22 January 2009

Vet, an old pro

I hope that someone reminds me to pay my taxes and properly vet staff members before I run for Senate.


21 January 2009

Inaugural mishaps

What a fantastic moment-yesterday-when I had both President Obama and Chief Justice Roberts in the same frame of my computer monitor. My geek-crush-o-meter was through the roof! I noted that Roberts did not wear an overcoat. Take THAT Chuck Norris! Chief Justice Roberts is so tough that he looks at frostbite in the eye and says "Bite me".

Unfortunately, he wasn't so suave during the oath adminstration. But then again, neither was Obama.

For this very human moment, and the fact that it now meant we're no longer under the thumb of Bush and his evil henchmen, it was my favorite moment of the inauguration.

Hey...that's a good name for a rock band "Bush and His Evil Henchmen". Too soon?

16 January 2009

It's all mental

It would seem that I am on track to meet this week's food and fitness goals, provided I don't get lazy on Saturday. Well, except for having two extra coffee drinks this week. But hey! It's very cold outside and I'm probably needing those extra calories just to survive.

I am always impressed at how good music can improve my mental state, especially during my runs. Last night, I breezed through two miles at a nice pace. I was listening to some of my favorite running tunes from Moby, Radiohead and Jane's Addiction. I felt like Deena Kastor, the American marathon record holder (at 5:19 minute-miles!):

How I looked in reality?

15 January 2009

Idea for recipe!

I owe Hyperion some home-baked goodness and I have been thinking that I'd send him something sweet and unusual. I have a neat idea and I need feedback please! First, some background.

1) This morning I read an article about the latest food craze-salted caramel. Apparently, even Starbucks has a salted caramel hot chocolate. Mostly, these salted caramels are served with chocolate or covered with chocolate.

2) Next item! Another recent trend is the spicy chocolate. Chocolate kicked up a notch (sorry, had to use that) with the addition of some smoky ancho chili flavoring, cinnamon or cayenne.

I think that a spicy chocolate coated salted caramel would be really yummy and adventurous. The details, I am still working out. But I think that either a spicy chocolate brownie with salted caramel topping (a new twist on the turtle brownie) or a chocolate-coated caramel OR a spicy chocolate truffle with bits of the caramel inside the truffle. What do you think?

:) LJS

14 January 2009

Recipe: Spinach salad

Lorraine is a wonderful, creative chef and one of my main culinary inspirations. (along with

This salad recipe is adapted from her "Popeye salad". Fennel is in season now and a wonderful vegetable!

4 cups fresh, clean spinach
One bulb fennel, sliced thinly
1/4 small red onion, sliced thinly
1-2 oranges, peeled, and sliced
Some mint leaves (optional)

Optional step: The night before you prepare the salad, slice fennel bulb and store in fridge with some water and mint leaves.

Prepare your salad by adding all of the ingredients. Try adding some mint leaves to the salad too! Dress the salad with olive oil, freshly cracked pepper and sea salt and some balsamic vinegar.

:) LJS

PS: I highly recommend "In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan

PPS: Diplomacy through wine? I love it!

Updated 1/17/09 with photos!

12 January 2009

More tunes!

Because I mostly refuse to buy into the whole entertainment-industrial complex, I have to wait until new music comes to the local library before I can listen to the bands I really like.

Just borrowed from the library is "Narrow Stairs" by Death Cab for Cutie and "Michigan" from Sufjan Stevens. I am enjoying very much!

10 January 2009

Recipe: Broiled Grapefruit

Hurray for citrus season! I love winter because fresh oranges are available for salads, limes for mojitos, and grapefruit for breakfast. If you are bored with cold grapefruit in the mornings, try this delicious variation.
NB: Grapefruit should be at room temperature to ensure even baking.

1 fresh pink grapefruit
brown sugar

1. Set oven to 350C
2. Cut grapefruit in half, remove seeds and section
3. Spread an even, thin, layer of brown sugar over the top. Use the back of a spoon to squeeze the sugar into the fruit. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
4. Bake at 350 for 4-5 minutes
5. Turn the oven up to broil and broil 3-4 minutes, or until the top is browned.
6. Remove from oven and enjoy!

A mint garnish is a delightful addition.

07 January 2009

Oh the places we'll go!

First and foremost, I'd like to encourage everyone to read "American Gods" by Neil Gaimon. It's an interesting treatise on how certain places resonate strongly with a person, or a people. For example, why is Wall Drug so darn popular? I had thought that this idea of resonate places is expressed through music, so I did a little experiment with my meager iTUNES library. Check out all the good places!
Leave in the comments your iTUNES places and I'll summarize them next week.
Travel well, :) LJS

Amsterdam Coldplay
Angel Of Harlem U2
Avalon Roxy Music
Back In The U.S.S.R. The Beatles
Belleville Jungle Ben Charest
Breakfast In America Supertramp
Chicago Sufjan Stevens
Concerning The UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois Sufjan Stevens
Dear Chicago Ryan Adams
Dracula From Houston Butthole Surfers
El Salvador Athlete
Galapogos Smashing Pumpkins
(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66 Nat King Cole
Going To California Led Zeppelin
Gone Hollywood Supertramp
India Roxy Music
Jacksonville Sufjan Stevens
La Llorona DeVotchKa
Last Boat To America David Gray
Laughing River Greg Brown
Marching Bands Of Manhattan Death Cab For Cutie
Memphis Ryan Adams
Mercy Street Peter Gabriel
Mexicali Blues Grateful Dead
Montego Bay Spleen St. Germain
My Blue Manhattan Ryan Adams
N.Y. Doves
New Amsterdam Travis
New York, New York
Ryan Adams
Off Broadway Ryan Adams
Oh My Sweet Carolina Ryan Adams
The Only Living Boy In New York Simon & Garfunkel
Portland Oregon Loretta Lynn/Jack White
Radio Free Europe
Savoy Truffle The Beatles
Streets Of Philadelphia Bruce Springsteen
Texarkana R.E.M.
Theme From New York, New York Frank Sinatra
Via Chicago Wilco
Viva Las Vegas Elvis Presley
The White Cliffs Of Dover The Righteous Brothers

2009 Spring goals

I was feeling quite ambitious a couple of posts ago about my spring running schedule. Then I remembered what got me into so much trouble and pain last year-ambition. So I decided to modify my goals. They're still challenging (4 races in 3 months), but not over the top. It's more important to be healthy and I want to give my left leg a chance to get better. But, if I had wanted to run the Martian half, I would need to start increasing mileage at the end of January and I don't think that it's ready quite yet. January will be booring...slogging through being consistent.
The first two weeks will be no more than 3 miles, 5x/week. The last two weeks, I'll increase to 3 miles, 5x/week.

Here is my modified Spring schedule.

April 7th: A 10K Meteor race in the Martian series of races
April 25th: Road ends 5 mile trail race
May 17th: A half-marathon in Cleveland
June 1st: Dexter-Ann Arbor 10K

04 January 2009

Medicinally Modified

I'm waiting for the Sudafed to kick in. Ever since I've been afflicted with the Toddler Germ of Doom, my sinuses have been wrecking havoc on my tender little head. But I hate taking medicine. Hence the conundrum of waiting way too long to take Sudafed and now suffering until my nose is clear and the pill knocks me out. Hopefully soon.

Speaking of 'hopefully soon'-new running shoes are supposed to be here this very week. I am getting a pair of Mizuno Wave Alchemy shoes. The shoes just look bad ass, I love the green! I figure that my current shoes, while not yet quite at the point of completely falling apart, are a source of my chronic weirdo-knee problem. So...new shoes. And, yes! This does mean a contest for best shoe name. I'm thinking of invoking some of the Goonies for this one.

Tomorrow marks the first working day of 2009 and I am...woefully unprepared for it. Heck, I'm not even getting a good night's sleep. During holidays, I tend to get nocturnal...going to bed at 1 or even 2 am. So it's tough to get out of that habit, mostly because it's probablly my natural schedule.

And, tomorrow begins my foray into the Shrinking Piggies. My goal is to lose 10 pounds, but that is really beside the point. I want to critically examine my eating and exercise choices and see what is not healthy and what I can do to making things more healthy and more fun. I did have fun during the holidays though-making cheesecakes, candy and cookies. But I didn't really eat too much of that-it was nice to have it in the house as a treat.

Arrrrgh! :) LJS