what the TSA screener said to me this morning after she inspected my 1 quart ziplock bag full liquids and gels. She was amazed that I had read the paper and understood the rules.

Okay.

Here we are at the airport on our way to DC for the weekend. The BoardRoom is full of loud mouths and small children who are able to mosey up to the bar and order shirley temples and I can upload a meeting abstract that is due today.

More later.

nm

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I gotta ask myself

Why at 10:46 pm I'm setting up a model run that I'm 89% sure will crash by morning.

I have definitely found some bugs in the candidate release of the new ArcGIS 9.2 software that are really making me mad.

All I need is for this bad boy to finish by 4 pm tomorrow so that I can work on animating it by the end of the weekend.

Yes, Virginia, I will be in DC this weekend, working while TH spends her time reading about multidimensional representation of space.

At least we'll eat well.

nm
Apples, September 2006.

I have a prescription for codeine cough syrup and antibiotics to take me through the next anthrax scare. I just need to fill them. I still feel like crap and hopefully, these will make me feel better. With my next few weeks of back to back flights I can't go on sounding like this unless I want a row to myself.

I have so much to do, I need to get well.

I am trying, just failing.

nm

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Am I the only one who lost money today on the stock market?

Geez.

Again, repeat after me "I'm in it for the long term- find your happy place".

On a happier note(?), I am going to see the doctor about my tubercular cough. Even my boss, who I believe was the initial disease vector remarked that I shouldn't be here sounding like I do.
Maybe it would be better if our group stayed put in Seattle instead of going to Bali, Australia, Guam, Hawaii and Boulder every freaking week and bring back foreign germs.
While I get paid not very obscene amounts of money to think about data, endure endless conference calls about data standards and attend lots of meetings about such arcane things, JK gets to meet interesting people, scan all sorts of media for her job and listen to endless banjos.

I have not a clue where she found this, but it made me spit my decaf out onto my screen.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

portrait versus landscape

I'm still in the market for a new 2007 planner. As much as I love Moleskine, thanks to Viv for turning me onto Moleskine and moving me out of the filofax world. I detest the new format. I want to see my days and week in a vertical (portrait) layout. I want to see my time blocked out as it happens and know that I can tell at glance if my 10 am slot for Friday is free or not.

Since I got hooked on the Moleskine last year, I don't know if both formats were available. All I know is when I looked at this year I was bummed.

Today we went down to the University Bookstore so that I could get the book for my last class for my preservation planning certificate. Yes, campers, I may have graduated years ago, but more knowledge is good knowledge and with only a few more classes to go, I decided to finish it off. What is left is the first of the series of planning classes, I'll keep you up to date on my progress.

Anyways, the bookstore is pushing all sorts of planners. I picked up the moleskine, weekly planner and then was intrigued by the Quo Vadis. It is just perfect for me in terms of organization, though I am not too crazy about the size - its a bit bigger than the moleskine, but it has the week in vertical by hour, places for notes and just like moleskine, a pull out address book. Interesting colors for covers too. I may let it sit on my desk for a while and then decide. I may also just look when I'm in Paris in a few weeks.

Getting organized takes work and planning and learning what works for you is key. Pick up your planner and look at it, does it feel right? Will it fit in your bag? Do you need it to block out projects? Do you just need it to do simple tasks? Can you live with a soft covered planner or would you take it more seriously if it was hardback? Can you doodle in it?

So many questions, so many options!

We can talk about this more if you want, I'll even pencil you in.

nm