Thursday, November 27, 2008

Reflections on the election

A little late, but here are some beautifully written reactions to the election:
Judith Warner's Tears to Remember
Shuna F Lydon's Where Did My Hope Go When It Was Lost?
The lines that strike me the most are the ones that speak to the fervent wish that America is turning away from being the land of the greedy and rich, and where "patriotism" will not be confused with "bellicose provincialism."

Hope that the hope is not misplaced - he's normal, he's not radical (he's just like us!), he's smart, curious, and post-Boomer (he's just like a few of us!).

And finally, as a former corporate speechwriter (of admittedly bland ones full of corporate buzzwords), this article on Barack Obama's oratory is instructive.

Happy Thanksgiving all. There is much to be thankful for.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

workout log

Credit my brother's team workout log. I need motivation, hence a public workout log.

Friday 28 Nov
30 minutes elliptical

Thursday 27 Nov
25mins elliptical, Level 7, stayed b/w 8-9kph. 1 hr weight training with trainer: 3×20 standing rows bending forward, 3×20 ab curl on a balance board and balance mat, 3×20 leg throw down (ab exercise), 3×20 outer thigh/hip swinging lift while on a stability ball, assisted stretching

Wednesday 26 Nov
Elliptical trainer - 10 mins, Level 7, averaged b/w 8-9kph
Body Balance (yoga-pilates-tai chi mix) class - 60 mins

Monday 24 Nov
Elliptical trainer - 30 mins, Level 7, tried to avg 9 km/h but fell to b/w 8-9 in the last 10 minutes while watching CNN but sweated a lot), 5 mins warmdown

mystery fruit hubby brought home...

...may be quince - excited!

See this picture.

Bush is a sneaky slimeball and Yellow Hat is incompetent

While listening to the Leonard Lopate podcast while driving, I've learned that President Bush has been really underhanded and slimy as he undermines environmental protections, including last-minute environmentally policy changes and opening public land for drilling in Utah (of which the announcement was made on Election Day).

I was further riled up when I went to Yellow Hat to get my brake pads changed. This is the second time I've already been this week; I went Sunday to get the pads changed along with my oil, only for them to tell me they didn't have the parts and would have to order them. Fair enough. Then, they ordered the wrong model. So now I have to go back a third time. Not a happy camper.

I thought I'd at least treat myself by going to the Grazie restaurant next door for their mentaiko pasta. Unfortunately, they must have changed the recipe because it wasn't as flavorful as usual - I think they skimped on the mentaiko - it didn't have the salty lushness that the dish is supposed to have.

The evening was not all lost - did go to Costco where they (as usual) pleased me with their efficiency - exchanged a tub of mixed nuts that had already (!) been opened. Gross! Some people have no morals. So shoppers - unscrew the tops and make sure the security shield is in place before putting it in your shopping cart!

Friday, November 14, 2008

First attempt at bread baking

With my lovely new-ish Emile Henry stoneware crock (purchased from Costco at about half the average online price) and a jar of active dry yeast found in the fridge, I thought I should finally try the famous No-Knead Bread that has made it's way around the baking blogosphere.

It came together well at first:

But then, perhaps precisely that the yeast has been in the fridge for an indeterminate amount of time, it never really rose much from this:

I baked it anyways, and it was ok. Much more successful was the lentil soup I made to go along with it. But I'm going to get some fresh yeast, and try again this weekend - this time the chocolate-cherry pecan version.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Our neighborhood goes Vegas

About a week or two ago, I was pleased to see a line of red lanterns snaking up the hill to the temple next to my home. "Great!" I thought to myself, "If anyone comes and visits, all they need to do is follow the lanterns."

Then, as I turned around the corner on my way home a week ago, I ran into this:

The local neighborhood temple had gone Vegas. We had flashing Christmas lights, colored landscape lighting, lit animal sculptures, and more. I'm not quite sure what the temple was celebrating, but after a week or so of a very colorful spectacle (including a two-day Chinese opera-looking performance in a temporary theater set up by the side of the road) and some firecrackers, they packed everything up yesterday.

It was fun while it lasted.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


Yay! One big step forward for the U.S. and the world!

Congratulations to President-Elect Barack Obama!

And lastly, I was struck by this photo on the NYTimes website:

To me, it just sums up this election, with the multi-language voting sign and the long line of voters waiting. The caption was: Voters waited for as long as an hour and a half to cast their ballots at the Ronald Emonds Learning Center in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. The rest of the photo essay is worth looking at. The photographer was Robert Stolarik.