Wednesday, January 28, 2009

365.28
Again, nothing of note.

My brain is on vacation for the next four days. I'm sure by Saturday my body will follow.

No, let's be serious. It may be as early as Friday morning.

I cannot torture you too much with pictures of papayas from the interwebs, so you will just have to be patient.

Really. I promise to come back refreshed, recharged and with something witty to say.

Try at least to check out my flickr stream. I have been having deep thoughts there, just ask Mony.

xo,

nm

Sunday, January 25, 2009

....

I have nothing to say of note. When I went back and read my live journal postings from 2007 I realized two things -- I have more to say there than here and two -- the more things change, the more they stay the same.

On the horizon --- five glorious days in Paradise. We're staying in two gay b&bs that came with great accolades, but my greatest fear is that there will be show tunes belted out randomly and card games and you know how I feel about that.
Oh yeah, after that there is that wedding thingie going on. I have dresses (note plural) and shout outs to B and TH who kindly gave thumbs up or down and Miss C. for finding myshape.com which ended up being a great resource for this P shaped body --note the Beth Chapmanesque bobs.

Now, if only my new Choos will get here in time, I'm good to go.

nm ready for anything in a medium heel, light on the dressing.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

365.13

Today I was quoted in print.

Seriously.

I am glad I didn't say anything stupid.

It has been a really long week and because of it, I'm leaving early and going back to work.

I can't wait.

I did laugh my ass off with Yassi, drink way too much with Lori and finally meet the not so angry Joseph Stains, Tanner T. and their lovely apes.

I also gave two posters, one stressful talk and moderated two sessions, answered a few questions about assessing land use and land cover change, made some interesting contacts and ate way too much.

Yeah, my breasts are heaving and I'm okay with it. I can start exercising again and eating better to deflate the girls, but you can't capture laughter, hanging at the Valley HO! and gustoing mucho with the Stains with such ease.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

thursday suckitude

all that is left
Today sucked for various and sundry reasons, but overall when you think about Darfur, Gaza and the state of the economy, its a nano sucking day that really only affects me and those who hear me roar.

I'm wishing I could retrieve back the last three weeks, skipping the holidays and getting my brain back to normal. It feels like the last few months have been a foggy conglomeration of bits and bobs that slowed my brain down to molasses.

Well, short of being a short tempered cranky type A, I'm feeling better and sharp.

Now if I could only go to the gym.

Maybe next week or the week after. We'll see.

I'm off to pack for Phoenix. I have one poster session, one talk and two sessions to moderate. My sessions will be over on Tuesday and I can relax for the rest of the week. We have a taco truck excursion on Tuesday and some catching up with one of my best friends this weekend.

nm

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hey, is this thing on?

Its twelfth night here. I am about to take down the tree. TH is somewhere on the border of LA and MS tonight. She went to the Waffle House known for its hash browns. Color me jealous -- locally produced pasta with sun dried tomato pesto sometimes just doesn't hit the spot the way hash browns and eggs do.

I would have probably taken the tree down earlier than twelfth night this year. Frankly, I was over Christmas this year by say, Christmas. I think it may have been cabin fever, the inability to get the dog and the fact that everyone felt that money was tight and that Christmas couldn't be the same without the usual plethora of presents.

Honestly, I think it was just the weather and the anxiety produced by the monotony of snow.
nary a cloud

On Sunday night, it snowed again. Lovely, lovely snow. We went out to dinner at a higher elevation and by the time we emerged, there was about three inches on the ground, we managed to get home okay. We even took the dog for a romp. We even lost power. Our neighbors created some awesome snow people in a short period of time. You know the best part -- it was gone by the time I went to work. That is the snow I love.

So, snow. Why do you care? I don't really. I just want to share.

Oh my resolutions. More of the same.

This year I am participating in a cool photo project. Come visit my ordinarily dull existence.

nm

Friday, January 02, 2009

365

2009.

I started out the year with the stomach flu. It has improved drastically since.

more later.

nm

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Wanderlust

Travel year in review -- in pictures

Travel year in review.

Miles flown --- 91K.
Miles flown on average the last seven years -- 150K.

Not bad, not good, but just enough.
Miles redeemed for awards --- 260K
Money saved by redeeming -- 30K


Best trip -- Southern France in March - landscape, food, company, weather
A trip I would rather not repeat - a six hour delay to Kauai in February which basically sucked the life blood out of a short trip
Most memorable trip - Greenland, as if.

Best Hotel stay -- Versailles - March - Marie Antoinette's sheep! Versailles by myself!
Second best -- Four Seasons Lanai - The Lodge -- croquet anyone?
Third Best -- Camp Eqi - facing the glacier - Greenland - glacier, glacier, glacier?

One that we would never wish to repeat -- November, Westin Seattle
Another one -- The Youth Hostel - Ilulissat Greenland

Best Flight -- BA F to London, CPH and back - definitely worth the price of admission
Crap Flight -- Hmm, let me count the ways --- waiting for Air Iceland Nuuk - Rekyavik, Seattle to Lihue with major delays, anything over two hours that wasn't in seat 1A.

Best food experiences -- too many here - New Orleans, lurchery breakfasts, Ducasse in France, Roman trattorias, anything that involved a ripe papaya, anything at home or with friends

Trips planned for 2009 -- nothing major so far -- babies, weddings, work, economy and what not.

Butte, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Vancouver, Boulder, Berkeley, Portland, Kailua-Kona, and Lanai are pretty much happening. Oh yeah, Paris at the end of February, thanks TH!

So, what are your favorite trips or travel experiences of 2008?

nm holder of various pieces of plastic that make me feel entitled

Sunday, December 28, 2008

All it takes is emptying your kitchen to do a remodeling job to realize that there are things you haven't seen in 17 years, but they have such sentimental value that you can't bear to get rid of them.

What do you do?

I guess you move them forward and enjoy them.

I will be drinking from venetian glass purchased in Rome ca. 1995 and supping on
plates from the 1930's and worth a mint for the next few months. Yesterday, I relived trips numerous trips to Italy; my last serious relationship and the ensuing breakup spending spree; TH's father's lovely Christmas gifts; cafe au lait bowls purchased in France and wrapping the Portmeirion pottery I purchased piece by piece as a starving student and brought back in my luggage from London.

Ernest is back, ringing, I have a pizza in the oven, TH has lamb chops from Oxboro to supp on.

Life, though packed in boxes and stacked in the main floor bathroom , is good.

nm

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

hey

height of decadence

I can't say it enough.

May your days be cheery and bright.

TH and I spent the day making sure my parents had yogurt, bread and ham. The ham is something that is new to them. We'll see if we can get to it tomorrow. The plan is to meet at their house and try and do something festive with some friends and family.

If only the weather would cooperate.

Last night, a few of us gathered to feast. Bravely our guests trudged through rutted streets with varied tire gauges. It was a good and needed thing. Everyone had tired of their walls, their spouses and their freezers, we all needed a break.

Today driving around felt like we were taking a land rover through the Kalahari. I have never really had an appreciation for AWD until this week. Tonight, with all the water on top of the slush and ice proved to be challenging, but doable.

My parents have felt completely trapped this past week. I'm not sure if its lacking the confidence and sure footedness of their youth or twelve years in the 92037 that have made them so timid. All my mom wanted to do today was to go Christmas shopping and to see others excited. All her paranoid daughter could anticipate was her slipping on the slush in the parking lot or on the variable yet, urbanely planned slick surfaces of the pedestrianized retail experience.

As the weather abates, I will try and take her out, braving the crazed post-Christmas shoppers, but only if its dry and over 42 degrees.

Its been hard to watch the be cooped up, at least my mom has a sense of humor about the whole thing. My dad, as much as he's happy to be with his kids etc., misses the warmth of Southern California. I remind him of the wildfires, the smog and republicans and he nods and then sighs at the weather map.

At least he's regained his appreciation of polarfleece jackets and my mom has two new down vests on order, they are de rigeur for this climate.

According to the Norad reports, Santa just stopped by the 98105. I better wrap this up and make sure the milk is at a temperature to his liking. Things are a bit difficult since we removed the wood stove. He leaves his presents on the front porch and I better check that the dog gate is pulled back, I wouldn't want him to trip and hurt himself.

nm happier this holiday than many others

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

arrested delivery

Happy Christmas to me.

December 22, 2008 05:56:00 AM REDMOND WA US Arrival Scan
December 19, 2008 06:30:00 PM REDMOND WA US Arrival Scan
December 18, 2008 05:53:00 AM REDMOND WA US Arrival Scan
December 18, 2008 04:27:00 AM REDMOND WA US Arrival Scan
December 18, 2008 03:53:00 AM SEATTLE WA US Departure Scan
December 18, 2008 12:46:00 AM SEATTLE WA US Arrival Scan
December 17, 2008 06:36:00 PM PORTLAND OR US Departure Scan
December 17, 2008 03:04:00 PM PORTLAND OR US Arrival Scan
December 16, 2008 10:50:00 PM SPARKS NV US Departure Scan
December 16, 2008 05:00:02 PM US Shipment has left seller facility and
is in transit
December 16, 2008 04:33:00 PM SPARKS NV US Shipment received by carrier

On truck, returned to truck, never to be seen again.

On the other hand, I used B&N pick up in store option for later. Much more satisfying.

Local retailers are doing great thanks to the shit weather. A toy store and some twee furniture stores are the closest to us, so very little use to either of us. Maybe if we needed a recovered empire style chair or legos.

Alas and alack, I burned TH's croissants.

Monday, December 22, 2008

I have lots of very important things to say, but really, it is getting too late and I'm tired.

I have very little motivation to do the things that I need to feel like the holidays are complete. I have a few presents to wrap and those last minute things are not going to be here by Wednesday. I guess we'll be having 12 nights of giving chez nm.

So, after dinner we created the first of four things I have committed to make for Christmas. One recipe I followed to the T and the other I hacked.

Both look mighty tasty.

I'm waiting for sexy whipping pictures to upload to flickr.

Be patient.

Tomorrow is a work day, the roads are treacherous, but we're still to report in.

Should be tons of fun.

nm slip sliding away

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday wrap up

Cabin fever sets in
U vill for sheer entertainment and exercise
Green chile stew thanks to N, M and I
Eggy crumpets for breakfast a al Kerri
lots of snow shoveling
Incredible levels of sloth all around
Remembrances of last year's rudolph ramble in the same amount of snow and 16 F!
Negotiations for the release of Ernest for technology
Wondering if the snow will ever abate
Realizing that tomorrow is an adult snow day, but there are piles of work to be done
Wishing and hoping that friends make it home wherever that is
Stay warm and dry people

nm
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Friday, December 19, 2008

A snowstorm paralyzes Seattle, however at our local grocery store yogurt cups, milk and string cheese is still on the shelves.

Have my friends' kids moved onto goat cheese, hummous, pita and beer?

I sit here with a nice cold courtesy oh the TH, a dentist appointment at 9 am, lunch at a lovely restaurant that I fear has a windy road or major hill as obstacles and a crap load of work to do.

Ernest is three mountain passes with traction devices required and a wind storm to contend with. Hold tight bud, you may be spending Xmas with your bio family.

Yeah, I am whining.

I have plenty of food, electricity, a warm house, clothing, the ability to drive a AWD vehicle if I choose to. I also have great restaurants and local diversions if I get really get bored.

Others are not so lucky. The merchants who had a crap last weekend because of the snow, those who have to be at work or do not have the option of telecommuting, or those who can't get adequate amounts of food or shelter..

Reach out to your circle of friends -- wait go even further and check with your neighbors and see if everyone is okay. Sweep or shovel past your house if you need a diversion, it is the neighborly thing to do.




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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Right where was I?

London, Brussels, selective amnesia about flying through JFK, flight delays, work issues while traveling and football hooligans on my Eurostar train.

Honestly, why can't I remember the good things ....

Staying at Tigh Gadhar and the love of the lurcher, meeting RedSnapper, TH finally meeting the SUMDs and Kerri, Pat and Brian.
A lovely short ride to Oxford and a nice visit with Heather. These are precious moments dear ones.
Watching the elegantly dressed entering the Dorchester, the Hilton and other lovely hotels on Park Lane on our way to our own hotel.
A nice suite waiting for us at the Park Lane with a view of St. James Park.
Finally finding dinner at a old favorite after being skunked at three places on Thursday night.
Provisioning for Christmas and having a great time doing it, before the crowds really started.
Walking from Park Lane to Westbourne Grove to lunch and walking by my brief childhood home.
Window shopping at the posh shops.
Buying my future niece/nephew their first bear (nom, nom, nom).
Dinner with the aunties - always a pleasure.
Realizing that in 2 and a half hours one can be in Brussels from London.
Chocolate shopping in Brussels.
Finding a new and cheap restaurant in Brussels that does not involve moules and frites.
The Galleries St. Hubert in all its glory.
Napping on the way home.
Seeing a childhood friend at JFK.
Knowing that our house was taken care of by our amazing neighbors who protected our plants from the exceedingly cold weather.

I'm happy to be home, no jet lag, back in the swing of things even at work -- probably more out of fear of deadlines than anything. No travel for two weeks and then it seems every two weeks after that for the next three months. As much as I try, it doesn't seem to abate -- weddings, vacation, work trips are part of the package. I am just learning to roll with the punches here.

As for the festive period -- We have a tree, lights, cookies, a pudding, egg nog, cards to write and something to be joyful about.

We hope to pick up the boy this weekend, cross your fingers the weather improves or we may not see him until after Christmas.

nm

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday

Christmas provisioning
Lunch at Hereford Road
Wandering around Westbourne grove
Dinner with the aunties
Chavs on the tube
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Thursday

Lurchers
Eggy crumpets
Fast train
Moules and fish pie
Catching up
Slow ride into london
Walking around window shopping
Skunked for dinner
Suitable substitution realized
Sleep not happening
Yet
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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

When did travel become so bleah?

We have a nearly four hour layover in Chicago. Its really no big deal, but the last time I flew through Chicago was in January.

Its the first time I have flown on American since I self demoted to their mid tier. I am even putting these miles on my Alaska account to save me a flight in vain later this month.

For someone who used to calculate their status mileage to the last mile, things have changed.

With fewer expectations, I am less likely to be disappointed.

It will be the first time in over a year I have seen my aunties and TH's auntie. You don't get these chances all the time so we take them when we can.

We are also travelling in a time when the dollar is stronger. Fear not, I will not be hitting the boutiques on New Bond Street or Avenue Louise, but we are endeavouring to use cash we have on hand instead of paying international fees on our credit cards.

I will post as I can, don't get too excited. I am planning on hitting hamley's for a present for our new arrival and for me that is one of the coolest things that I get to do this year!

Lots of deicing going on here -- cross your fingers


Nm



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Monday, December 08, 2008

Hi bye

Leaving, busy, busy, busy.

See you all from somewhere else if I get packing done.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

footie

I need a pedicure.

Long day, emergency meeting with emergency managers, much driving, good conversations, good lecture, good dinner.

I'm pooped.

I cannot fathom that this time next week I'll be in London.

JK -- do some groundwork for me. I'm sorry that we are not there at the same time, pish posh on work travel restrictions.

later,

nm

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

redness

JK wants me to spend some dosh to keep the economy going and make sure she can retire. While her job is not tied to the manufacturing sector or retail, she wants me to help her retirement account by making the consumer confidence index soar and make you all buy more stocks.

Wow.

Imagine if we had this conversation last year.

I took her up on the challenge. I bought a new tv (first one in 25 years), some cables for the tv, two dvds, some dog food, a few Christmas odds and bobs and groceries. That alone wiped me out...not so much financially, but mentally.

Tonight I plopped my credit card down three times to buy gifts. Really peeps, I should have gone to the cash machine and taken out the cash, it would have made it more real. I don't think I would have spent any more or less, I just would have felt it sooner.

I was emailing a girlfriend today who bemoaned not having any money -- on one level she doesn't have the expendable income she had before, but on the other hand she drives a nice car and lives in a pretty magnificent house and has seen no cut in pay.

How long before her kids realize that things are not so hot out there?

I remember the recession of early 80s. For the first time my parents really cut things back. We turned the heat down in our house and bundled into one room (our rec room) for eating, showering and hanging out. My mom would get up and make dinner with a coat on and honestly, it was pretty pathetic if you think about it. We lived a very affluent lifestyle, but my parents were worried about high heat bills and not spending more than we needed to. To this day, I would rather put on a sweater than turn the heat up past 60 degrees.

While I'm hoping this downturn doesn't last too long and do worry about my friends who small businesses, I am hoping that a few kids out there will not walk past a penny, learn to put on a sweater and squeeze the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube from now on.

Monday, December 01, 2008

heart stopping


Jaw dropping -all in a days work.

The market needs some mood stabilizers. We need to get our heads out of asses, our troops out of Iraq and Bush should just resign right now.

pissed and no where done with it

nm

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday

Thank goodness for the end of the month.

Nothing to say.

Nm
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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Seven channels of television and nothing to watch.

Just saying.


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Friday, November 28, 2008

To ponder

I thought that a 40 in television would be puny. A 32 inch is ginormous in the space deemed appropiate for its entry into the house with no microwave. So alas back to the local purveyor of such goods to find a suitable substitute for such a luxury.

Just so you all know in the brave new world of consumer durables batteries are included but the 200 dollars worth of cables, gold plated hookup cables are not.

Nm causing citibank early detection fraud office some grief today
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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thankful

The yearly post, skip if you don't like sap.

My mom is healthy and disease free.
My father continues to thrive and drive my mother nuts.
My brother has found his dear soul mate and we cannot be more pleased to add her to the family.
Babies have entered our lives from every angle and are healthy and thriving and bring us hope.
Ernest continues to make us laugh.
My legs have taken me at least a thousand miles this year and that is a feat into itself.
TH remains my anchor and for that I am thankful.
We still have a roof over our heads, money in the bank and the freedom to travel.
The people spoke, voted and listened with their minds and their hearts and picked a new president.
My friends remain true, happy and always there when I need them and I would do the same for them.
I have connected with childhood friends and that makes me very happy.
My parents are nearby and while they do not need me, I am thrilled to have them within the same neighborhood.
I wake up every morning realizing that I am alive, healthy and living a life that I made for myself without a gun to my head or social stricture that narrowly defines my role.

For all this and more I am thankful.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Vive la republique!

Two things to note -- Banana Republic has marked a crap load of merchandise including coats and denim 40 percent off, how stimulating.

It is astoundingly easy to find seat availability to Paris in early March. Too late for sales, but timed just right with the end of the Brussels chocolate.

Okay, four things. I really will start blogging via the computer soon. I am so freaking tired when I get home the last thing I want to do is stare at a screen.

Fourth -- Friday marks the beginning of march of the Christmas cookie love fest. 15 or so batches lovingly made in the next week. Yikes.

Must dash, fifi requires my attention.


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Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday

Work buy dog walks sunny dahlia lounge joan baez bliss

Night night
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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday wrap up

roman rooftops
sun, brunch, laugh, nap, visit, dinner, collapse

Really, that was it. Much deserved, much appreciated.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The grocery store the weekend before Thanksgiving is not for sissies.

Just sayin'

Nm
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Friday, November 21, 2008

Wondering

summer seems so far away

Am I the only person in the world that has not heard of Twilight?

Am I the only person in the world that does not understand the draw of Radiohead?

Am I the only person in the world that believes that one should make gravy the day before Thanksgiving?

Okay, now that is off my chest, I'm bidding you all good night. Tomorrow should be a long day and I'm ready to nod off.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

i need to take some more pictures
Today in my first meeting of the day we were talking about social networking application in relation to projects that my organization uses for public outreach. Not only blogs, but facebook, youtube and twitter. Imagine -- updating your twitter to tell your constituent/data users that there is a new cruise's worth of bottle data available for their viewing or that you have updated the most recent model runs with last year's climatologies reanalyzed the way a MBA massaged the derivative markets in the last five years.

In some cases, I'm seeing amazing uses for some of these outlets. As long as you don't get sucked into them as a vortex that causes you amnesia and makes you forget why you started looking on the tubes of the internets in the first place. My guess is not to search the latest sourceforge.net site for some library or API you might need to make the widget work better. ;)

Sending a text message about an update to a forecast might get more attention than the 100th reply all that is sent to a large newsgroup that should have just been addressed to the original poster. Linking with someone on linkedin.com and then recommending some connection who might have skills you need is also useful. I'm not a big facebook fan, but I'm sure there must be some reason that you would have a facebook page featuring marine protected areas, but I'm not sure quite why.

Hey, these days nothing shocks me.

signing off the tubes, they are filling with smoke as we speak.

nm

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good things

A seven pound box of jules destrooper biscuits and cote d'or goodies from Antwerp via Berkeley arriving on your doorstep.

Waking up at 4 am to pill a sleepy dog and have you TH offer to do it.

A chocolate cake with mocha buttercream frosting and a glass of cold milk.

Finding a dress three months before a wedding that all your friends and your mother agree on.

Having your basset sit on you feet while snoring quietly.

Nm
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Monday, November 17, 2008

persimmon solo

I have nothing witty to say today. I'm putting off canning quince preserves, making turkey stock and ironing a bunch of shirts.

It must have been all that sunshine that alluded us yesterday and showed up today to taunt us.

I was more than happy to come home at lunch and take the dog for a walk. I wanted so badly to find a sun patch and lounge for an hour. I did take my sweet time getting back -- running a few errands along the way to postpone the afternoon in front of this infernal machine.

In the fall and winter, I marvel at the kids I see walking to school in their shorts. We take advantage of even the weakest sun here in the 98105 to absorb any vitamin D. Today I did the same --- skirt with bare legs -- it appears that those hours sitting and reading in Lanai revived the little tan I procured this summer. I will milk it and enjoy it while I can because jeans and slacks are soon on the way.

I did draw the line at footwear. I have retired my flip flops until the temperature reaches 70 degrees, I do have my standards.

I am currently plotting another trip to Kauai. I'm not sure when (probably in mid April) and not at a resort, but maybe where there were old Plantation cottages with croquet grounds. All sorts of new and restrictive frequent flyer rules go into effect soon and I want to make sure that I get all my tickets in a row before I lose my favorite award redemptions.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

squash redux 2

Erm, I have consumer lust.

I am trying to contain it.

I may have to succumb.

Well, only with free shipping and another 300 dollars off and all that other good stuff and after I review my spending plan for the next quarter.

TH and I watched a bunch of movies when we were in Lanai. Really, there is absolutely nothing do there after the sun sets other than go to dinner or play canasta. I fell in love with a tv. I, who rarely watches any tv, but is now impressed with the clarity of Matt Damon's sweaty pecs on a 42" LCD HD tv.

Listen, I didn't even turn the puppy on to see what the regular stations looked like, I just want to watch Flight of the Conchords in living color.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

fall bulbs, cyclamen II

Today was an amazingly sunny and warm day, the kind that makes you check the calendar to really make sure it is the middle of November. Sixty degrees means gardening in short-sleeves, laundry that dries on the line, and prolonged bulb planting sessions that don't make your knees ache.

TH and I ran errands this morning -getting ready for Thanksgiving feasts and the days between those feasts. We purchased cranberries, potatoes, celery, carrots, brussel sprouts and chanterelles to be used for stuffing, dressings and chutneys. Blackberries, rhubarb, raspberries picked from the garden will be used for desserts. Hubbard squash and apple sauce will also appear on the table, whether I like them or not, they are standard fare and every year they disappear.

This year, our family has a lot to be thankful for -- marriages to happen, new life added to the family and more on the way, good health for all of us and hope, even among all the bad economic news that things are going to improve.

The next few weeks are going to be hectic. Work is ramping up with new projects, TH is swamped, yet more travel and the holidays are creeping up. I cannot believe how fast the year has gone by at times.

I hope things can slow down enough tomorrow that I can savor every moment in the warming autumn sun.

nm

Friday, November 14, 2008

recession, what recession?

I will admit that we're all a bit on the edge about the economy. I hope this is what is contributing to my eight tums a day habit.

If you were to walk into a hip Seattle eatery on a Thursday night, you would be hard pressed to believe that we're in trouble peeps.

A couple of weeks ago, I ate at Poppy, Jerry Traunfeld's new place. While the food was good, the service was atrocious, the setting bland and cheap looking and the meal was expensive. The place was packed with hipsters galore and they just keep on coming.

Allen Wong's in Honolulu -- packed.

Barolo last night - at 8:30 -- packed, so packed that we came in and turned right back out and went to the Dahlia Lounge instead and still had to wait.

Tonight (I know, this is bad) , we got to Pair at 5:20 pm. We were one of the first people seated - by 6 pm, the resto was 3/4 full, by the time we left --7:30 pm it was packed.

None of these places would be considered inexpensive and my guess is that most of the people eating didn't save up their pennies for a once a month splurge. These are regular restaurant goers and they are still going in droves.

Maybe its because some of us are seeing the recession differently... I'm not so much hurt on a day to day level, but all the money we have carefully put away is dwindling away. Its not a bad place to be in comparison to many others. However, at times I feel guilty as heck for not staying home and eating rice and beans.

For some, grabbing dinner out is just sustenance and fuel. I believe these days, some of us are going out to dine finely only to be reassured by seeing others out enjoying a meal and not so much drowning our sorrows, but shoving them to the side to enjoy a fennel salad or a perfectly cooked veal chop and enjoy being entertained and being entertaining.

nm
vip diner -- opentable.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

getting better rice grain by rice grain

Dang, I'm tired.

4 am dog stomach coating sessions are really overrated.

The patient is much better.

nm

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nothing sucks more than trying to figure out what is wrong with your
tiny dog
This seriously sucks, but his grandmere has provided him with freshly poached chicken breast and we are being good dog moms and holding his paw

Poor ernest
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

15 minutes home and
laundry has started
Bag unpacked
Bag put away
Sick Dog walked
Mail sorted
Rice started for sick dog

Vacation is really

a. Over
b. Overrated
c. All of the above
d. None of the above
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Eternity --- five hours in Lahaina without wheels nor a need for a maui tee shirt.

So happy to be back in Lanai where TH and I were treated to a croquet lesson. Sweet.

Tomorrow we schelp back home.


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Here today

Gone to Maui

Lahaina to be more specific
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Croquet with mai tai
Beach
Too many people by pool (can't drink at beach)
Bournes 1 and 2 watched

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Friday, November 07, 2008

We are in Lanai surrounded by pine trees and wild turkeys with nary a palm tree nor grass skirt in sight.

The middle of the island is lovely and cool. Approximately 15 degrees cooler than the beach.

I could get used to this.

Tomorrow we head to the beach and then siesta up at the lodge. The Lanai farmers market should be fun and so will walking around the very cute Lanai City.

Later taters
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Aloha

Redux

Diamond head
Sherwood forest
Corner room with views of ocean and diamond head
Alan Wong tasting menu
A mild breeze lulls one to sleep
Aloha sweet dreams
Tomorrow lanai
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes you did

All I have to say is this restored my faith in America.


This is one of the happiest days of my life.


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Monday, November 03, 2008

who let the freaks out

This thread in particular.

Other than that, I am particularly looking forward to a large cup of hot chocolate and cookies and some sort of sleep aid tomorrow night.

If you haven't for some insane reason voted yet, for shits sake, if you don't tomorrow, I will be really pissed, even if you vote a completely republican ticket.

I am seriously amazed that in this day and age, people still just don't vote.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday wrap up

Dog park
Hanging with homies
Laundry
Dutiful avoidiance of leaf raking and bulb planting
Dvd watching
Quince jam making
Lazy blackberry blogging
Good night
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

as far as the eye could see

Today is the beginning of NaBloPoMo. Really. I promise.to.write.a.post.everyday.this.month.

Even with my desire to drink mai-tais and pretend that the last few months of this wretched back biting hideous makes you feel dirty campaign to pick our next commander-in-chief didn't unfold the way it has.

Seriously.

When we contemplated going away for a few days in November, I considered leaving on election day because well, we would be over the Pacific with absolutely no clue as to what happened for five lovely hours. Then I realized that that would drive me batty. In 2000, we thought we had it in the bag and lost it due to dirty Floridian politics and the election went on forever. It was not a happy time for us, Jacques was deathly ill and we were scared for our lives. We also missed nearly of a week of a ten day vacation to Italy to visit our friends and do some touring. The whole time we were in a haze. Every time we would think something would seem resolved, something else would hurtle us backwards. By the time we got to Rome -- via three I kid you not changes to our tickets (keeping our upgrades the whole way) and a detour to Milan we were nervous wrecks.

This time, it seems that we are nervous wrecks without a sick animal.

So, this Tuesday, I will tele-work so that I can get some uninterrupted writing time. I will shut off wireless so that I do not obsess. I will go to class at 6 pm as usual. What is my waiting around listening to NPR and do other that make me even more anxiety ridden? Our television is black and white, so this whole blue/red thing is not happening for us. I am definitely an aural person these days.

Again, I do not believe anything is sewn up until I see the newspaper headlines that are going to make me scream from the rooftops and cry with joy because we may actually regain a few civil rights and give this country some hope and glory that it desperately needs.

Don't you think so as well?


On Thursday, around 9:40 am, I am planning on drinking my first of many mai-tais -- ushering in good times for a few days in the sunshine and hopefully for the next four years.

If you get what you want -- election-wise what are you planning on doing?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Know someone who is being a bit waffley this election season or just complacent, or just not thinking their vote counts.

Well, get thee to this site and send them a little love note, with apologies to Ernest.



He already voted.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Saturday
I can't say it any better again.

The economy is still in the crapper. I went to the Vill today to pick up something from the pharmacy and decided to wander around. H&M was empty, lucky, Red Mango, Lucy, the Coach store and Victoria Secret, even the freaking Apple Store.

Fear not peeps, I did not go on a spending spree, I just noticed this as I walking by.

Well, okay, I bought a sweater at H&M, seventeen little 'droids on the sales floor and one could not be bothered to help me. I think I'll stick to catalog shopping and Nordstrom, in one case, I don't have to worry about being polite to the sales person. In the other case, I may actually get some customer service.

Gosh, if H&M is what is going to be the first step up the retail ladder to working in some small boutique in Belltown, managing a banana stand or an internship at Lucky Brands, these 'droids have got to learn a thing or two about personal interactions with their customers wielding cash.

nm would you like a belt to go with your hat?

Friday, October 24, 2008

34
Today I sat with childhood friends to support our incumbent governor and hear Al Gore discuss climate change and how far we need to go to change our lifestyles, our way of thinking and our dependence on fossil fuels. He is a great speaker, and while preaching to a choir of already fiercely democratic voters, I'm sure he enlightened more than one member of the packed room.

Gore also acknowledged a group of scientists that I am affiliated with who are assessing climate change impacts in the Arctic and others who work down the hall from me thatlook at how anthropogenic CO2 affects ocean acidification. My friend who accompanied me to this event, actually did some of this sampling off the West Coast.

Wouldn't it be cool to have your work highlighted?

It was wonderful to listen to a former vice president who understands the impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and necessity for better monitoring and assessment of these problems. Imagine life with a vice president who supports independence on foreign oil by doing more damage to the the Arctic Ecosystem and our near shore environments. I shudder and think and pray that it won't ever happen.

Imagine what we could do if we could start researching alternatives to fossil fuel- algae and other biofuels. We would be integrating biologists, chemists and engineers towards a greater good while solving some basic research issues.

Today I filled my tank up with gas that was under three dollars a gallon. Does the decrease in the price of gas mean that we'll continue our love affair with our car? Does this mean that we'll stop doing the practical and healthy things we have been easing into the last few months -- the carpooling, bike riding, and errand combining? Does this mean that you will get back behind the wheel of your SUV and drive for the sake of driving because dammit you can?

God I hope not.

nm

Thursday, October 23, 2008

giving up/giving in

things from the market

Yesterday I had my lawn mowed and edged for the season. I held off for the whole year, but finally decided it needed doing. Now my lawn looks like it had a bikini wax, the normal, modest kind. Visualize it yourselves.

I hired the dog walker that takes care of Nicki, my neighbor's dog when he's out of town and Ernest's friend, Finnegan. Why? Because I just can't handle leaving work in the middle of the day. For some reason it breaks up my day to no end and Lord knows I am having a hard enough time focusing. So, when TH is gone, Ernest gets to hang with his homies and I get a break.

Giving in -- I am seriously reading too much news of the day and the news is giving me hives.

Giving up - reading too much news. I hate hives.

Larry David says it best.

The weekend is supposed to be sunny and beautiful. Other than dog walking, some distance walking if I can get it in and oven cleaning, I am going to try and put the long season garden to bed and soak in the sun. There is nothing I can do about my attractive thigh high tan before I go to Lanai, but at least my heart and soul can turn off the news and get back to basics.

over and out squeaking all the way

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

S is for Socialist

Happy saturday!

Right.

Honestly, this election makes me want to take three showers a day. I will be so happy when its over and we can focus our blogosphere on more important things like how to stretch a can of chicken noodle soup to last two meals and what it really means to be green.

As I tweeted earlier, every investment banker in the world can rot in hell.

God, I am so happy I have a job that is not dependent on the economy per se. I suspect that us scourges on the system (civil servants) will not see a COLA or a merit increase for the next four years. I see less travel and more videoconferencing. I see myself cringe when I see the bill for my professional society dues that I have to pay before I can justly chair or organize sessions in good faith.

I see some hard times past the two years some economists believe the "recession" is going to last. I see some hard choices that some of us are going to have to make. We are super lucky that we are blessed with a home, good jobs, no debt and some semblance of a dwindling nest egg.

I just hope this time we learn from this history that we are making.

If you have a few minutes while waiting for America's top model goes to rehab to come on - read Margaret Atwood's piece on the credit crisis and then turn off the boob tube or the laptop and go read a book.

nm which does not stand for neiman marcus

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A few things.

TJ's hors d'oeuvres for dinner are not a bad thing. Paired with a salad, its downright healthy.

I'm too bushed to cook. I am too scrimy to eat out, so its fridge clean out, pantry clean out and milk, lettuce, a few fun things and what is left at home is fair game. Today the Ernmeister hurked bile at 515 and things got fun after that, dog walk, gym, work, dog park, work, visiting the parentals, class, grocery store and more walks.

So, now I sit here, watching 30 rock on my friend's portable dvd player while trying to catch up on work. I am giving it three episodes and its curtains for me.

Boring here.

Oh, wait, if you are curious -- here is an amazing list of newspaper editorial endorsements -- the breadth and range of newspapers that have endorsed Senator Obama is amazing.

Other than that, I have signed up for the Seattle Half Marathon - I am looking to beat my split at Portland by 10 minutes. I better get cracking. I need to get some mileage in this weekend.

nm pro american and west of everything

Monday, October 20, 2008

blinding me with science

right before dinner, monday night

TH is in Iceland all week. She returns for about five hours and then turns around and goes right back out to Boulder. I am happy for her, she's getting some very deserved recognition for her work -- merging science, history and mapping along with her tireless efforts to explain to scientists that eventually all of this stuff needs to be explained to policy makers.

We call that dumbing down.

This year myself and a few of my colleagues on the other side of the country are looking to develop a workshop that will highlight some of these issues at our large annual meeting. We are trying to figure out the best way to do this -- teach people about how to use mapping technology for decision support. A lot of these folks have spent their careers developing programs and products to this for their own niche area which gives them the results they want. What we're trying to integrate is how all this works with the entire world -- not just a static image. We collect terrabytes of climate information daily that goes into huge models and gets churned, analyzed, reanalyzed, refitted, filtered, archived and visualized to predict climate variances or hazard assessment. How this fits in with our constantly changing world -- cities morph, road networks evolve, coastlines shift and all this information requires refreshing at a faster rate than most home grown programs can handle. It seems like the faster we pedal to figure out the best way to do something, something new comes up and changes the whole show.

I like it, most of the time.

I often wonder why I didn't pursue my second career that I spent three hard years in studio and the archives and returned to science. Maybe it was a comfort thing, maybe it was my lack of self confidence at designing master planned communities. I think the tools I picked up along the way -- project management, planning principles, some semblance of design theory along with the beginnings of a GIS background made me a better and more rounded researcher. If I had stayed in my job, I would have probably ended up a JAVA programmer writing code for one-off projects that may seen the light after the final report was written. I may have left my comfortable existence and gone to work for one, two or seven dot coms and made a ton of money to lose it all again.

Yeah, I'm a scientist. I can't help it. I am curious, I want answers and that is not a bad way to approach the world.

It has taken me ten years to become comfortable with this. I no longer pretend that this is just another break in my life and I'll find something that will make me astoundingly happy. I may complain at times, but every little blip I see a time series, every map we create that shows a level of risk and every discussion that engages policy wonks with scientists and has both parties coming out learning something new makes me realize that step by step, the things I do make some sort of difference.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hey JOE!

WTF?

I spent the debate listening to McCain snivel and snort (note to self: call bro to ask him to analyze McCain's snort), twittering and replying to a long OMNI post on flyertalk.


I believe my presidential pick will occur and I for one and many of my friends and family will hug, scream and believe that we may have a chance for a better America.

Now I'm worried about our own gubernatorial race. Its so close. My focus and money is going towards keeping Christine Gregoire in office. She's done a good job so far and I would like her to do the same for the next four years. I just wish she was more willing to either retaliate to Rossi or just campaign dammit.

How about you? What are you doing to keep your local elected officials elected or new one's to fill their place.

nm the scientist

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

little one

Ernest's stomach has been punky for the last day. He's happy to do almost anything include eat, but clearly that is not agreeing with him. The vet examined him and said it was either something he tangled with (roast of beef?) or something that is going around the neighborhood -- a virus of sorts. He's seen lots of dogs with the same sort of symptoms.

Nothing is harder than denying your dog his dinner and doling out meager rations of white rice and chicken breast every four hours in hopes it will stay down.

Anytime he gets sick, I worry. I did not give birth to him, but I still feel like I have known him since his early weeks of life. To me, he is still perfect -- with very few things that could possibly go wrong with him at his young age. To see him feeling under the weather kills me. To have him look at me accusingly as I try to eat my dinner is even worse than death.

Its been almost 90 minutes since his 1/2 cup of rice and .5 oz of chicken breast. Here's to hoping it will stay down for the next 270 minutes. If not, its going to be a long night of Ernest, myself and the couch.

nm

Monday, October 13, 2008

Um, I have stopped caring about the economy.

It only costs me 61 dollars to fill my tank every 10 days.

I have only now reduced my losses to half of my yearly salary (give or take), in the latest economic downturn! Everything is still okay! We are winning wars everywhere, the surge is working, people are happy with the dollar meal menu choices at McDonalds, Dancing with the Stars is still a big hit, and 90210 is back on the air. Long live the 80s, long live consumerism!

As for my money, after all, I'm whining about me. It should only take me five years to get it back if I want it in cash and still maintain a decent lifestyle of occasional travel, clothing purchases and new tires. I know my income did not decrease by 25-40%, but honestly, it just makes me not want to spend a penny unless I absolutely have to.

The brighter side -- we're all paying more attention to what the hell is going on with our money, right?

nm ready to keel haul an investment banker into shark infested waters

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Fini

Awesome 13.1 split
Slow second half
Not bad overall time
One blister
One lost toenail
3 cheers for TH and ernest who not only waited in the rain to cheer me on and tolerated my bitchy whiny obsession for the last two weeks

I am taking the week off from energetic persuits.
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Estimated finish time

Underestimate and be surprised


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Saturday, October 04, 2008

Is it o.k to want to hurl because you are scared out of your pants?

I'm so afraid that I will not finish this marathon tomorrow in time.

I'm afraid I can't make the distance.

I'm afraid that I'm going to lose at least one toenail on the course.

I'm afraid of failing.

At least the weather prognostication is for a few sprinkles and then overcast,so I'm not going to either overheat or get uncomfortably wet.

Sigh.

26 miles are easy, the last .2 will kill me.

Friday, October 03, 2008

wooden arrows galore - or I have nothing of note to say at the moment

Taken verbatim, only the names have been changed to protect the one innocent:

(11:18:29 AM) T_half: so wall street just got a 700B reward for fucking up
(11:19:49 AM) yo_naz: yup, and i may be able to retire before i am 89.
(11:20:02 AM) yo_naz: so what, there are 119 billion in ear marks in the new bill.
(11:20:11 AM) yo_naz: you want everything to go in the toilet?
(11:20:18 AM) T_half: politics as suual
(11:20:22 AM) T_half: usual that is
(11:20:44 AM) T_half: am not convinced that everything would go in the toilet if bill wasn't passed.
(11:20:57 AM) T_half: but we always need corporate socialism
(11:21:13 AM) T_half: we will be paying for this and the invasion of Iraq for the rest of our lives
(11:21:56 AM) T_half: i want the tradeoff to be a whomping excess profits tax - but that will never happen. look at the fricking oil companies
(11:22:22 AM) yo_naz: I personally think that every single non breeding individual who has no debt should get
a 5000 deduction this year for paying taxes that help the breeding non complying foreclosing 2008
car buying tivo and dish owning costco going 40K in credit card debt that will also be bailed
out later this year.
(11:22:42 AM) yo_naz: oh wait, another 500 dollar deduction for not
owning a storage unit.
(11:26:46 AM) T_half: i like that
(11:27:57 AM) yo_naz: Yah!
(11:28:04 AM) yo_naz: I'm going to have to blog that.

Monday, September 29, 2008

life in a nutshell

blah.

ack.

groan.

Other than that, I would like to thank co workers and students alike for attending work and classes when you should be at home getting better instead of passing on your god damned colds to me.

I appear to be clenching my jaw at night, gee I wonder why?

Tonight, I'm toast. I went to memorial service/open house, came home, dealt with life and now realize that I have more of life to deal with.

It is just going to have to wait.

I'm going to bed, with a ton of aspirin and airborne in my system.

nm choo

Friday, September 26, 2008

forged

Tomorrow, I don't have a thing scheduled.

Wow.

On the list of things that I want to do -- Farmer's market, dog park, garden, mulch, read, and hang out with the dog.

Life is good.

The following day, Missy and I are going to do 10 miles together and then I'm going to try another 15.

I have to keep a pace of 3.4 miles to make the cut at the Portland Marathon. My best time is about 3.15 for a half, so a whole would be 6.30. That would be amazing and probably not attainable.

My colleague suggests to go with the flow - not run when I can walk, but honestly, this is my goal for the year to do this marathon and do it right.

Balance is hard.

I don't want to injure myself and I know my pace -- I am fast at the start, miles 3 through 11 sail by and the last miles seem to drag and this is a half. I wonder how I will do in a whole. I guess I will find out soon enough.

The Portland Marathon touts itself as a mp3 friendly marathon. I am really debating buying a new nano. My shuffle is fine for short races, but I like the idea of seeing what I am listening to. I just hate buying new toys because of one need. I wonder if I can just realize that I live with the shuffle and then just listen to the rhythm of my own body for ten or so miles.

Yeah, I think I'll do that.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

All I can say today is that I do not look forward to tomorrow in the financial world.

I'm thinking that I'm willing to take another moderate hit to my retirement if it means that change in our government and you know what I mean.

I had lunch with my parents today. My mom has never really discussed politics and really, if you want to know the truth, its not her thing. Today she went off on Palin, not so much Sarah as Todd.

Todd Palin, had I known you were in the hood yesterday, let alone, my old stomping grounds, I would have paid the 1000 buckeroos just to shove him in the ass, well, maybe I would have sent my mom instead, she has better jewelry and manners.

Seriously. This whole thing is becoming a train wreck.

I'm soon to stop all this pontificating, but honestly, I'm just gobsmacked by these last few weeks of the campaign. Seeing the pundits compare Palin to Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Olympia Snow is ludicrous. She just doesn't hold a candle to many other fine women politicians out there and I'm not sure she'll ever get there.

nm fuming and spewing (laying off the caf tomorrow)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

being the donkey

In Farsi, the word for donkey is khar. Its pronounced HAAAR. We use it a lot around here to to discuss stupid people. Its a thing my family does.

This evening I called my dad to get his take on Bushie's speech. He said hold on tight, the market will come back. This is a man who has gained and lost way more than I could ever dream of having in volatile markets. However, these days I'm thinking that not only are we who gamble in the long term are going to get the shit kicked out of them, but those who think that everything is going to be ok.

Right.

We as a nation are khars. Yes, we are. Its not just predatory mortgage lenders and Goldman Sachs's interns who came up with the derivatives that the Kingdom of Brunei bought and sold that caused the recent financial crisis.

It is us, stupid stupid us [the US populace].

Those of us who thought that we would take money out of our hideously overpriced home not to send our kids to college, but to finance our new televisions, ATVs, trip to Alaska (moose hunting?).

It is us, who thought that we could afford that 500,000 dollar house in the burbs as as starter home bigger than anything we really needed or wanted, but it was there.

It is us who jumped from credit card to credit card to get the better deal and then forgot the introductory period lasted 15 seconds.

It is us who just didn't wait the 5 minutes to think something through and pressed the buy it now button on the computer and ended up with major buyer's remorse.

It is us who just couldn't remember what it was like to learn to keep something for another few wears, another season, another person even if we had the money to buy the latest thing.

It is us who needed the latest thing because everyone else had it.

It is us who not only bought a house with no money down, but also financed a car we couldn't afford, ate out every lunch, bought food that we ended up throwing out at the end of the week because we forgot we bought it because we were eating out and not really thinking.

It is us who used our credit cards, debit cards and fast pays at Starbucks, au bon pain and Peets daily because we just couldn't bother to make a pot of coffee at home and bring our own cup.

It is us who thought that things would just go on and be fine even as we saw our portfolios dwindle and those little dips in our retirement accounts grow bigger.

It is us who laughed at our grandparents and parents because they lived through hard times -- Depressions, occupations, revolutions and hardships and now have it so good. These same people realize the value of a dollar, shekel and toman and still think before committing one penny to it.

It is us who thought that the person who chose to live simply, not upgrade their house with every promotion and chose to pay off their mortgages to have that safety net were insane.

Yeah, we're all khars now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

thorp exposed v1.3

TH is out of town. I'm not going to say again, since in the past it was me fleeing from the scene of the crime and she was stuck with house/dog/life.

She has flits of work travel happening for the next few months. My well has run dry so to speak --- one meeting in December. Everything/everyone else is coming to me these days.

I like that.

I believe I have recovered from the 3 day. I will spend this weekend writing thank you notes and getting ready for my next event. The few people I have been emailing or talking with have experienced the same set of emotions as I have, which I find reassuring.

As my pal Deb said, "I wouldn't have believed the things people warned or told me about until I experienced it myself". That is one smart woman.

Courtney does a great job of summing up the event. I can add a few things.

I walked with one person, it made things faster. Everyone I knew that walked in a group felt really bogged down by the hurry up and waiting.

I will never ask for advice when dealing with a blister. I now know how patients waiting to be discharged from the hospital feel like.

I was happy to sleep in my own bed on Saturday.

I am thankful that Missy doesn't mind sleeping with the tent wide open to deal with my hyperventilating claustrophobia.

I am thankful for the not found in nature "uncrustable". Next time go with a better flavor of jelly.

I am thankful for Sean and Amelia who hung with me on Saturday night.

I am completely floored by the dedication of Ruth and Loretta for stalking us. I think I have said this over and over again. They have no idea what it did for our flagging morale.

I am beyond thankful for a 15.7 mile Sunday. Piece of cake.

I am thankful that I am healthy.

I should be back to normal blogging. As normal as I get. I have nothing of note to say. I hate Fall. I hate pants. I hate short days and leaf raking. Bring back Spring!

nm

Monday, September 22, 2008

again

I can't get into this now. I just have no strength to say anything witty.

Sad, isn't it?

I can wear shoes now!

I am going to try and go for six miles sometime on Wednesday (when I have no idea).

Saturday I'm heading for eightteen or nineteen depending on the rain.

I'm wondering who had the brilliant idea of doing a marathon in two weeks.

Oh wait, that was me.

I'm sure it will be fine, right?

nm back in black

Friday, September 19, 2008

Being bad

I will be back tomorrow. Promise.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday wrap up

Tears shed - a few
Blisters - one small and treatable
Miles walked - 21 give or take
Training miles - 800
Meatballs - one
Memories of the mammaries - many

Tomorrow Redmond and Kirkland-
It is going to be longish - 23 miles and warm so I am hoping to be on the road at 630 to beat the heat

Thank you each and everyone for your good vibes and generous support these last 26 weeks

You rock!
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is it me?

Am I the only one who wretches everytime I see Sarah Palin on TV?

Okay, I don't really watch tv, but I did just see her on the cover of TIME.

I wonder if she's ever read it?

From Courtney -- I may just have to rent the Bourne series now.




Does every middle American soccer mom sit there at the Starbucks over their skinny non fat no whip vanilla latte and dream of being president some day? I know that I maybe be a little left of center, but nothing recently has really ticked me off as this.

Do you realize that my dad could be McCain and I could be Palin?

Hey dad, can I have the keys to AirForce One?

nm back on track


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

cheers!

I'm walking the 3 day this weekend. I'm almost at my goal! Ernest is going dig deep to get me there.

If you are in Seattle, bored or just want to cheer me on. I'll be the one walking and talking too much and not wearing pink.

Here is the listing of cheering stations. I'm happy to say that R&L, TH and Ernest and Missy's Frank will be visiting us along the way.

Friday, September 12:

9:00 am - 1:00 pm
First Baptist Church and Pilgrim Lutheran Church parking lots
10431 SE 11th St. and 10420 SE 11th St.
(Parking is also available at Church of Christ off of SE 11th St.)
Bellevue, WA 98004

10:00 am - 2:00 pm
McCormick Park
NE 12th St. between 106th Pl NE and 112th Ave. NE
(Parking is available across the street and in nearby neighborhood)
Bellevue, WA 98004

Saturday, September 13:

8:30 am - 11:00 am
Spectralux Corporation
12335 - 134th Court NE
Redmond, WA 98052

11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Ben Franklin Elementary
12434 NE 60th Street
Kirkland, WA 98033

Sunday, September 14:


8:00 am - 11:00 am
Green Lake Park
7201 E Green Lake Dr. N
Seattle, WA 98115
Click here for map of cheering area


I'm taking next weekend off.

Really.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

slightly left of center
I am back, I am swamped, I am fine.

Way too many pictures and thoughts for the five minutes I have to share with you.

The 3 day, my manuscript revisions, countless work obligations, the upcoming presidential elections (ugh, Palin, ugh, barf) and the tristesse of dusk at 7:40 is too much to bear.

This last trip made me realize that I do enjoy active trips -- not just tromping around Rome or the Perigord, but hiking for three to four hours a day is appealing, as long as it is followed by a night in a hotel.

I'm thinking the Dolomites or Croatia, somewhere with better coffee than Illulisat.

nm

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday update

First of all.. other than a few stray ice pellets hitting me on taxi, I could get used to flying non stop to London and in a class of service that is way above my means.

Other than the first business/first class flight that TH spoiled me with while in grad school and our Qantas biz segment from Los Angeles to Aukland, this flight rocked the free world.

Now I am in Copenhagen with a million affluent baby boomers who are cruising somewhere.

Is it the way of their tribe to display all their wealth on their fingers and wrists? Serious overkill peeps, it looks like breeding plumage at the bird sanctuary.

I have walked around for about an hour and a half, but alas nothing currently slays me. It could be due to tiredness or the grey weather or that everything I wanted to see is closed already. I cannot get over the number of UK and US chains I am seeing!

Welcome to a brave new world.

Maybe next time I will be more enthused about CPH. I am currently sitting in a decent looking resto awaiting my white asparagus starter.
The waiter has taken pity on me and brought me a standard pitcher of Danish tap water. I love him.

On the Greenland front TH reports sunny weather in Manitsoq, so at least we have something to look forward to.


nm minding her ps and qs

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is the day

It really bums me out that I am missing the DNC. Last time around I saw Senator Kerry give his last speech in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum right before he accepted the nomination at the DNC.

We watched speeches with some of our colleagues from Boulder who were delegates in 2000.

This year one of my childhood friends is one of the Washington delegates. I am so proud of her as I am of everyone who gives their time and sweat to bring forth poositive change to this country.

As I sit in the lounge before my journey I am watching the breaking story of no roll call for the delegates. As a child this was my favorite part of the conventions -of any party.

The delegates from each state casting their votes and all the cheering. It made me proud to be an American.

Today I am bummed to miss the acceptance speech of who I believe will make this country strong again.

Its just not the same on youtube.

Watch today and tomorrow and wish I could be in your living room with you tomorrow.
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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

really, really must be going part 2

nearly fall
Time to really get going. Everything is done, its just the final packing that seems to be the issue. Do I really need all this crap? Can I get away with doing laundry at the hostel? Does it really matter as long as I don't smell like a seal when I get to London?

It'll be intermittent from now on, but I know you all will behave while I'm lollygagging in Greenland and Iceland. Apparently, there is no way I can get scrubbed/rubbed and tubbed at the blue lagoon, so piss on that.


Seriously.

Check out my flickr for some moblogging.

smooches,

nm

Monday, August 25, 2008


TH took this -- view from the hill of the Nuuk harbor.

I am leaving in about 40 hours give or take a few.

I have yet to pack.

Well, I have sort of a pile of stuff to take. I just realized that my flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk is six hours in COACH - with one stop along the way. I better pack another book.

I am packing for 34 degrees F to 78 degrees F. I'm thinking that Nuuk may hit 65 on the first day I'm there.

Yoikes.

All sorts of fashion questions come to mind. Can I get away with wearing capris with mosquito netting and then just a down vest and long tshirt? What about fleece? What about flip flops?

Its hard to be fashionable when you are going to the Arctic.

Frankly, the weather here is not that seasonably appropriate, so maybe a trip to Greenland will be warmer.

nm looking forward to sitting backwards

Thursday, August 21, 2008

funky sign atlanta

Funky town.

I have lots to say, but nothing really that I want to discuss right at the moment.

Don't worry internets, I am good and so is the whole clan.

TH is safely ensconced with seamen in Nuuk where the current temperature is 37 degrees and raining!

Ack.

Laters,

nm

Tuesday, August 19, 2008



My mom bought a laptop a few weeks ago. It sat and sat until someone had the time to show her how to use it.

Until last week, my mom had never touched a computer.

Now she has mail.

She's a quick learn as long as you are a patient teacher.

TH is much more patient than I.

The strangest thing I have ever seen is my mom in the glow of a laptop screen.

The most amazing thing is that she writes just as if she was talking to you.

Now she is no longer dependent on my dad to see pictures of her great grand niece, Ernest, other friends' kids and little snippets of jokes from friends 1000's of miles away.

I don't see her getting on facebook anytime soon, but I like the fact she took it in her own hands to learn.

My mom, she's a pistol.

Monday, August 18, 2008

the keenest of peaches

variety is the spice of life

On the hottest day of the year, I bought two cases of peaches for canning. It always seems to be that we start preserving for the fall and long winter when the mercury rises about 90 degrees. We don't get started until after the dinner dishes are done and all the jars are scrubbed and ready to go and we don't end until way past our regular bedtimes.

Frankly, I was happy to see the rain and wind and cool temperatures of Monday. I was even happier to get the show of canning on the road before 9 pm.

The peaches we got are wonderful, they are seconds - blemished, but they are juicy, perfectly ripe and locally grown. While we have two peach trees in our garden that typically produce well, this year we have not one peach thanks to a mismatch between bees, flowers and our typically flaky weather.

I miss picking peaches off the tree this year.

I also missed the opportunity to pick peaches off the tree this spring when we went to visit the communities near Fresno that grow amazing varieties of peaches on small scale family farms. The cold weather had us off the first harvest by a crucial week. However, it was still fun to watch our friend Paul jump up on the processing line and show us all the facets of peach packing. Trust me, you had to be there.

Most of all, peaches signify to me the beginning of a long lasting relationship between food, TH and myself. Our first real date involved ten hours together going in search of peppers, peaches and warm weather in the 509. On the way home we stopped to get some peaches. When we got back to TH's house, we needed to make a cobbler for a dinner party to which we were both invited.

The peaches were not ripe and TH and I boiled the life out of them to get them to soften.

It was the act of cooking together and trying to figure out how to make something good out of something bad that made me realize that there was something here that was real.

I think TH felt the same way.

Other than the cobbler, we both don't remember much about the what else was served that night, but we laugh every time we think of that peach cobbler.

Here's to more moments of brilliance in life and the kitchen

Saturday, August 16, 2008

carrying on

DSC_0177

Today I walked by myself before the heat of the day. My training plan has me at 10 miles today and eight tomorrow. I walked 7 before 8 am fueled by Aimee Mann, Franz Ferdinand, Cold Play and assorted tunes. I carried nothing but my ipod and my house keys.

It felt good.

Today was the first time in something like eight weeks I was able to go to the Farmer's market with TH, do the TJs run and assorted other errands. I think she liked it until I began to micromanage her purchase of goat cheese.

Then she turned to me and said "don't you have another three miles to do?"

Whatev.

While the mercury rises to 92 degrees today, I will start packing for my trip to Greenland. A few days ago at a lunch with a group of people that work with TH, we mentioned Greenland and one of the women at lunch mentioned she had just returned from a work trip to Ilillusiat and had her packing list.

This is a woman after TH's heart.

Greenland for seven days with one carry on and one personal item.

Her list is wonderful, informative and timely.

TH will probably carry on Boston and then surrender her bag to Iceland Air in hopes that it will show up in Nuuk. I am taking my chances that British Airlines will get my bag to Copenhagen in one piece- while I am a big fan of the no check/no worries of bags, this time I fly with a trekking backpack its just not going to work while going through the terminals of Heathrow. Its a given that Air Greenland will make me check my bag from Copenhagen to Nuuk via Kang, it just a weight and balance thing.

It feels good to carry on -- with life and with baggage, you just have to pick and choose which parts you can live without for the journey.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

one word

to the sky

Stolen from Jen, because I can't be bothered to discuss preservation on various and sundry levels.

Play along, link and think. This is hard, especially for people like me who just can't self monitor.

1. Where is your cell phone? work tote
2. Where is your significant other? present
3. Your hair? tousled
4. Your mother? awesome
5. Your father? ditto
6. Your favorite thing? contentment
7. Your dream last night? nonexistent
8. Your dream/goal? contentment
9. The room you're in? study
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? boredom
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? retired
13. Where were you last night? bookclub
14. What you're not? calm
16. One of your wish list items? relaxation
17. Where you grew up? medina
18. The last thing you did? concertgoing
19. What are you wearing? skort!
20. Your TV? huh?
21. Your pet? ernest! 509!
22. Your computer? laptop
24. Your mood? good
25. Missing someone? ernest
26. Your car? sturdy
27. Something you're not wearing? socks
28. Favorite store? bookstore
29. Your summer? jumbled
30. Love someone? yes
31. Your favorite color? green
32. When is the last time you laughed? today
33. Last time you cried? today

Monday, August 11, 2008

insert something witty here

I am catching up on email
I have something deep and meaningful to blog about, really, but its going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Today I am going to tell you that nothing beats trying to find a pair of hiking/trail shoes for my upcoming trip to Greenland.

Who thought that trail runners would be forward thinking at the same time tailored.

Who would think that at 23:48 PDT anyone would care.

nm forward thinking and carbon neutral

Friday, August 08, 2008

being and nothingness

with miles to go

Right, where was I?

Last weekend, I camped. Yes, tent, thermarest pad, banana boats and 40 miles of walking.

It was fun! Well, not the thermarest part. The last time I slept on my thermarest I was 10 years younger. I will be borrowing R&L's plusher version for the 3 day.

We did it.

J & I walked, bitched, laughed, burned and learned a lot last weekend.

Check out some of the pictures here.

The rest of the week was spent in San Diego at the enormous conference that I go to yearly and in at which I am forced to do much outreach. Actually, I like it, but this year I did not feel much love and perhaps it may be that I have been so out of the actual technology use and more involved in planning, assessing and creating the all mighty power point presentation.

Hopefully that will change soon.

It was strange to be in San Diego and not be with my parents, ditto for TH. I miss going home and sitting and chatting. My mom said that it was good that we have good memories of SD and La Jolla, not of my parents aging or needing our help.

Someone today asked me if I ever worried about them getting old and not being here any more.

Honestly, not often. They are here for the moment and I cherish each and everyone I get to spend with them. Without sounding corny, I love it when my father calls at work to ask my advice about something or watching my mom's eyes light up as we unlock the door to their house and just stop by to say hi.

Today, TH's mother would have had a very special birthday. We wanted to celebrate it in style, but the day just didn't turn out as we had planned. There were procurement contracts to write, fires to tame and abstracts to submit. We will celebrate a bit later and toast a woman whom I never met, but believe I would have loved with all of my heart.

Friday, August 01, 2008

it all ends in tears

going for a ride

Originally I was going to use this title to discuss the opera, my shallow understanding of it and how as much as I try to understand it, I'm maybe just too well, not interested.

Then I read Kerri's blog about having to put Kubrin Kaos out of his pain.

The last month I have shed many a tear over Kerri and Brian's losses. For those who do not know them -- it is through Kerri and Brian's amazing talent of describing the antics of a once-tiny basset hound puppy who traveled by container ship from England to the Falkland Islands that I made dozen friends on through dogs that blog and through flickr. Some whom I have met in real life person.

Seriously.

I cannot describe the love and patience and devotion Kerri and Brian show daily to all of the dogs they have fostered over the years. You can see it in their pictures, their words, but nothing is like watching it in action.

I was floored when I watched her take care of the SUMDs (skinny ugly mutant dogs) in person when I visited last September.

To give your time, your house, your heart to a pack of older, sometimes not placeable anywhere else rescue dogs and make them the happiest the dogs on the planet is no easy feat. They did it with grace and love.

Yesterday TH and I were talking about our December trip to London and visiting with Kerri and Brian and the SUMDs and five minutes later we hear about Kubrin.

Last week TH was emailing back and forth with Ernest’s breeder and Ernest’s desire for a Great Dane as a brother. S. mentioned that big dogs die too young and there is too much heartache involved. She may be right, but the eight years they make you smile and laugh and steal your heart may just be worth it.

Sleep tight Kubrin and give Meggie Moo a kiss from me.