Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas/Happy New Year

We spent a pleasant Christmas with Rowdy's parents. I had to work the day after Christmas, and they had the chance to fly here for free, so it all worked out. Part of our Christmas Day was spent walking on the beach. It rained a bit, and it was a little chilly, but we didn't care.

My favorite present is a tie between a lovely Kate Spade purse from Rowdy and a satellite radio set-up from my sisters. Both will be in use for a long, long time. We also gave ourselves Sonicare toothbrushes. The first couple of times we used them were pure comedy. It tickles, and it made me slobber. Our teeth are much cleaner, though.

As nice as my presents were, they could never beat what the Silly Witch and Warlock got for Christmas--a lovely new baby daughter! Congratulations!

There definitely needs to be more "serving others" in my Christmases, but I'll just have to work on that all year round.

Johnny the Carpenter comes tomorrow to start on our new shelves, and Adam the Painter is coming to finalize the painting schedule. We will have a lovelier home in just a few weeks. Hopefully, we'll be able to enjoy it for a little while before we have to rent it out.

2009 is going to be a year full of changes. I feel like I'm standing on the high dive. I'm scared to death, but I know that once I start running to the end of the board, things will be okay. I just have to remember to keep my feet under me and not belly-flop, and everything will be okay. It's just getting up the courage to start running....

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Boot Camp Wrap-Up

My first boot camp experience came to a close yesterday with our final weigh-in of the six weeks. I gained two pounds--apparently all of it muscle, and lost 1% of body fat. I expect that I'll lose more the more I do it. What I really gained was stamina and strength. This was very helpful, since I let the rainstorms of the last week keep me from doing my half-marathon training. I was able to run eight miles today without having done anything but three days of boot camp during the week. (Not that I recommend this or am planning on using that as my training strategy.)

It was really hard to get up at 5:30 three mornings a week, but once I was working out I felt great. We did circuit training on Tuesdays and Thursdays and shadow boxing on Wednesdays. Our circuit training this last week was a killer--lots of pushups, plyometrics and tough upper body things. Rowdy came with me the last two Thursdays, and even he thought it was a tough workout.

Date Night

For our date night last night, we went to an art gallery in North Park for a showing by artist Eliot Greenwald. Neither of us had heard of him, and we didn't love, love, love his work, but we had the chance to meet and talk to Eliot. He's a young guy, probably 25, and he explained to us the progression of the works on exhibit. We were able to appreciate his art more because of it. If you want to see his work, go to

We walked around the neighborhood a little, and came upon The Linkery, which is well-known in San Diego for its no-tipping policy. Well, more precisely, they automatically add an 18% gratuity to the bill. It's supposed to make the dining experience friendlier and the restaurant staff happier. But anyway, we were very happy, because it was DELICIOUS!!

We really do love going to small neighborhood restaurants that serve well-prepared food. My parents are like that, too, and we always have some wonderful places to check out when we are in Austin.

The Linkery, as you may imagine, features hand-made sausages. But more than that, they are into local foods, served in season. So I had a delicious pork chop with mashed potatoes and roasted beets and carrots, and Rowdy had a charcroute with a sausage, sauerkraut with melted cheese and nice, crusty bread. Our starter was grilled green beans with in ginger soy. And for dessert, I had a chocolate volcano cake and Rowdy had Mexican hot chocolate with homemade cinnamon marshmallows. They serve sage-infused water instead of tap water, which is so wonderful. I also had a delicious glass of iced hibiscus herb tea.

Rowdy took a drink of his hot chocolate and then one of sage water and said, "It's like drinking the outdoors. And by that I mean, it's like drinking in the very best day." How many times have you been able to say that??

It was great to be out with my sweetheart, and so much fun to do something a little different from our norm. We loved The Linkery so much that we're taking Rowdy's parents there for Christmas Eve dinner.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Home Matters

Rowdy and I have lived in our little house for almost three years now. We've had ideas about how we wanted to improve things, but neither of us are particularly design-oriented. We know what we like and what looks good, but we couldn't put it into practice.

We had our living room and stairs carpet removed and lovely maple floors put down last spring.

Then we hired an interior designer. We found Christine online, believe it or not, and we've been very happy with her. She's helping us unify things--colors, furniture, etc. Right now, we just have hodgepodge. And our walls, as you can see from the floor picture, are white, white, white.

We chose some colors yesterday. The living room is mainly going to be "barely beige" (the lighter color on the left), but around the fireplace will be a faux finish (the sample square in the second photo). The painter is also going to paint the "tile" around the opening of the fireplace to look like the travertine in our kitchen/family room.

We're having shelves put into the alcoves in the family room (where the ill-placed bookcase and entertainment center are), and painting the wall behind them and over the fireplace chocolate brown. The most of the rest of the upstairs is going to be a color called "Ladyfinger", that's a little darker than "Barely Beige".

Finally, our barely-visible hutch area is going to be painted "Tucson Red", to show off the white cabinets.

Johnny the Carpenter will do the built-ins sometime in the next couple of weeks, and Andy the Painter will be able to paint the last two weeks of January. We'll finish it off for now with new window coverings.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Rainy Day

It really doesn't rain much in sunny San Diego, so the storm that has lasted almost all day is a nice diversion. I love rain, anyway.

Today's definitely the kind of day that lends itself to staying indoors by the fire and not leaving the house, even for errands. Therefore, dinner was cobbled-together from what we could find in the fridge and pantry:

broiled salmon
canned green beans
Uncle Ben's whole grain medley
celery sticks
1/3 of a tomato
pomegranate soda

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's That Time of Year

We put up our outdoor Christmas lights on Sunday afternoon. We just can't bring ourselves to buy a tree just yet!

The hold music at work switched to holiday music the day after Thanksgiving. I have never heard such an ill-conceived medley of Christmas or quasi-holiday songs. During one long wait for someone, I heard a traditional arrangement of a carol, followed by something techno that maybe, if you listened carefully, had something to do with some kind of holiday. I've also heard Britney Spears followed by Mannheim Steamroller. It's nearly vomit-inducing.
My Rad Life!