Archive for January, 2008

Salon of Shame

January 9, 2008

Last night Kate and I became the first married couple to read at the Salon of Shame, a literary event where people expunge the demons and dorkiness of their childhoods by reading from their diaries.

I read selections from 1984, 6th grade, about a doomed software development project that was supposed to be a gift for my sister’s birthday; about “Lasers & Lords”, a Dungeons & Dragons-style game I was creating; and about trying to impress the mother of my current crush to show that I’d “make good boyfriend material”.

Kate read some pieces about a crush she had in her early teenage years. Her reading was hilarious. The mind of a 15-year-old girl is a scary place to be.

Not only are the Salon of Shame events fun events to attend (and participate in), but I feel like I’m learning invaluable insights for when Ruby hits her awkward goth/swoon phase.

Some pictures from the event can be found here:

http://flickr.com/photos/espressobuzz/2180347934/in/photostream/
http://flickr.com/photos/espressobuzz/2180350800/in/photostream/

The Next Level

January 1, 2008

Kate and I have an awesome relationship. I’m extremely satisfied and proud of what we’ve accomplished, and it is also encouraging to hear that we serve as relationship role models for others around us.

I was telling Kate last night that I really had no idea that things would be this good when I proposed. (Good, yes, but not this good). Now that I know, I want to propose to her all over again. But what would I be proposing? Is there something beyond marriage? Should there be?

Trip ‘n Dip

January 1, 2008

On my birthday I was challenged to take part in the annual “Trip ‘n Dip” Resolution Run, and so this morning Ruby, Kate and I headed down to Magnuson Park for a little run. It’s a flat 5k course with an optional detour into Lake Washington at the end.

I registered in the “Clydesdale” category since I currently weigh more than 200 pounds. Looking over last year’s results, it seemed possible for me to actually win my age group in the Clydesdale category. I just needed a simple strategy: if I saw anyone who appeared heavier than me, I needed to beat ’em.

The weather was great and my friend Michael and I ran the whole course together. (Kate and Ruby also took part, with Ruby in the stroller and our friend Sally running with them). My strategy kind of fell apart, though, for two reasons:

First of all, I ran pretty much as fast as I could. It’s not like I could have sprinted ahead whenever a fat guy lumbered into view. I ran about an 8:20 pace, which is close to the pace I kept for the half-marathon a few years ago (but for only a quarter of the distance), and I’m quite happy with my 26:50 time for the 5k course.

More importantly, though, I have no idea what “people who are heavier than me” look like. It’s really hard to get an objective view of oneself. Do I look fatter than that guy? It was hard to tell what general category of physical appearance I should slot myself into.

Fortunately, I don’t obsess about these things very much. I want to get in shape firstly to get rid of some nagging aches and pains; secondly to perform at a higher level in my physical pursuits; and thirdly (and least) because it’s nice to look good and feel good about my appearance.

Hopping’ John

January 1, 2008

I came up with a great Hoppin’ John recipe today. Very easy to prepare and quite tasty.

  • Quick-soak 1.5 cups of black-eyed peas: put ’em in a pot with water, bring to a boil, then take off the heat and let sit for a few hours.
  • Later, put the following in a dutch oven:
    • 2 smoked pork hocks
    • 1 cup brown rice
    • 2 bottles of beer
    • the black-eyed peas
    • 1 tbsp dried thyme (less if powdered)
    • 2 tsp salt
  • Bake in an oven at 300 degree for four hours. Stir once or twice while cooking
  • Add more salt if needed. Serve with hot sauce, Jufran’s Banana Ketchup, or anything else you find tasty.

As usual with my cooking, all amounts are approximate. Adjust things as necessary.