Archive for January, 2013

Thumbs up

Friday, January 11th, 2013

I don’t really have much to say. Better yet, I don’t want to say much. I’m typing on my phone and it’s a bit tedious to correct typos. I don’t think the same way using my thumbs, as opposed to proper typing.

Sure, I could get off the couch and walk across the room to a keyboard and compose my thoughts. Or myself. But I’m tired. It’s bed time and it’s been a long day. And I’m full of delicious Ethiopian food, and there aren’t any kind of deep thoughts coming out tonight.

Heck, I don’t even have a picture. So I can’t prove I was at Aday’s bday with Cookie A among other friends (her name for the rhyming scheme). We skipped the dancing part of the evening and had ice cream on the way to drop Sonya home.

So that’s Friday night in the big gay city. Sleep tight.

Up and down. Repeat.

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Yesterday: no run in the morning = grumpy day.

Today: run up and down the same hill 4 times, plus a longer climb for good measure = chipper day

Lesson learned: skipping the scamper may result in the day going downhill (not in the good way). Life’s ups and downs can be best faced with more practice ups and downs.

(And I thought I hated hill training.)

Double doggie snuggle

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

I skipped my run this morning to stay in bed with these too.*

Wouldn’t you?

There’s always tomorrow.

*My human bed, not the pictured dog bed above.

2013 Sandwich Reeducation Project: January

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

It has begun.

LoWo will be making us a sandwich once a month for the entire year. I bring the bread.

January was goat cheese, microgreens, wavy cukes and red onions soaked in red wine vinegar (per Martha). Served on sesame country loaf (per Tartine).

There’s talk of monthly sandwich intentions to carry us from sando to sando. These aren’t meant to be big resolutions, just a little something to carry for the next four weeks or so.

What’s mine? You’re looking at it. (Or reading it.)

For some background, see my first sandwich reeducation post.

Pizza philosopher

Monday, January 7th, 2013

There’s an article about Una Pizza Napoletana in today’s SF Gate. It’s about the best pizza place in the city. This is the one that inspired me in its simplicity to finally make the leap into trying to bake my own.

Although he’s talking about dough, cheese and sauce, I respect this quote from pizzaiolo Anthony Mangieri:

“It’s the same with anything. Trying to be dedicated and sticking with it. This is what you do; this is what you should be doing.”

Discipline, diligence, dharma.

A delicious dinner or a super supper?

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

I can’t get enough of Ottolenghi’s mushroom ragout and egg from Plenty (recipe online here). This is the third time I’ve made it and it won’t be the last. I kind of want to put it on any- and everything. Thanks, Stephanie for singing its praises.

As far as Sundays go, today was stellar. Last night’s frustrations with a 200+ stitch tubular cast-on were tamed and progress made on a waistband for a new project. Of course there was bread and cheese and the aforementioned dinner (which was preceded by a potato leek soup). There was a puppy playdate in the hallway. My longest scamper since the marathon happened, a great eight miles. Although I didn’t do the office work I had planned to over the weekend, I’m ready enough for Monday.

Here’s hoping for a week of getting up early to work out, leaving the day job at a reasonable hour, trying more tasty treats, inches upon inches of knitting and well-rested nights.

I’m trying to…

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

But it’s difficult when you cast on 230+ stitches because the long-tail is too short for the last 10 stitches. Did I mention it was tubular? And it’s twisted? And it’s 2:30am? So I’ll have to rip it out and try again tomorrow.


Friday, January 4th, 2013

Above my phone there’s’s a piece of art by Lisa Congdon. It’s an old photograph of two girls, and she’s drawn and painted neon lopapeysa-esque designs across the yokes and waists of their dresses. The image is safely sewn into a clear plastic envelope with florescent pink thread.

It makes me smile every time I look at it.

The photo is adorable. The haircuts on the girls are quirky and dated. The image makes me think of past trips to Iceland and how I want to go there again, if only by knitting with lopi and a making what would become a fourth lopapeysa. The materials balance concepts of tradition, modernity, playfulness, protection, memory. As an object, it inspires me to make more things with my own hands.

A token for 2013.

Toodle bike

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Due to a torn tire and flat way back in early November, I busted out ye olde folding bike and rode it to and from work for the past two months. Even though the full-sized unfoldable bike’s tire was replaced within a week, my tangerine dream was a refreshing, upright way to commute in the rolling equivalent of a waddle. I simply toodled along to the office, not going too fast, not stressing, not concerning myself with looking anything other than dorky and taking the time it takes for the little wheels to cover the mile or so.

Having people over to the apartment during the holidays meant pretending to have some semblance of a kept house. So the toodle bike went back down to storage where it remains today. For the past two days I’ve been on my big boy bike. It feels more powerful, efficient and, if you can imagine, concise. The gearing is a bit tougher, but it would leave the toodle bike in the dust during a race.

While I was on my folding bike, I enjoyed the slow transition between my home life and office. Back in the saddle of a speedier steed, I can appreciate the more abrupt transition and thrill of getting out and away from the work day in a few swift pedal strokes. Both bikes make me smile, but for different reasons. I’m fortunate enough to have choices for what I ride to work. Neither one is superior. I’ll miss you, little Toodles, but I’m glad you’ll be there when I need to slow down.

Now if only I’d learn how to ride that unicycle….


Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

I originally started this post in mid-December. Fitting or ironic that a post on sustaining and finishing things has lingered in draft form all these many weeks.

So I ran a marathon a few weeks ago. Yeah, I finished and it’s great to be back at it after a decade of not racing, even with 15 miles in a downpour with headwinds. But I haven’t run since. Sure, I had plans of easy recovery runs a few days after the race, alas, I chose lounging in bed with the dogs and my iPhone each at 6:30 a.m.

I noticed the same thing during my training. Leading up to our trip to Iceland in October, I was running four times a week. I barely missed any workouts. I even ran before we caught a cab to the airport at 8:00 a.m. and on the first morning that we work up in Reykjavik. Then, because it was too cold or I told myself it was supposed to be vacation, I took a few days off. Which eventually became three weeks off. The fact that they were the three most important weeks of high-volume and the longest long runs would eventually show itself during the race.

And it’s not just limited to physical activity. I can get on a roll with knitting, plowing through inches of a project for weeks at a time. I finished a lopapeysa for Chris a few nights ago (after a month-long sprint), but the armpits still need to be grafted shut and some ends that need to be woven in. I haven’t touched it since I bound off the last stitch. Instead, it joins a mega-fringed lopapeysa, a outerwear coat and a cowl-neck pullover, all of which need buttons, pockets and flaps attached, or a single seam sewn. Basically, by the end of this weekend, I could have four new garments (technically three, but I plan on borrowing Chris’). In the sock department… well, let’s not even go there.

According to Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of motion, if an object experiences no net force, then its velocity is constant. More often described as intertia, this is the concept that an object in motion tends to stay in motion or an object at rest remains so unless an outside force acts on it. My question is, what is the force that’s changing me?

It could be the motivation that was sufficient to start a project or compels me to run is not sufficient or even related to what’s necessary to sustain it. The “getting over the hump” carries me pretty far down the path, but that desire is sated before the end goal is achieved.

Self-pity aside, much of this post’s whining is irrelevant now, as evidenced by the picture above of the aforementioned fringed monster of ends to be woven in. C’s sweater is also complete, however the other two remain. I did finish a pair of mitten-capped fingerless gloves started during my first year of knitting before the end of 2012. So I’m feeling slightly more bad-ass in the completion department.

And, for the time being, I’m a week back on the running wagon.