Sunday, September 02, 2007

contrary to popular belief

A view from I-90, Thorp, before the fruit stand, September 2007.

I am alive, kicking, just busy.

Survived DC, coming home to the same old and today was spent taking the ernmeister to
the 509 for his rest cure.

Stopped in Winegars for ice cream, yakima for tomatoes, Goldendale for some love and Wapato for gas.

We're tired and the house is so quiet.

I'll miss the boy, but he's having a blast.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

lucky me

I am sitting in the presidential suite of my hotel, not because I'm the president (though Ernest may enjoy it), but because I asked for a room that was not on the atrium. The room they gave me was not cleaned, I went to the front desk to ask for my original atrium room back so that I could collapse. The front desk dude clicked a bunch of keys on his computer and gave me a key. He hoped I would be happy with room.

I am, I could have forty people over right now and I wouldn't even notice they were here.

I have the beginnings of a cold. I am overwhelmed by the amount of information and processing that happened today at my meeting. I am still trying to play catch up for the day and hopefully it will happend before too long. I'm bushed.

On the flip side, I found a marimekko store in Silver Spring and a cakelove. Cakelove is great, but marimekko travels better.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Here I sit in DC, sitting digesting my delicious dinner that JK and I had at Teasim and considering the salted oatmeal cookie for dessert.

It has been a week.


I am still decompressing from all sorts of work stuff, dealing with a dog in his terrible tweens, travel planning for not just me and having my parents come up for the weekend.

Its all under control now.

I hope.

Now, if I could only find something to watch on tv while reviewing my documents for tomorrow's meetings.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

All I can say

I lead an event driven life.

I am escaping into my hole now.

See what Kerrio's up for some fabulous summer/fall foodage.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

wordless wednesday II - very few words

On my way out of the building before all hell breaks loose.

On my way in this is what I was greeted with:

Aren't they beautiful? The picture on my phone sucks, but they are magnificent and I'm touched.

When I went to pick up the dog from the groomers, this is what he looked like:
Very tired.

We then left him to go see the Be good tanyas, they are better in a smaller venue.

Now, I am at work, not really doing much of anything, but setting up directories for tomorrow's downloading of data to refine our models.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

home work II

You both walk the dog and you realize that your conversation is about subtracting one raster from another to compare changes in a digital elevation model and it doesn't even phase you.

God, can we just leave it at work?


Monday, August 13, 2007

an amazing abundance

Still life with fig, August 2007.

The two houses on either side of us have huge green fig trees. I suppose at one time we may have had one. I just don't know. I must remember to ask Marge, our next door neighbor if they planted their tree or it was there when they built the house in the early 60s.

The trees are loaded this year and we are enjoying their fruits. On Friday I macerated the figs with some cognac and a bit of sugar and served them on top of a cake that Kimberly McK baked for Shauna's visit.

I am in love with this cake (i'm sorry I didn't take a picture of it, it was pretty). Today, we decided to try something new...

We're making fig bars.

Right now the figs are cooking away, tomorrow, in the heat (ugh), I'll make them base and then spread the lusty dark fig concoction of top and bake them. The following day we'll eat them plain or with a foil of greek yogurt or vanilla ice cream.

My friend B and I are fiends for fruit foraging and canning. She has devised a way to freeze figs, I am not sure that I want to go that far, but maybe this year we can work on making fig jam.

A fig is a terrible thing to waste...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

pure bliss

Home grown peaches, yogurt and leftover lemon/almond cake.

I was a total slug all weekend. I may pay for it on Monday and hear about it for a while, but I just was tired.

I read four trashy books, did minimal decluttering, minimal gardening, minimal of anything and you know what, it felt okay.

This week should be a bear or something like it. Pray for no deep sea earthquakes, that is all I'm saying...


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ratouille au four, over and over again, August 2007.

Sometimes I think it is better to just not read the newspaper. Then I won't get as riled up and maybe everyone will be happier.

I have nothing of interest to report, those who have been talking/emailing me know that I am not having the best of weeks.

I don't think next week will be any great improvement, but we can look on the bright side.

There are lots of blueberries and blackberries in the freezer and in a few weeks I will be sitting drinking g&ts with lime/no lemon in with a wolfhound using my shoulder as a chin rest.

Before that, there are two half marathons, a work trip to DC along with a million other things to cross of my life list.


Friday, August 03, 2007


Late summer blooms, September 2006.

This one is for Jen.

1. Best cupcake to make? (I need to bake tomorrow!)

Make the cake I mentioned yesterday. Glaze with a chocolate frosting and they'll never know there is anything healthy in it. Use the olive oil or canola oil instead of butter to speed things up.

2. What is in full bloom in your garden right now?

Crocosmia, anemones, lavenders and phlox. Lots of weeds too.

3. Best race day advice?

If you are not racing for time, then use the portapotties en route, if you are trying to make a personal best, you can always pee later. Oh, Glide is your friend everywhere and so is desitin (in those places that only you'll discover after not using it on a long walk/run). I am so not kidding. Book massage for following morning as well.

4. Book of the moment.

Mirror Garden

5. Next major travel destination?

Philadelphia, London, Greece and Paris in September. I am so not excited right this moment about this trip. Sad, I know.

Now, you can do this too, simply follow Jen's very good instructions:

Want to play now? Here are the rules if you do:

1. Leave me a comment saying anything random, like [the food you hate most in all the world]. Something random. Whatever you like.
2. I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. You will update your [blog] with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be asked, you will ask them five questions.


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Donut day

Tomorrow I move offices. I am neutral about the whole thing. Its a lateral if now downward move, but it will bring our whole group together and that should make me feel the love. Right?

It also means that I am moving divisions, though technically I moved two years ago. It means that my mailbox moves and more importantly, I leave my coffee hour group.

They are not letting me leave.

So, in honor of Dennis, V and all of the fine folks that bring us climate variability and el nino predictions, I made a chocolate and zucchini cake from the Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook. I love this cookbook, I have made a few things out of it and some things over and over again.

This is another winner.

Behold, the cake.
The recipe can be found in the chocolate and zucchini archives, here.

Bon Appetit!


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

wordless wednesday

Ernest watching the soccer match - the Indian Ocean tsunami workshop attendees v. the world, August 2007.

Monday, July 30, 2007

neighborly advice

We have a neighbor with whom we have little contact compared with the rest of our awesome neighbors. It could be her metaphysical aura, her long winded conversations or that I just don't like her.

Anyhow, it was so lovely for her to tell me yesterday that she had lost twenty pounds by quantum physics or what it that she redirected her hypothalamus?

I did not need to hear I gain weight while prepping for half marathons and eating a balanced correct calories for my weight/metabolism diet.

Other than that,Dallas was very depressing. I am still processing what my aunt is going through. My dad is sad and that is hard to see. A major link to my father's history is now lost. My cousin is taking care of my aunt sixteen hours a day and I can't even imagine what her life is now like.

My friend B. promised me that if I'm ever incapacitated she'll make sure all my chin hairs are plucked and my bimonthly manicures will always happen.

She knows I'd the same the same for her.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

bending to my will

Codfish head chopper, St. Pierre, June 2003.

Nothing is bending to my will, so I really have nothing to say, nothing positive.

I have had a long week of work, family and ernest.

I could use a break, so I'm flying to Dallas tomorrow for one!

Not. I'm flying to Dallas tomorrow to meet my parents and see my ailing aunt.

I can do without very ill aunts this year, thankyouverymuch.

I'll be back on Saturday with tales of yours truly navigating Texas. Wish me luck.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

er, screw you blogger

I am not a spam blog.

I don't even like spam.

Bite me.

I was going to wax poetically about the cutting up a 30 lb fresh halibut and eating lovely grown from the garden produce, but that is so just going to wait.

click on the next blog, someone may be trying to sell you those gel candles or tell you all about their really boring day.



Monday, July 16, 2007


Had a great weekend, now just trying to catch up with work, garden and sleep.

More later.


Friday, July 13, 2007


How are you doing?

I'm up really late. Why? Because I'm not going to work tomorrow and I'm not flying anywhere! I'm going to Vancouver for the VFMF and even though I'm not crazy about the line up, its a good weekend to find a tree and read a book.

So what if the US dollar is crap compared to the Canadian dollar?

I'm hoping to hit the Granville Market round noonish, take some pics, grab some lunch, check into hotel and then not participate in the Birkenstock 500, but still capture my place on the hill to listen to the opening night show.

Its cooler here. I'm picking raspberries like mad, the garden is definitely drooping, but hopefully we'll get all watered before we leave town.

Yes, dear ones, the Ernestmeister will be in lock down.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tiny dog, in the heat.

Erm, this past Sunday while I was dashing out the door for the Seafair half marathon, I managed to upset my dog.

He has learned to bay.

My boy is growing up.


Sunday, July 08, 2007

oh, more

best parts of today's race, in no particular order --

the swag bag and decent shirts
meeting becky and her friends from Dayton and finding out that they give good stuff at the end of the nike women's marathon (tiffany necklaces)
becky running to find out if one of the marathon runners was male or female, we, the other four had to know... she was female
the butts on the marathon runners - good incentive
the hills weren't that bad
someone saying "i smell bacon" around lake hills, and it did smell good
the great people and organizations that personed the water stations
the bagpipe player
the lake hills starbucks and their samples of white blueberry tea at the right time
walking past some of the childhood remembrances of bellevue --- my mom's hair salon, my pediatricians office, my dermatologists (oh the benzoyl peroxide of my youth), my now accountant office
walking with J and her being a good sport towards the end
having my mom and dad at the finish line

Nuff said.

Finished faster than I had thought, in a little bit of pain (hamstrings) and feeling pretty good. Took a nice long nap, moved a stove and did some garden rearrangement and enjoyed a nice grilled halibut nicoise for dinner.

August is our slacker month. We're doing a 10K or 5K towards the end and then Philly in two months.

Time wasn't too bad, I'm working on shaving a minute off each mile by September, this will require a little bit of dedication on my part, but hey, its way flatter and way faster.

I can't believe how far we've come since January!


Friday, July 06, 2007

Still life with campari, nm, TH and Aunt Pat go to Florence, January 2003.

What the hell?

I think its time to start the campari-ing for the night.

If you paid (or were stupid enough to pay) 12,000 USD for the thrill of flying in club world on BA, don't you think it would be nice to get to select your seats ahead of time?

Well, you really can't.

Seriously, that sucks.

Update: I put in my American FF number, which must of opened up the seat map for me.

I was able to pick up some decent seats on the top deck. I have only had one other top deck experience that I can really remember and that was sweet.

Hmm. I may actually go on this trip.

Whose stupid idea was it to do a half marathon two weeks after the last one?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

smart thinking

How can an airline that I have seriously put 100K of butt in seat mileage for the last six years continue to put my in the back of the plane in a middle seat every time I book a ticket.

They really must be trying to piss me off.


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Old blue, where am I going, where have I been? July 2007.

I am sending off my passport today to get renewed. It expires in two weeks. I should have done it earlier, but between my own travel schedule and my parent's jaunt to the axis of evil, I just wasn't going to give it up.

Now I am.

I am freaking. To me a passport is freedom and a way out. It is a way to mark your citizenship and I am damn proud to have a blue one.


I booked a ticket to London for the beginning on August to see if that will help expedite it. If it doesn't show up in three weeks, I go off to the passport office and get one on the spot. I also will get two nice days in England to do as I please. If it shows up earlier, I can cancel my trip and just wait until September, when I am already scheduled to go.

Amazingly, I found availablity on BA for August.

The new passport pages are a snap. They even let you fill out a pdf on line and it prints everything out so that its legible. Probably speeds up most peoples' applications this way.


Monday, July 02, 2007

they should liscense parents and dog owners

Today our security guard asked me if it was okay to board her 8 week old puppy
someone gave her as a present for three months, or until she moved into another
apartment that would take dogs.

A eight week old puppy shouldn’t be away from his mom and littermates, let alone sent to a kennel where it may or may not be socialized with other dogs or people.

I said give the puppy back.

I can’t believe that people do this.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A few days ago I said I need a life.

Tonight, I sat at the dining room table and ate a dr. praeger's tex mex burger on a piece of whole wheat bread that I found lingering in the fridge while reading a cookbook and the instructions for our yoghurt maker that I am finally going to start using.

I used a placemat, cloth napkin, the table was cleaned off and there are lovely flowers on the table. This of course, all happened after I cooked pasta and veggies for Ernest who is still not eating his kibble.

I blew on my dog's pasta to make it cool faster.

See why I need a life?

Oh wait, the dog is making bell noises, its time to go on our 89th walk of the day!

TH is hopefully on her way home.


Tuesday, June 26, 2007

home again!

Views from the Coastal Trail, Mayors Half Marathon, June 2007.

TH is off to OKC, but I'm home and happy about it, so is the dog, but most of you know that already. Its on the wires and he's going to be on Larry King soon.

Anchorage was fun, the weather was great for the Mayor's Marathon and we finished. We have another half in two weeks and the next two track workouts and this weekend I will be working on speed.

I have to say, it was very lovely and strange to be in a city where I have happily transitted for many years, but never really stayed. Neat stuff there. I have to thank Miss B. for her excellent suggestions, Uncle Bob for his generous hospitality for Saturday night and the smartwool people for providing what I believe to be are the best socks for me. Not one blister in 13.1 plus miles (all that running back and forth).

Seafair should be interesting. It is really hilly, so that is what the guides say. I figured as long as J's dad meets us with our Sbux orders, we're dandy. I wonder if the blueberries will be ready by then?

I'm having a hard time adjusting to being at home, between being tired, my hormones, the heat and my lack of enthusiam for my current work tasks, it is going to be a long week.

Looks like J and I may be in Des Moines for the Des Moines marathon. It looks great and would give me the Central time zone without any ice storms. Its actually cheaper than Dallas because hotels are inexpensive and its nice and flat. The fact its six weeks after Philly and only four weeks before Seattle should give me some time to recover.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Yeah, another year goes by at the ESRI UC. I think this is my eighth official and my 10th overall. I am not wowed, as I commented on James Fee's blog.

Could it be the second year of cremora instead of half and half at the coffee breaks? I think so.

I spent the morning learning more about disaster mitigation and preparedness and the coffee at the OMNI hotel was far superior to anything at the SDCC.

Now, I am rewriting my presentation.

It should bore most to death as it is currently doing the same for me.

Tomorrow night, we're off home, drop off laptop to colleague on his way to Thailand for two weeks and then to Anchorage for the weekend.

Ernest is fine. I think. His fans are concerned.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

a tale of two flyers

TH and I both are the same status on Alaska Airlines. My ticket was 30 dollars cheaper than hers, but purchased 2 weeks earlier and believe it or not to the correct destination. Hers was bought to SFO by their fabulous trained travel clerks.

My upgrade to first class cleared at 72 hours, hers never did.

I gave her my first class seat and sat next to a lap child.

Before we boarded she said "I hate flying on the same flight with you but not seated next to you", I said that she could give 6B her seat and sit nextto me.

She said, not enough to sit in coach.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

call me paranoid

Moroccan salt poppy, June 2007, Seattle, WA.

I haven't backed up my pictures off my hard drive in six months. I have uploaded a lot of them to flickr, but I haven't done a big back up.

So today, this is what I do while I wait for software to load to my work laptop.

Remember this tragedy?

I'm still verklempt thinking of all the cool pics I lost. Then again, I can always go back and visit the Salt Lake contingent and the Steens - all in five days.

I started training with chuckit for the Seattle Half Marathon. I am going to try and get excited, I think I might want to move to the run/walk group as my goal is shorten my time, not to finish. I know I can finish, I just want to shave 30 minutes off my time. However, I see my Saturdays being sucked up with four hour walks and runs. Oh well, better than a poke in the eye and since that market is open until 2, I know I'll be able to stop and pick up my flowers at some point in time.


Other than that. I'm getting ready to leave. Everything is planted, just need to pack for work trip followed by Anchorage for the half. Paranoid us (not just me) thinks we should pack for both trips and in case we're delayed, just keep our bag of ANC stuff (shoes, running gear, mucklucks) with us in case we can't get home.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Dear Joan,

I am so glad you have finally released a new album, but do you think in all your traipsing around the left coast, you could perhaps make an appearance in my area code. I am willing to travel one area code away, but do not have the strength to go further afield.

Yes, I promise not to sway and sing along to Willow. Okay, maybe not.



Wednesday, June 13, 2007

feeling all nasturiumy

Originally uploaded by flora and flying

Not really, but I am tired and feeling a bit overwhelmed. C. pointed out today that ernest gets more traffic on his blog than I do. I am not offended in the least.

Check out my orange collection on my flickr For those who know me and TH, you can see who influences this part of our garden.

later taters,


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

vive la france

This just made me sooo happy.

Imagine thinking you were going to Boise and to see that you are going to Paris instead. Ooh la la!

Check out Pat's pictures from the Inagural Flight from CDG-SEA!

I wish I could have been there.

I'm just waiting for Alaska to release me some award seats (yes, I am a cheap bastard).


up close and personal

Alstair stellar grey, originally uploaded by flora and flying.

I'm beat, there is no way to put it.

I was planning on working from home today, but that didn't happen and if I'm lucky and efficient, I can do it tomorrow.

I need some thinking time and it isn't happening at work.

TH is in California until tomorrow or Thursday or Friday. Who knows.

Next week is a bust with San Diego and Anchorage, I have four projects at 75% and I need to get them done and out the door.

I also need another two hours of daylight to garden, get the dog walked and me out in the vitamin D.

Hopefully, this weekend will do it for me.


Saturday, June 09, 2007

home improvement 101

We are painting the main floor bathroom. Don't even ask why, I think it all started because I saw mold on the ceiling. If I had just tsped that mold, I would be sitting reading a trashy novel instead of being covered in bluebonnet pain.

Ernest has paint on his ears.

We are a family who did not really do DIY. My father is an excellent general contractor did an amazing job putting together all the contractors when they built their house. He knows who to get to do what job, but I never grew up doing much around the house. I gardened and did so with my father all the time.

TH grew up helping her father build bookshelves, painting and replacing windows she broke playing baseball.

I'm not going to say I love it, but I am glad I know how to do some of it now.

nm taking a break from satin, low voc blue bonnet love.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

on a more positive note

It appears as if our dastardly next door absentee landlord decided to pull the house of the market four days after putting it on the market. I guess they got a wild hair that they could sell the house and then buy a condo in hawaii with the money.

Maybe someone discussed with them with huge tax bite of capital gains if they plow that money right back into something (oh wait, there is that condo)...

Anyways, happy here. Our neighbor is not moving and peace has settled over the neighborhood.

Mony, your comments and suggestions are most helpful because we know we're facing something like that eventually.

Other than that, I have found a one level house that may work for my parents. Its reasonably (NOT) priced in the flossy neighborhood about five minutes from me (think large lots, million dollar views and four million dollar houses), five minutes from my work and five minutes from the store.

Me thinks it'll go over the asking price by 150K easy, so I hope it works out.

More later, I'm taking up valuable couch space and the dog needs it.


Monday, June 04, 2007

I have nothing of substance to say, that is positive.

House next to us sold. Storage boxes are in place. TH and I are expecting the worse and hoping that it will be better. We're realizing that the never used driveway to the north of us will soon become a battle/construction zone and there will be a fence between us and our new neighbors.

That is of course, the worse case.

Something like this piece of crap that is currently behind and kitty corner to us.
Slated to go on the market for only $1.1 million! Just! The house next to it is no winner, but still.

So, we think of our contigencies, contact surveyors and pray that it doesn't get demolished.

Other than that, Ernest and I are painting the main floor bathroom. He has been very participatory. He escorted me to the hardware store to buy paint and tonight helped prime the woodwork.

Tomorrow, he gets to paint! I hope he likes bluebonnet for his ears.

I'm in the process of trying to find the least painful way to get my parents from Santorini to London and guess what, there is no way unless you want to fly Thomas Cook Airlines, so we'll all plod to Athens together and see what they can do for six or seven hours before they head back to London.

This travel thing, more than one person, is quite confusing. TH and I have it down to an art.

More on that later.



Thursday, May 31, 2007

little mr. sunshine

Our neighbor who is selling his house to the south of us reported today that he believes the house next to us will be a tear down and they'll be putting up a little megamansion. I should say, it was said with a bit of glee.

Thanks dickhead for making my evening.


Sunday, May 27, 2007

the best part of the weekend

got everything planted~

on the lighter travel plans

Sounds divine doesn't it? I am cleaning out my work email to bring it down to a managable level of chaos.

I found this email I replied to TH. Life before Ernest is what it could be entitled.

leave here on FRIDAY
arrive in London on SATURDAY
spend the morning scrumming for cheese (remember one thing, its a
saturday before christmas and all the
'chesters are in London for a dirty/shopping weekend), buy books (maybe
find some small place to do this)
take afternoon train to Paris arrive Paris around 7 pm
spend the night in Paris, scrub up , have a delightful dinner, eat ice
cream, watch the world go by, have reserved a room at the Madeleine
using 15K pts for Saturday night.

Depart Paris on Dimanche matin after eating our share of croissants, get
to St. Malo, putter around, pick up car, wander somewhere we have not
been and hope that the day trippers from London have departed. Maybe go
to the aquarium (lorenzo wants to go). (sunday all day somewhere)

Drive to Cancale or stay in St. Malo (sunday night).

Spend at least one night at Les Maisons de bricourt. eat fish, if we are
super duper lucky, the weather will hold and we can go tide pooling.
(monday and monday night)


Take train to paris on Tuesday, walk around, eat some more, replenish
macarons and cheese supplies, spend the night at jardins de l'odeon.
sleep in, get on the RER at St. Michel and go to airport on Wednesday.

I can't believe I once had the energy to do this.

for sale by owner

Our neighbors, two houses to the south are now moving as well. I can't fault them, he got a great job way up North and East.

I will miss their kids.

Anyone want to buy it and move to my hood? Ernest promises to let you pet him.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

picking your battles

The house next to us is on the market. Its not winner, but at 500K without any work being done on it and for sale by owner, it makes you wonder. Is this going to be a tear down or a flip/resell. It has been a rental for the last twelve years and the owners have not been our favorite people on the planet for various and sundry reasons.

Let's hope for flip/resell for our sakes.

There are neighbors around us who still refer to the house as Grandma Koontz's house, her rose bush is still out front. I have been pruning it when the house occupants can't be bothered.

Does it make me sad that this house is a commodity?


Does it make me sad that our neighborhood is changing?


Does it make me angry that a house that has fine lines may be torn down to put in a house that will change our street?


Does it bother me that I don't even flinch when I hear that a rental in my neighborhood is going for 700K and some moron will buy it?
A little bit, I no longer have sticker shock, that is for sure.

Where do all these people who sell their houses for 700K move to? Certainly not anywhere else in the city.

Does it make me sad to see our street make up change?

Not really, we have some pretty cool people, I just hope they can afford to stay here. I like having families around, I like to talk to my neighbors. I actually like my neighbors. I hope that who ever buys the green house with the old apple tree in the back yard with several cat graves and the final resting place of Henny Penny will appreciate it for what it was, Mrs. Koontz's house.

Just trying to be optimistic folks.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

having a shirley valentine moment

All this and no miles!

I am going to Greece for my cousin's big fat Iranian/Greek/German wedding and trying to coordinate with my parents who are too tired to deal with thinking about another trip, my cousin and his lovely wife who are flying in from San Francisco and my brother, who is a whirling dervish of activity that is hard to pin down. The wedding is on a Saturday, but the partay starts in Athens a week earlier and wends its way to Thessalonki. Partay all the way baby. Unfortunately for me, I have a half in Philly and I'm not missing that or Morimotos for the world, right the Js?

I can't find an award seat that doesn't have me routed from sea-ord-lhr-ath-skg-ath-lhr-yyc-sea!
Remember, I have status that opens seats for me when there are none and even I'm getting slim pickings. I don't even want to know how much that would cost me in cold hard cash. I have one ticket on american, but my dream would be to board in SEA wake up in LHR, take a nice shower in the lounge and then go off to Greece, but that ain't happening. I am trying all sorts of machinations on this one, all I know is I'm spending three days in Thessaloniki, two days in Athens, two days somewhere else (Rhodes?) and then heading home via London (ugh) unless something else pans out.

Or, maybe Paris, you never know.

I love my cousin, I love all my cousins, I just wish you could be teleported places.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

new rules

Rainy day, West Seattle, May 2007.

Today, I did good things. I walked beat the bridge and had a great time with J doing it. I made manicotti, cookie dough, cooked up someother stuff,ran a bunch of errands and wasted hours on flickr. Seriously, seriously, seriously. I am so pissed.

So, new rules are no computer time other than 15 minutes on weekends.

Granted it sucked today weather wise, but still.

There is dog that was bored, a house that could use some sweeping and a couple of closets that could be cleaned while TH is bobbing around the ocean.

Dog is pissed because I forgot to pick up margarita mix for him today.


Oh, new photos from new camera on flickr. Yes, I bought the Canon SD800IS and based on what I've seen other people do and what I did today, it may work.


Wednesday, May 16, 2007

unoscotto - biscotti that doesn't kill you

TH requested one thing for her cruise, a breakfast biscotti that I first made in 1994 from Martha Stewart living. I managed to get rid of all my magazines and thanks to the internets I was able to find the recipe again.

Its a cornmeal biscotti, great for eating on the go. I remember making this recipe a lot in the 90's (dating myself) and varying the dried fruit and nut mix. This time, TH requested hazelnuts and dried cherries, though I am partial to cranberries. I remember gesticulating with my biscotti in my hand on the way to work and Jacques who was visiting us lurching over the seat and taking away my biscotti. It was basset approved.

This recipe is my kind of biscotti, easy to make and without butter so it is lacks the crumb that some really like in a biscotti, but I dislike. TH also loves it baked once, not twice, which gives biscotti its name - twice baked.

Tonight, I took them out of the oven, she came over and pronounced them done. I cut them with a bread knife and by tomorrow they will be air dried enough to pack in her bag and go off to the far west - nearly the east if you are being technical.

Without further ado, the recipe.

Yield: 7 Dozen

1 ½
cup All-purpose flour
1 ½ cup Yellow cornmeal
¾ cup Light-brown sugar
1 ½ tablespoon Finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoon Baking powder
½ teaspoon Salt
2 large Eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
¼ pounds Whole shelled hazelnuts (about 3/4 C)
½ cup Golden raisins or any dried fruit
½ cup water

1. Heat oven to 325'. Lightly oil and flour a large baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. 2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, sugar, lemon zest, baking powder, and salt until well blended. 3. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 C water, the eggs, and the vanilla and stir into the flour mixture; the dough will be sticky. Stir in hazelnuts and raisins. 4. Divide the dough into 3 equal portions. On a heavily floured work surface, shape each portion into a log about 13 inches long by 2 inches wide. Place the logs 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until logs are firm and golden brown on the bottom, about 45 minutes. Remove logs from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. 5. With a clean serrated knife, cut each log into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices. Place the slices in a single layer on a clean baking sheet (you'll probably need to use 2 baking sheets). Bake until tops of biscotti are golden brown, about 15 minutes. Turn biscotti over and bake until golden brown and very dry, about 15 minutes more. Cool the biscotti completely on a wire rack before serving. Store in an air- tight container.

Source: Martha Stewart Living/October/94

Adapted from:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

random scribblings of a tuesday in seattle

Hmm, what is new?

I went to Boston, drove to New Hampshire, went to Maine and then to New Hampshire for dinner last Friday. I would not recommend it for the faint of heart, it sucked the life blood out of me and no amount of dunkin donuts iced coffee (milk, no sugar) revived me.

I have been really really tired. My doctor and I are trying all sorts of new and exciting things, so we'll see.

TH is leaving town for Alaska! That means that E and I can eat popcorn for dinner and jalepenos for breakfast and listen to NPR all the time, well, mostly while deconstructing closets. We hope she has smooth sailing and seas. Just talking about it over dinner made me queasy. I spent a lot of time doing the same things she is about to do and I can't imagine ever doing it again. Then again, microscope work in 10' seas is always exciting.

It was hot here today. TH and I were going to Pair for dinner, but then she decided that eating outside was desirable to much adored mushroom bisque and small plates. There are very few restaurants in Seattle that are not located downtown or in a mall that have outdoor dining. Ciao Bella, located in the 98105, has a great patio (albeit on a busy street) and great vitello al limone so that worked for me. It was good, the best part was listening to the owner and his friends talking about Lazio football. TH decided that it felt truly like eating in Rome and that made her happy.

Ernest the puppy stayed home all day. He was super brave for a young basset and now is exhausted. Staying up all day to protect your home against maruding cats is hard work!

Other than that, nothing much, the published one is back in MKE, the parentals were last heard from on a train from Teheran to Mashad sharing a compartment with two meterologists. Imagine that, if only they could convey the information that their beloved daughter could talk storm surge with them...

I hope they are having a good time.

NM and her cousin emailed each other today making arrangements for our big fat greek wedding reunion. We both booked into the same hotel in Athens, isn't that wild? I tell you, great minds think alike. Now, I must perform the impossible and find a BA ticket to get me there and back with a stop over in CDG to pick up chocolate.

So, that is my wrap up. Nothing too exciting to report.

How is it going in your world?


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Heeeeeeeeeellllllllllllloooooooooo out there

Father sun, the greenhouse, Seattle, WA May 2007.

Is it something I said, or didn't?

Things here are fine. We're just wrapping up another exciting work week here. Papers are almost done and on Thursday night we're on our way to Boston and not such beautiful New Hampshire to deal with a family issue.

My family is fine, thankyouverymuch. My father met another 15 relatives yesterday and my brother has met close to 60 M&Js he had never met. Pretty cool huh?

I will just be happy when by brother texts me from Paris telling me he's okay.

I've been busy taking all sorts of pictures, you should check out my Flickr photostream and using my rss feed to see my new pics as I load them. Some are silly, some are really bad (those are the ones taken with my phone) and some are down right awesome. I'm contemplating buying a new point and shoot because TH will take the D50 to Alaska with her and goddamnit, I take pictures every freaking day.

Check out my contacts too, they take great pictures.

Well the dog is snoring, I'm ready to read something that doesn't pertain to hazard planning and scientific python and hopefully one of you will comment before too long.



Tuesday, May 08, 2007

the miracle of the mommy network

Where the mommy mafia met, from the

Today my Khaleh Mehri called me to thank me for the email I sent this morning to her son updating her on what my family was up to and where they were in their journey. I know that by sending out an email to a core bunch of my mom's friends, their kids and my family, the news will get disseminated far and wide and fast!

The mommy network is an amazing thing. I know I have written about it before. These are a group of amazing women who went to nursing school together in the 50's and still remain amazingly close friends, well, maybe more like sisters. I cannot begin to explain their bond. They laugh together, they cry together and they mourn together.

They are also amazing in their ability to run to eachother in the time of need or find the resources through their networks to make sure things are done correctly. I cannot tell you how much we benefited from K.Mehri when TH's dad needed help and we were 700 miles away.

I love them all.


Thursday, May 03, 2007


University Bridge, Day after. April 2007.

I was able to leave my office and make it downtown and parked right in front of my hairs salon (you cut more than one n'est ce pas?) in less that 45 minutes this afternoon during rush hour.

Considering yesterday's news of traffic hell due to sink holes, traffic diversions, the relentless media coverage and warnings, I was flabbergasted. Busses signaled they were changing lanes, pedestrians did not dart out in traffic, drivers were less stupid than usual merging onto the freeway and Westlake was open on my way home.

I even managed to make it home over the University bridge and not fall in.

Sometimes this city amazes me, and in a good way.


Wednesday, May 02, 2007

kung fu hip

My hip and lower back are killing me and the last flying I did was two weeks ago, or was one, I can't remember.

Yes, I had a bulkhead and yes, I'm sure I put my feet up. I know it is wrong, I shouldn't do it.

However, I can attribute this rash of pain to one thing ...

Kung fu hip - the hip that comes from kung fu kicking and kick box kicks that comes from crushing snails on retaining walls on our daily walks.

Damn, now I'm going to have to pull them off and crunch them, which takes more time and is not as satisfying.

Time to take some more advil.


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

view from afar

Shemiran, north Tehran, April 2007, photo courtesy of the published one.

How I wish I could be there to see my dad see everyone again.


Monday, April 30, 2007

everything is wonderful, having the time of my life

Ribbons of chocolate. April 2007.

Not much to report. Heard from everyone, they are fine and I'm very relieved.

Vexed by spreadsheets and contemplating my career choice. I never thought my life would be ruled with such things.

I'm looking forward to a mellow week - I hope.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Gawd, where did the week go?

I was merely looking at the availibility of flying from SEA to Paris on an award ticket to pick up some more Jean Charles Rochoux and I am off a week.

Damn skippy.

I need that week back.

Then again, I could just screw American and fly BA in club for the same amount of miles, but put myself through the torture of LHR.

Or, I could just walk to Frans and buy some chocolate.

More on this later...


Sunday, April 22, 2007

earth day redux

So, it is earth day.

What did you do?

I composted, didn't really drive anywhere (no where in fact), cleaned out my fridge, ran four loads of laundry, walked my dog four times, had a good conversation with my dear Pat and took a nap for my own conservation.

Hey, for us, every day is earth day. We compost, we minimize what goes into landfills, we think before we buy, we recycle, we minimize our use of electricity and we do it without any hoopla, any color adverts in the papers and without a big media flurry.

It just happens.

Other than that, we're enjoying ourselves here.

Ernest has been very busy (read his blog). I am killing snails left and right (have shoes, will travel). TH managed to get some work done today (yeah). We spent about thirty minutes today cleaning out the freezer and by god, we'll be done with the salmon, halibut, berries and lamb before the next batches come in! Well, at least closer than we have before.

I am so ready for the week to begin and be over.

Does that make sense?

It does to me.

Buhbye historical data in seventeen different formats! I am so done with you.

nm, exceling, zoning and interoperating in April 2007

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Blue guitars and tight asses

Ernest the puppy, February 2007.

I met you again in my sleep last night,
these are days of slow boats and false starts.

Hearts remain under lock and key,
you will be the one to set them both free.

And yet people will tell you you're miles from your home,
miles from your home.

But that's where I want to be.
Out there searching,
out here fumbling,
out here waiting
for you and you for me.

The moon hangs like a question mark,
pale as milk, bold as a promise.
When will you share these sights with us?
When will we hold you in our arms?

-Miles from our home
Michael Timmims

Hmm. Where did we leave off?

Ah yes, we survived our half marathon quite nicely. The weather was great, the company delightful, the scenery spectacular, the tulips lovely, the food excellent and the asses on the marathoners stunning.

So, what next?

I am doing the 10K associated with the Kirkland Half and decided that I'll end up walk/running the Seattle Half Marathon on Thanksgiving weekend. Since I've decided to basically stop flying, its great. TH can run off to Brussels without me in November and October and I'll just stay home. She gets my upgrades and I get to train with Ernest.

Tonight we went to see the Cowboy Junkies. It was a strange show this time. Either I'm feeling younger or the fan base is getting older, but it felt like we were the youngest people there. I love them, but they did not do Ernest the puppy's song - Miles from our home, which is one of my favorite songs in the world and his AKC name - Oxboro's Miles from our home - Ernest the puppy.

The song is so important to me, I was seriously bummed. I can remember sitting in the Kirkland Performing Arts hall almost a year ago, knowing that the following day, Peter and I would be driving to Goldendale to pick him up. I just get verklempt just thinking about it.

I just couldn't wait to meet you my sweet boy.

Okay, other than that, I'm off to SFO tomorrow for a one hour commitment. I wish to god that I was paid like one of those people who gets flown to a one hour meeting, but alas, I am not, just have to go.

Yes, those taxes are done, money transferred and I'm feeling it today.



Saturday, April 14, 2007

Musings and rants

Not necessarily the best carbs to load on, Seattle, April 2007.

First of all, I turned to TH yesterday and said "a year ago, would you ever have thought you would be carrying a bikini-clad rubber chicken to the car to entice your dog to follow?".


Next, it is spring here.

I am so happy. I could have done without the downpours of yesterday leaving me with a pile of wet sloppy clothing hanging on the line that I am going to have to take off now, spin and then throw in the dryer. The lilacs are blooming as are the fruit trees. Looks like our old cherry will mostly rejoin us this year. I am relieved.


I need to pack for my half marathon tomorrow. Desitin (don't ask), glide, three pairs of socks, ibuprofen, second skin, some power bars, sunscreen (always hopeful), some water and rain jacket.

Should be fun! Will be treated at the end by TH and Ernest bringing us back to Miss J's car.

Yesterday, I received a terse email from our homeless acquaintance thanking us for the 100 dollar donation we made to the Humane society when he had to surrender his cats for what we believed would be a fostering situation. It paid for their euthanization and cremation since they did not pass the old cat physical.


Like, when we found a home for them for the last nine months, kept them in food, litter and vet bills and then tried to find a fostering situation when he was incapable, we were being cruel and thoughtless.

Just call me nm, cat killer.


Serenity now.

You can kill me snail killer. I have been forcing Ernest on long (1 hour walks) in the morning in the hood, just to kill snails. I need to know just how far on someone's property I can creep to pick up snails and bring them to the sidewalk to kill.

Would you as a homeowner be incensed if I was to pick snails off of your retaining wall or rockery or steps (the first two to your garden) to kill them before they get to your hostas?

I need to know.

I don't want someone coming out with their NYT and latte and beating me over the head with it and throwing hot caffeinated coffee at me. I drink decaf, that would be bad.

On that happy note, I'm going to sign off now until tomorrow when I will return to you aglow, in pain and done for the month!

nm, cold blooded killer according to few

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Recently I have been househunting, not for myself but for my parents who are reconsidering life up North.

It has been interesting. My parents took risks in the mid 70's to buy more than they could afford at the time and to give their kids dream house to grow up in Seattle. They sold it to build a house from the ground up - a lovely place with a grand ocean view in So Cal .

They lived in that for while and then decided to downsize. It has been interesting to watch that process, they moved from about 4500 square feet to 3200 in So. Cal. plus another 900 in Seattle. It has been amazing to me to watch them pack up, move, remodel and move again four or five times in the same time I have stayed put here in the 98105.

Now, they are thinking about it again. This time they are looking for more room than they currently have, while keeping to their desire for one story home with a view, very few steps to negotiate and large entertaining spaces. It has been fun to wander the internet typing in requirements and seeing what comes up within or near my zipcode where money is less of an object than it would be for me. For now, I can drive by houses I love and think would be perfect in hopes that a for sale sign will pop up and that they will love it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

zipity do dah

I can't describe my week. All I can say is that it just isn't getting better and the amount of money coming in is certainly not equaling the amount of money that is pouring from my accounts.


I wish I had just decided that the life of science wasn't that wonderful at an earlier age. I hear what my friends in consulting make or in sales and I am gob smacked.

Anyone had a change of heart and decided that they were willing to give up their comfort zone in order to live a bit more dangerously - e.g. change careers at your midlife?;taking up paragliding, living somewhere cheaper or different; or take time off to figure out what you want to do?

I am tired of my comfort zone.

nm who just inhaled six mini meringues from le panier because they were there

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cherry blossoms, Rainier on the five way, April 2007.

We've recovered from Easter. I have found only one egg in the garden. I am impressed. Good job hunters. We missed some of you, next year, there may be an night time hunt.

Right now, I am just overwhelmed by the tax year (oy!), traveling next week and my half marathon on Sunday.

The weather is divine and all I can think of is playing in the dirt.

It is going to have to wait until next Saturday the way the week is shaping up.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

What may be the truth

As seen on an airconditioning unit somewhere in Savannah.

Beautiful here. I have very little energy to discuss anything, but I have been battling duplication of effort all day.

I love that.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

more terms of endearment

cast through the prism
make that objective a reality
embedded in the recommendations
context of synthesis
proactively develop a new way to suppot scholarship
shared commonalities
biodegradable sensor nets
metadata as a living evolving resource
formats repurposed
bin up the recommendations

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

words to write a nsf grant by

In no particular order -----

data borderland
clearinghouse node

add cross walk and interoperability and you have a nsf proposal title.


TH is in a meeting for the next few days that seems to be very interesting if you are interested in global change, polar issues and modeling and mapping. However, even with a group of the best and the brightest talking without all the suits in the room, they are still prone to speaking in tongues.

You know, bullshit bingo speak. Words that just make no sense.

She just sent me a bingo message. She also told me yesterday that there was talk of carbon neutral arctic research. I guess those researchers all going up to Greenland in April are planning on canoeing? I'll have to ask Miss S. next time I see her.

I am eagerly awaiting her five words of bingoness.

Never heard of bullshit bingo? Consider yourself lucky. If you have and want to play along, go here.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Shop window, on canal st. martin (the non-dodgy end), Paris, France, February 2007.

On Wednesday morning I leave for another VAF. This time in Savannah. It should be fun and TH has never been there. We'll catch up with one of her father's grad students who is now a professor and see more of the extended family.

If it wasn't so damn hot and muggy. I can't not abide by that combination. It makes me sluggish and it makes traipsing around looking at buildings and taking pictures harder work than it already is.

Ernest is going to the kennel. He suspects something is up because we have premeasured his food and washed his bed.

Mrs. El-hakim's third grade class project carpet (the hideous gabbeh carpet in Maria Teresa brown) we have in our in living room is getting deep cleaned for easter. It lived a pristine life while we were petless and now is quite well, doggie. The window cleaners are booked and my parents are coming up for a few days.

If only I could make work seem so organized, but that is the biggest challenge.

Unfortunately, I am involved in a project that keeps on throwing me curve balls, it seemed relatively easy at first, but oy, it just keeps on getting more complicated.

Oh well, maybe getting away from the office will give me some time to think.

And you?


Sunday, March 25, 2007

found weekend

That which is lost and found, Narcissus, March 2007.

I found a weekend and it was marvelous. I walked off my twice mechanicalized (is this a word?) flight from SEA-SAN and told them to refund my ticket and went home, no problem!

My parents suggested this. I saw them on Tuesday, I will see them again in two weeks and I really couldn't be bothered with another weekend spent away from my own bed.

TH was surprised and so was Ernest. So were the friends that TH was planning on seeing and thought that I was out of town.

It was great. I gardened, walked the boy, cooked a storm, did my eight mile training walk today, saw some great friends, caught up with some reading and enjoyed a weekend watching Spring happen here - rufus hummingbirds buzzing around, jays nesting, ducks swimming in vernal ponds and skunk cabbages in their brilliant yellow, making me smile.


Yes, I missed my peeps in the 92037, but honestly, there is no place like home.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Happy New Year 1386!

Narcissus, March 2006. Seattle, WA.

I'm off to surprise my father for his birthday.

He's a new year's baby and its the first No Ruz I have spent with my parents since 2002.

Here's hoping spring brings you all joy and peace.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Thank someone its friday

Getting to the bottom of it, Ernest the young man, March 2007.

If I liked to drink, that is where I would be -in the bag totally snockered. Instead, I took off relatively early, tired of looking at tiny screens of numbers and took Ernest for a looooooooong walk.

It did us both good.

He even let us eat dinner without interruption.

Wonders never cease.

All I can say is the if the weather this weekend is as nice as it was this afternoon, we're golden.

Rhodendendrons, do or die weekend gardening, taxes!, dog wash, Eats in Westwood village and getting ready for New Year.



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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


Wednesday, February 28, 2007


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


Monday, February 05, 2007


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.