Friday, July 25, 2008

sweet spot


After two years of a new stereo in my very old car, I finally started using the ipod adapter.

Seriously, what is up with that?

The dog, he is not taken with my musical taste.

I bought a dress three weeks ago for a wedding this weekend. I tried it on once, I thought it looked okay. I wasn't in the mood to try looking anymore.

I tried it on today with the proper undergarments. It looks better than okay. Woot.

Man, I hope there is air conditioning at the church and reception hall.

Twenty two hours in Spokane with 90 degree heat and a full bar. Could be interesting.

later taters and if I see Courtney while driving around, it'll be even better.

nm wondering if open toed kitten heels will make it to the church on time

Thursday, July 24, 2008

sell out

Sold out

I love live music and I love Seattle, so when the zootunes schedule comes out we find a few artists that we like and we buy tickets. Its for a good cause, all of the ticket sales go directly to the Zoo.


However, I cannot tolerate the shows any more.

What is it about sitting outdoors and listening to some great music that makes people want to talk during the whole show and make it difficult for those around them to enjoy the show?

Would you do the same at the opera? symphony?

I understand running around with your kids, I understand that babies cry and kids want to place chase, but you 45 year old ass hat with the really loud voice and tall chair, shut the feck up. After all, I paid 28 bucks to hear music and eat dinner underneath the trees, not listen to you discuss your upcoming colonscopy.


Tonight we saw Emmylou Harris, she was fabulous and it was quieter than last nights performances by the lovely Josh Ritter and the amazing Andrew Bird.

In fact, last night was even more amazing because TH and I entered a raffle and won a huge basket of chocolate goodies and some coffee from Metropolitan Market. Seriously cool and made me much happier after my cranky spell due to talking idiots.

Check it out...

Guess what we won @ the zoo?

Tonight they raffled off a grocery bag of vegetables.

Hard choice - vegetables v. truffles, coffee, brownies, biscotti, brownie mix and other delectables.

Saturday takes us to Spokane for a brief visit and a wedding. Should be tons of fun.

nm bittersweet but not 70%

Monday, July 21, 2008

sunday morning on my way to stanley park

Early this morning I breakfasted on carrots pulled out of the ground and raspberries still chilled from the night air.

I didn't even bother taking them home and eating them with yogurt. They were at the prime for picking -- past the shine to the dark matte red and just a tap drops them into your waiting palm.

The garden is amazingly lush right now -- I harvested the first of the yellow squash, some carrots, huge heads of lettuce, two pints of raspberries and baby artichokes. I see tons of weeding to do and lots of things to consider replanting.

This is a hard time for us -- we are here and gone three more times in the next few weeks. You have things under control and in five minutes your back is turned the morning glory has overtaken the gooseberries and the broccoli has decided to go to flower. I cannot devote any more than the sixty minutes I allot daily to the garden - life also needs nurturing around here.

So, will it wither? No. It will be fine with morning glories and a bit of quack grass for company.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Back from Canada. Miles walked, pictures taken and downloaded and not quite made public on flickr. Good food eaten, great music heard, beautiful weather to sun in and three books read.

Its hard to believe one weekend a summer is the highlight of my whole summer - blows Paris, Greenland or any wedding out of the water.

More later.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

lost and found

nano the bear

Lost one small Parisian (2") bear by the name of Nano. Last seen with irresponsible me.

Found under the seat of my colleagues rental car.

Its been a long week of meetings with many positive outcomes for our continuing work. I even managed to get in a few walks while discussing stovepiping/collaborating/data exchange and water levels.

I really didn't take any pictures, there just wasn't the time. I can tell you that every year I end up in Boulder for at least a few days and every year it keeps on changing. I'm not saying its for the best, it just is.

I will miss the Boulder creek path, but I'm sure I'll be back soon enough.

Tomorrow TH and I are running away to Canada for three days of music, some decent grub, some walking for me and serious amounts of sunscreen.

I can't wait.

Nano is staying home.

nm found not lost

Sunday, July 13, 2008

so much to say, so little time

reaching for the sky

Where did July go?

Off to Boulder tomorrow, hoping to catch up with my favorite rocket scientists if she's in town.

nm with miles to go

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday wrap up

15 plus miles walked
2 hour nap
3 loads of laundry
1 pt of raspberries picked
1/2 papaya with lime for dessert enjoyed
2 sunburned arms

Life is good


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

leaving the office behind

Short of a large seismic event or a presentation that requires my brain power I no longer
check my work email after hours unless I am on travel.

I feel a million times better.

Can you do it?

Do you do it?

Monday, July 07, 2008

seattle syndrome and little things


Little thing:

I signed up for the Portland Marathon today.

Holy crap.

26.2 miles.

I see some speedwork in my future.

I see some need for new tunage and the use of someone's old nano as well.

Seattle syndrome:

Seattle is the most passive aggressive place in the world. It just breeds passive agressiveness.

Why is that?

Can't you just say what is pissing you off. Can't you just do something and tell someone that you did it because you thought they way they were doing it was wrong? Can you just fucking start signalling a left hand turn before you move into that lane?

Case in point: Our ppatch neighbor is always one to point out the little things that we haven't yet done -- finish weeding, picked something up, propped something up.

He's quite a chatty one and mostly pleasant, but now he's there all the god damn timed. Seriously.

He recently started to terrace the hillside that buffers the ppatch from the busy street. While I appreciate his desire to carve out more space and give a bit more light, the knotweed also buffers our garden from the traffic, the on lookers and pollution.

Neighbor starts terracing our 20' width. We didn't ask nor did we appreciate said encroachment. We did what any other part of the world would do, we fenced it off from him. Its like this -- If we praised him for doing something we didn't ask for, he would love it and feed off of it. If we told him we didn't need more garden, he would then take it over and we would be surrounded by him.

So, we did the mean thing. We cut him off.

We couldn't find crime tape on Sunday. Bummer.

I have had lots of fun in the past few weeks reading Passive Aggressive Notes.

nm really if you don't mind, can we switch seats?

Friday, July 04, 2008

with a grain of salt

Reserve from the library, thumb through at your local independent bookstore and then go buy
at Amazon because it just would make the most sense.

Stuff white people like

Completely cringeworthy but worth it.

nm like white on rice but with a whiff of eastern promise

Monday, June 30, 2008


Hot half.

Fun stuff.

Over the bridge and through Bellevue neighborhoods of my youth.

Shout out to families with hoses everywhere.

You made my day.

Walking with tatas, hotties and the lone glamour pirate. I walked with my favorite walkers
and even the lone tata who was sunning herself on the beach in Maui was missed!

Man, I'm so glad I'm in shape and trained, it was not a half for wusses.

Back to the grind. One tiny blister on my toe and some advil and I'm good to go for 14 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday.

nm with lots of beer in the fridge

Friday, June 27, 2008

visualizing reality

Ever have one of those days?
Tomorrow my 3 day training schedule has me going on a 13 mile walk. The following day I'm doing a half marathon. Did I mention the high for tomorrow is forecast for 86 and Sunday 88 degrees? Chuck Bartlett of Run Chuckit suggested that the Seafair Marathon be more about hydration and less about PRing. I am going to agree, for me, it will be a training walk with no real stops, a nice tshirt and a banana at the end.

I've been reading a lot about productivity, time management and stress reduction. One thing that struck me was the concept of visualizing what your day is going to be before you commit yourself to one more thing.

In this case, let's take my tomorrow.

TH is out of town, that means Ernest is all mine.

That means I have a 5:30 am dog walk at the park, shower, 8 am start to a 13 mile walk with lots of stops. We won't finish until 1 pm. I won't get home until 1:20 pm. I have time to wolf down something to eat, walk Ernest again, deal with whatever crises come my way and then run to Bellevue to pick up my race packet for the next day's half.

I should return home at 3 pm.

Walk Ernest again or at least do something to mildly entertain him.

Take another shower, do a few chores for tomorrow's potluck/bbq.

5 pm - go to 'rents to have dinner with a childhood friend and my mom and dad. I'm off the hook for making anything, but I'm responsible for bringing a box of mac and cheese and the legos.

Home at 8, walk Ernest.

Aunt P and cousin Scruffy are in town for Pride, hang with them. Walk Ernest and Scruffy, go to bed for a 5 am wake up.

Does that sound crazy?

It does to me once I put it all into my brain, buffered each activity for crap that could happen and then decided that it just isn't going happen.

My 13 mile walk is now a 7 mile walk at 7 am by myself. I have enough time to come home, run to market and chill in the heat. With dog walks, I'll finish the day at about 9 to 10 miles walked, not bad.

My training will survive my not being there for the 13 miles. My wallet will appreciate not stopping at Starbucks with the Hotties and I'll do things at my own pace.

Recently I started to really calendar, mostly visually using Google Calendar which synchs to the blackberry. It gives me a better idea of what my day is going to look like. I am trying to make better use of my time and resources - gas being one of them, so like every other person in the world, I'm starting to really combine trips.

I'm also learning to say no.

That is the hardest part.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A humble respect

the braising green section

Today I spent the twilight hours gardening, both at home and the p-patch. It was a beautiful evening and instead of spending it inside folding laundry we watered in anticipation of warmer weather on the horizon and a work function that will bring many to ooh and ahh at my overgrown perennial borders.

We tottered to the garden to weed, water and harvest. We have had brazen broadcasting of mustards all over our beds and since the P-patch program donates tons of fresh produce to the city food bank programs, we are trying to do our part. This spring has been cruel for Seattle gardeners with heat followed by snow followed by grey malaise that never let up. The last few days have brought some hope and great gasps of growth to our crops both planned and volunteer.

Tonight I harvested 15 lbs of mustard plants-topped and cleaned them to donate to my Friday run to our North Seattle food bank. When I arrive at the garden at 8:45 on Friday morning I will be relieved to see others have donated beautiful heads of bronze lettuce, greens of all sorts and rhubarb and mustards. Later this season there will be squash of various sizes and tomatoes that we all can't keep up with, at least we hope.

The Lettuce link program has been really integral in getting fresh foods to those who frequent the city's food banks. In April I had the privilege to volunteer my Saturday morning to help distribute seeds to those waiting for their weekly allotment of food and talked to people who wanted to plant small gardens - even in containers where ever they lived. It gave me hope and made me realize that we can all tuck in another row of beans, transplant a few more heads of lettuce and harvest our squash a little earlier and share the bounty with someone who will appreciate out harvest because for them it may be a rare thing.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

weekend wrap up

One of my fave views in the world

Three very good meals out - Tamarindo, Camino and Station House Cafe
Happy and sadness at Shell Beach
Sunburnt on the back of my arms
Hugs and tears
Hotter than hell in the 94707 on Friday night
Fog finally on Saturday night
A ring and a phone call on Saturday
The ring sighting on Sunday!
Home and not going anyfreaking where for three weeks and so happy about it

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Alstair stellar grey

I've been a bad blogger of late. Honestly, who wants to hear of my trials and tribulations. I'm not doing anything glamorous. My life is pretty mundane.

The weather has not been particularly good here, so anytime I can feel the sun shine through, I'm outside. I couldn't imagine being inside tied to this infernal machine any longer than possible.

Today TH started a trek to California -one she does on a fairly regular basis. I will follow tomorrow and we will spend Saturday morning on the beach at Point Reyes celebrating the life of a dear friend. I anticipate tears and laughter and the warm hugs of his partner, with whom I last spoke two years ago after the death of a mutual friend. It makes me sad that we have to connect this way.

Like I said, its been a hard year all around.

Tomorrow, summer starts. To some this is wonderful, to me it is bittersweet.

It means the days grow shorter again.

This evening, after a round of chores and visits, I spent two full hours weeding, transplanting, pruning and watering the p-patch plots. My enthusiasm has rubbed off my parents. After dinner tonight, they skipped Jeopardy they went to their garden and watered and weeded and just reveled in the evening.

My mom called me later and told me that she was happy she got out of the house and went to the garden.

It made me smile.

I'll try and be a better correspondent. As I drive or walk these days I think of things I want to write, but others have covered the same topics better than I can and frankly internets, I wouldn't want you to spend time reading when you could be out weeding.

nm up and down like the dow jones

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Short but sweet

Yesterday marked the 3rd anniversary of the passing of Jacques, our beloved basset. I don't know whether to be sad that or forgot or happy that we've moved on.

Life here is throwing a few curve balls, but we'll hit one out of the field one of these days.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A remembrance

May he rest in peace

Today I found out that one of my favorite musicians in the world passed last month.

I cannot tell you how sad I am, I cannot tell you how lucky I was to listen to him last year and the years before at the VFMF.

Utah Phillips was to me one of the most amazing legacies of an era that is slowly fading.

He will be sorely missed.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Carrot weather

When you walk the dog in a down jacket in the second week of June there must be something wrong.

My tomatoes are snug in their wall o waters and my spinach has no fear of bolting. People scoff at the idea of global warming, well folks climate change does all sorts of things including bringing to the table lots of variability. Here we are having a moderate La Nina event --cooler and wetter. It was predicted and she is rearing her wet head all through out the north pacific while the mid Atlantic sizzles and the Plains are deluged.

Maybe we are finally paying attention to the weather.

I hope my strawberries ripen soon -- I hate to see a mismatch between rhubarb availabilty and strawberries.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

more of nothing redux

Every time the phone rings these days, its not happy news.

I can unfortunately count on more than one hand, the number of people taken from us this year.

This really sucks.

Today we heard that one of TH's last links to her mom died a few weeks ago.

I will miss him so.

I need some cheering up.

nm here for the duration, or as long as they let me

Thursday, May 29, 2008

More on nothing and something


I used to love it when TH left, really.

It meant I could eat standing up, toast for dinner, pad thai for breakfast. I could clean closets at 2 am or go to bed at 8 pm with the dog. It was a nice break for the both of us.

These days, I wish she was home, the dog, the house, the garden and my soul need her nearby.

Times have changed in the world of the sea going scientist --It used to be that doing field work meant the last staggered phone call at the fuel pier felt like a life line was being cut. You said your goodbyes, your i love yous, your devotion and dedications and the be safes with a time delay and that was it, for weeks. If you heard from someone while you were out to sea, something terrible had happened.

In the mid90s TH was testing out a protocol that sent faxes and simple file transfers from the vax to the ships. I was the lucky recipient of little coded messages at the bottom of status reports from the lab or to the lab of how our operations were going. I loved getting these little messages, they were little love notes in with larval fish counts, station changes and equipment issues.

In Kodiak and Dutch Harbor, more than likely, you can get a cell phone tower to work if you lean into the wind and away from the big hills. If not, there is the internet. It is less costly these days and the real time streaming of data and information is useful for the scientists, operations and for the morale of the crews.

You really can't get away from it. From 2 pm when TH surfaces until she goes back to bed after her watch is over at 4 am, I get updates on the cruise, she checks in with ernest and his blog, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times and other sundry items between stations.

She also does work as it just does not go away anymore. You still respond to crisis, submit abstracts to meetings and fight fires from the middle of the ocean.

I love and hate it.

I love that I can email her or even skype her if I needed to because I am having a day, but at the same time, it means that neither of us can just let it go. You inbox may be clean when you tie up, but you haven't had a moment to just clear your head.

Today I celebrate the fact that in two sleeps and one wake up, TH will be tied up to the pier and soon on her way home.

I'm hoping that the FY09 field season has a February cruise for TH. It would be a nice time to visit Alaska. I hear its easier to get your upgrades to clear and you may get to the ice edge.

nm over and out