Sunday, August 31, 2014

Be positive

The temperature this morning was only 22 degrees but the humidity was off the charts. I only found this out by actually being outside, aka the hard way. Thought it might rain but it didn't. So whatever, it's my last 20k for a while (in running mode; plenty of long walks of at least that distance remain ahead - is it too late to plead insanity and refund my flight to Lisbon?) so I slowed down and forged ahead to home and breakfast. Somewhere along the last 5k I spied a message scrawled in purple chalk on the asphalt - be positive. It was exactly what I needed to hear/read! Motivation plus puzzle. Who wrote that and why? And why in chalk? Permanent marker next time!

Pesto pasta with peppers, chilies and walnuts afterwards:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Edible rocks

Why don't all minerals taste this delicious?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Water bottle

I've been doing more running over the summer than this blog will tell you. Last week, though, I had a lot on my mind and in my calendar. Loose ends to tie up and conumdrums to puzzle over. As a result, almost no running happened. Plus, the weather was cool and the rain chased me away from my running route. It's a mental game, isn't it? Getting out the door when the weather is misbehaving and no one is waiting on you. The short runs I did get through (a 5k and a 10k) did not come close to balancing out the abundant eating and drinking (highlights include fries, cheese, wine, and cake).

I ran today. My plan is to run a lot for the next 10 days until the next leg begins, replacing short morning runs with day-long meanders on unfamiliar routes. My water bottle, however, remains a constant companion.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Piece of cake

I made a chocolate-espresso ice cream cake! It suffered internal damages after we forgot to re-freeze it at the party, but it still tried to be pretty for the camera.

I can't however take credit for making this cake:

Wonder where they got the strawberry

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Jiro dreams of nachos

It's been a while since I've written about food, but meanwhile there have been many delicious dinners. These meals tend to walk the healthy/indulgent line, and involve veggies or cheese, and sometimes both.

My bf's signature dish includes veggies *and* cheese, yet additional ingredients push the final product further toward the quadrant of snacks I call "irresistible and indulgent."

His signature dish is fully loaded nachos.

:: D's mexi-fabulous old-skool snack ::

According to D, an order of nachos should compose of layers of restaurant-style tortilla chips (he prefers blue corn), each layer topped with generous amounts of grated cheese (two kinds) and finely-diced vegetables (green and black olives, green pepper, banana peppers, and red onion).

He prepares each ingredient individually, then fits a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Watching him assemble a tray of nachos is like watching a conductor in front of an orchestra. He knows, as though by instinct, precisely where each piece should fit in relation to the whole. As though the sheet of nachos already exists in his mind and he is following the blueprint. Fine-tuning his product as he waits for the oven to heat, he looks over the bricolage with a critical eye and grates a little more cheese or cracks another jar of olives if the proportions aren't just right.

After he pulls his tray from the oven we sample our first bite. His attention to detail and generosity toward toppings has paid off: the nachos are crunchy and textured, each chip loaded with a unique combo of vegetables and melted cheese. They are heavenly, the aspiration of nachos made in pubs around the world.

If the medical gig doesn't work out, I foresee a promising second career.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Doing nothing

I have always wished for a purpose. For as long as I can remember I have believed that if I just knew what I was supposed to do, I would do it and then move on. Then, fulfilled in my purpose, I could address the less pressing decisions, like where to live and when to have a family.

The problem is that my purpose remains elusive. I may have seen its shadow but I'm not sure how to get my hands on it. Am I supposed to let it come to me, or should I give chase, like a cheetah pursuing an antelope? I'm told that if I listen to my instincts, I'll find my purpose. But how can that be true, when obediently listening to them landed me here?

I need to learn acceptance. This is how things are for me; this is where I am. On the map, my arrow indicates Point A. I don't know what Point B is, so it's pointless to search. I am ashamed to be here still, floundering, when doors just ahead that were once wide open are closing without a sound. And imagining that this existence which makes me squirm at night in my dreams *is* my purpose is just as unacceptable as the thought that we live in Sartre's version of hell in No Exit. I'm not an existentialist but an idealist; in terms of levels of difficulty the two are evenly matched. We are defined by what we do, not by what we dream of doing, and I am doing nothing as I wait, wait, wait.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Running by roses

Long run day. I took the route that follows the river because the gravel path is peaceful and beautiful in summer, a season that is not, I have found, endless. My plan is to run there along the beautiful river often before September sets in and I have to leave for my trip.

A few copse of pink rose bushes dot the path (sounds posh, doesn't it?). The roses smell intensely earlier in the morning, during the first half of my run. When I double-back and pass the roses for a second time, their scent is less pronounced, perhaps because by then the dew has completely evaporated, leaving the roses dry and less perfumey.

// Dry martini beach //