Thursday, March 4, 2010

Let's just move along now...

I'm moving my random, infrequent acts of writing here so be sure to change your bookmarks. It's still a work in progress, and since I'm away on business right now, it may be a few days before I'm up and running with everything humming like a well (extra virgin olive) oiled machine. Nick is the braintrust/geektastic behind the new look, and has been more than a little patient with me. Very soon I will resume my aimless rambling from my perch in my kitchen. Until then I'm catching planes and Foursquaring my adventures. I'm also soaking a pair of very sore feet tonight.

Tea today: Tazo Zen

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I am so ready for spring!

As beautiful as the snow is, and as much as I really do love me some Iowa winter, I am so ready to get back out on my bike in the nice warm air, sunshine, and woods.

Longest. Winter. Ever.

This is really getting old.

Tea today: Good Earth Pomegranate Superfruit

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Leftovers

Some days you feel like you have nothing left.

After vacation, the jet lag hit me like a tour bus. I was tired and cranky all last week - not a bit like you're supposed to be after vacation. I really needed to get organized again, back on track with work and home but at the end of every day...

I had nothing left. Nada. Zip.

The weekend was a blur and about 3 days too short. I only exercised twice last week (and not very hard), which left me feeling even more tired, despite nights of 8 and 9 hours of sound, dream-filled sleep. Sitting at my desk all day trying to catch up on seemingly mundane and brainless tasks didn't help much. And then I didn't eat well. And then I didn't sleep well. And the cascade of events happened all over again. Something needs to break the vicious cycle of bleh.

This morning I used up the last bit of everything else around here.
I cooked the last half of banana in my oatmeal and dumped it in the almond butter jar that had one last tablespoon left in it.
I used the last of my grape tomatoes, dried apricots, dates, garbanzos, croutons, and lettuce for my salad for lunch today. None of this looked all that fresh.
Every bag, can, container is empty. Except for carrots. I rarely run out of carrots. You just never know when you're going to run into a hungwy wabbit.
My salad will be topped today with the very last of the only salad dressing left in the fridge.

Every feel like you have nothing left?

Or do you look at what you've had and say "I've had so much?"


Tea today: Jasmine (my last bag)

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. Burgundy

I wanted to do a sweet, poignant interview with Ron Burgundy about his big birthday today. I was all prepared for him to impart his usual wisdom and light, cheer and good will, but none was to be found. I wanted him to tell you how age is only a number and not a condition. How every year has been the best year yet. How grateful he was that I gave him the thinnest years of my life. 

Nope.

I'm "airing" this anyway, because it's his day and he deserves all the attention.

"Will you answer a few questions for me? Your thoughts about turning (ahem) sixty?"

"No."

"Why not? I need to write a blog post and you're the only blog fodder I have this week. How does it feel to be turning sixty?"

"Terrible. Depressing." (Shifts ice bag on ankle).

"Why?"

"I'm old." (Heavy sigh).

"Sixty isn't old. Not any more. By the time your dad was sixty he was pretty sick, and by the time my dad was sixty he'd had two heart attacks and a triple bypass. You're still running marathons and doing extreme kickboxing."

"I don't want to be sixty. You hear all the time about people who die at 60...62...."

"Do you have any regrets?"

"Yeah, I wish I'd have saved more money."

"There's still time. The guy who invented the frisbee just died and he was 90. And look at Colonel Sanders."

Silence.

Maybe I shouldn't have brought up dead people. He's obviously a better interviewer than interviewee. Whatever.

Go wish him Happy Birthday on Twitter or Facebook and maybe he'll think sixty isn't so bad by the time he hits sixty-one. I think he's still pretty awesome. He can out-kick, out-lift, out-bike, and out-run all of our kids and his young wife. Here's my favorite picture of him from vacation.
I dare anyone to age so gracefully. I just love this guy. The fact that we've been together for 38 years in no way makes him old. It just makes me happy. Isaiah 40:31

Tea today: Good Earth Pomegranate Superfruit

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Aloha and Mahalo

Our vacation was a blur, albeit a beautiful one. Hawaii, Oahu, and Maui in 11 days. Well, Minneapolis too, if you want to include all the stops. The guests on our trip were kind and spry, and downright hilarious at times. My favorite comment of the trip: "Excuse me. I have some support hose that need rearranging."

Our tour manager from Holiday Vacations was probably a drill sergeant in her former life, but she had a heart of gold. She kept all 44 of us in line, on time, and fed mighty fine. Five flights, five hotels, innumerable bus rides (15 maybe?), hundreds of photos and hours of video later, I have to admit the "most expensive free trip ever" (thanks to baggage handling fees, daily internet charges, and umbrella drinks) was downright pleasant and the accommodations were 5-star.
Ron Burgundy was the perfect host for the trip. He handled his duties like he'd used a microphone before. By the second day, he knew everyones name and where they lived. He wielded his camcorder like a ninja. I was just the trophy wife along for the trip (stop laughing), the unofficial trip photographer, and so blessed to have the opportunity to go along. I had a ball Tweeting my way across the islands, despite my unintended lack of discretion for certain hashtags. #gimmeabreak

The side trip to Pearl Harbor was emotional and a bit eerie as I watched the solemn veterans in our group toss the flowers from their leis into the water to be carried out to sea. It was a beautiful tribute to lost lives. You could literally feel the presence of the 1,100 bodies of American soldiers still entombed in the USS Arizona below us. About a quart of oil still leaks to the surface above the ship every day and serves as another sign that we should not forget.

Never forget.
The trip to the Volcanoes National Park was a testimony to the power and strength inside God's earth. Knowing a volcano could erupt at any given time did not unsettle me. I was too awestruck by the remnants of previous eruptions and the literal artistry that resulted from molten lava, black sand, and majestic mountains.
The orchid farm was truly God's paintbrush at its best. I could have stayed there on sensory overload for hours.
We had free time on Maui, the most beautiful of the three islands. The meals were gastronomical. I failed in my goal to sneak into a kitchen of a swanky restaurant, just to watch the chefs. But I succeeded in eating my weight in fresh papaya, pineapple, kiwi, and melon.
The banyan trees had me fascinated to the point that at any minute I expected to see The Captain from "Five People You Meet in Heaven."
The sunsets in Maui were surreal.

The last evening in Honolulu before our departure, Ron Burgundy and I walked hand-in-hand down Kalakaua Avenue, home of the up-scale shops of horror like Prada, Fendi, Coach, and Tiffany. Neither of us had much interest in shopping - he was in search of a hamburger and I wanted sushi. We found neither. Wolfgang Puck demanded $47 for a steak, "market price" for surf and turf (if you have to ask, you can't afford it) and even the gold-painted mime wouldn't perform without a donation.
And then I noticed him, sitting on a rock ledge across from Tiffany's, chin in hands. Hawaiian descent. Shoulders slumped. Tattered, filthy shirt. Matted hair. Plastic bags containing his only possessions were piled around him. He would be sleeping on the beach that night, providing the police didn't kick him off. His face was expressionless and his eyes were glazed. He was the classic image of homelessness.

I wanted to take his picture because he was a beautiful sight of sorts. The downtrodden in the middle of the glitz and glam. The poor among the rich. The empty among the full. The sad among the giddy. Such stark contrast to his surroundings, but I have no doubt he put his pants on one leg at a time, just like the fine Italian leather-shoed men who strutted past him as if he was invisible. But he was so very real.

He was an indelible image from a place known for extravagance. I will never forget him.

Nor will I ever forget the sight and sound of the sea.
video
Aloha, and Mahalo.
Tea tonight: Hawaiian Islands Pineapple Waikiki