48 hours till M-Day

The marathon is looming on the horizon. I've been eating lots of carbs and went for my final short run this morning. I feel ready! And I can't wait to just get out there and run and have it done with. One of my running mates David has created a course map in Flickr for folks to annotate with their location. If you'll be cheering and have a Flickr account, please post your location on the Marathon Course Map. If you don't have a Flickr account and plan on watching and cheering, tell me your location in the comments so I can listen/look for you. I'll need all the support I can get, especially in the Bronx around mile 20. Tomorrow I'll post a picture of what I plan to wear so you can pick me out of the crowd. Thanks for all your support, it really means a lot and will help me get through the hard times knowing folks are thinking of me and cheering me on.

Hopefully this won't be the case

But if we wake up tomorrow and history repeats itself, the BBC addresses some basic questions with, Q&A: What if there is no clear winner? I hopeful that this year the election will be decided by the voters and not the Supreme Court, but after the 2000 debacle (and reading about electronic voting machines throwing errors), I'm not so optimistic.

Marathon is less than a week away

There is some great advice in the comments of my post Marathon training advice. I realize it's more marathon race running advice than training advice, but still, close enough. Also, for those still paying attention to that thread, I posted a new comment asking about the use of petroleum jelly. Thanks to everyone for their advice and encouragement!

Sometimes it's for you

This site has never purported to be a journal or a diary, or really anything more than a public place where I chose to share some bits of my life with people who are interested in reading them. But it's all been very controlled, and I've been very aware of my audience -- from grandparents to potential bosses to strangers -- since its inception. And so most of what I think and I do goes unsaid on this site, which for the most part is OK, except that when I look back on prior entries, sometimes I wish I had a better sense of what was really happening between the lines. So this entry is more for me than for you, because this week has been really been something and I need to get that down someplace.

It's been cloudy and insanely windy for two weeks straight, and every marathon training run has been a battle against the wind whipping across the orange and red landscape. The marathon is a little more than a week away, and I realized I've been spent a third of the year training for it. Somehow I hadn't really understood the intensity of what I was undertaking. On Monday my neighbor was murdered, though I had never met her. The yellow police tape came down yesterday. Now there are "No trespassing" signs at the driveway, and there are still lots of police cars. It's brought up lots of existential questioning, for obvious reasons. I don't know when I'm leaving Nantucket nor where I'll go when I do, but slowly my friends are leaving as the seasonal work ends and they head to other jobs elsewhere. I hate the tenuousness of the relationships I'm forging here. I'm exhausted because all I do is work, eat, run, sleep and watch baseball. Occasionally I go out after work, to watch baseball. And then last night something I've wanted as long as I can remember actually happened: the Red Sox won the World Series (see the front page of the Boston Globe). When Johnny Damon hit a lead off home run, I knew we had it, but it was nine tense innings before it ended. When it did, the bar exploded in cheers, but I sat there stunned. And then I started to cry. It was just too much. Everything from the week, from the fall, from the summer, from the whole year, it just overwhelmed me.

You can't take the geek out of the girl

if win(Red Sox, World Series) {
   return hangOver;

Kitchen tales and pranks

I've found Waiter Rant through Jason the other day and I've been enjoying reading his tales from the front of the house. Working in a restaurant provides a lot of fodder for stories. Recently we were discussing kitchen pranks, tasks our chef has asked some of our more gullible employees to undertake. Highlights include asking one woman to, "drain the espresso machine" and sending another to, "get the rice stretcher out of storage." I love pranks that sound slightly plausible. There are lots of kitchen gadgets, who knows, maybe somewhere there is a rice stretcher?

We had a good one the other day, but our hapless victim, a culinary intern, had already returned to school. We were going to ask her to, "mix up a batch of okra" to go with the salmon special. It would have been priceless to see her paging through the cookbooks to find the recipe.

And of course, I am so gullible that I'd probably fall for one of these tricks if they ever pulled one on me.

Marathon training advice

Well today I finished my final double-digit run before the marathon. Since last Sunday I've run nearly 49 miles! But now it's all downhill from here, nothing more than 9 miles, and aside from that seriously easy short stuff for my taper. Two weeks from tomorrow is the big day! As it nears, I'll post more about my expected outfit and finish time so that if you're in the area and plan to watch the race, you can cheer me on. In the meantime, now's your chance to help me out. Have you run a marathon? Do you have any advice for me? I know the main points: sleep well the night before the night before, eat well, etc. But anything else I need to know? Thanks.

A new shirt at Red Seat

The Red Seat's got a new shirt to commemorate Wednesday's victory over the Yanks: The Witching Hour. Looks great, and I love that it's black. Also, here's a photo of me sporting my Red Seat Building Character shirt on Wednesday night at work. I'm not smiling so much because this was before the game had begun and I was still very nervous.

The most magical day

Red Sox Make History by Beating Yankees:

From Fenway Park to Faneuil Hall, from Boston Common to Beacon Hill, the 11th pennant for the Red Sox, the first since 1986, will be remembered as the best for one reason: Beating New York in Yankee Stadium, site of last year's Game 7 meltdown.

This was for Williams and Pesky, for Yastrzemski and Yawkey, for Fisk and Rice and even Buckner and Nomar, just a few of the hundreds who suffered the pain inflicted by their New York neighbors in a rivalry that has become baseball's best.

None of the previous 25 major league teams to fall behind 3-0 even forced a series to seven games. The wild-card Red Sox became only the third of 239 teams in the four major North American leagues to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven series and win...It had been 100 years since Boston last won a pennant in New York on the final possible day, a 3-2 victory in a doubleheader opener at Hilltop Park in 1904.

Indeed it was a very good day.

Once in a lifetime

The Sox come back from 0-3 against the Yankees and I've refrained from posting out of superstition. I've instead watched each game, holding my breath, knocking on wood, and hoping, just hoping. And after game three, I almost even wrote an open letter to the Sox here, but decided against it. Instead, I just lay silent, hoping still. And then last night, a Bellhorn homer. And then tonight, Damon grand slam. And D. Lowe pitching like a freakin' rock star, and not just any rock star, but like Robert Plant or John Lennon, I mean, Rock Star. I did believe. I'll admit that I wavered, but I never faltered. I believed. I take my Sox do or die. And finally, they did! My oh my. World Series. I can hardly wait!!

It's roasted mushroom season

I had the pleasure of tasting something similar to Marco Canora's Pan-Roasted Hen-Of-The-Woods Mushrooms when I had dinner at New York City's Craft back in late July. Moist and juicy and dripping flavor, the mushrooms were probably my favorite dish we enjoyed that evening. I'm anxious to try this recipe out at home, now I just need to get my hands on some hen-of-the-woods mushrooms.

Kicking my ass

Apparently this is the part of the marathon training that either kills you or makes you strong enough to run 26.2 miles. After yesterday's 20 miler, my schedule demanded 3 miles from my sore tired legs and feet this morning. I've never run a longer 3 miles in my life. And there's no rest for the weary, tomorrow AM calls for 8 miles. Which means that within 48 hours I'll have run 31 miles! I hope I can survive until Wednesday, which is a rest day. Yay rest day! Right now that's seeming very far off. Right now I can't even go down the stairs unless I take them one at a time, like a child. :(

20 miles is a very long distance

My marathon training is entering its final three weeks, and November 7th is fast approaching. I set out today for my final really long run, a 20 miler during which I covered a large portion of the Island. You can see the map of my route. I was going to keep updating this after I put the first 10 miler on, but since then I've been running all my long runs in the same general area, and the lines would have gotten all messy. But since this one was to, 'Sconset, the easternmost point in the United States, I thought I'd redo the map. It was a very long run, but I did it, and I'm getting really excited for the marathon!

Perfect photo

This is perhaps the best photo I've ever seen. Hopefully with a day off, the Red Sox can remember how to play baseball and come back tomorrow for a big win with Cornrroyo at Fenway. Otherwise, well I just can't even say. Soxaholix gets it about right, once again:

All hail the mighty John Lieber. Swing early and often at anything, fellas, that'll do it. Did I miss the memo where the Sox hitters were told to give the fuck up on patience and the importance of OBP?

The truth behind Strangelove

There's an interesting article in today's New York Times about Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove" (one of my all-time favorite movies), Truth Stranger Than 'Strangelove'

What few people knew, at the time and since, was just how accurate this film was. Its premise, plotline, some of the dialogue, even its wildest characters eerily resembled the policies, debates and military leaders of the day.

It's pretty horrifying to think that any of what happens, is supposed, and is said in this film is even slightly true. The article also notes that the Film Forum, "is screening a new 35 millimeter print for one week, starting on Friday." Sounds like a great way to see (or re-see) this classic film.

Support the Sox

If you're looking for something that shows you're a Boston fan, but you don't want a traditional MLB shirt, or something that just says "Yankees suck!" check out The Red Seat. The Red Seat makes Red Sox shirts that are different, reasonably priced, and cool. Why?

In retrospect, we think the seeds of "The Red Seat" were sown as early as Game 3 (Zimmer had it coming). Trying to convert a Yankee fan and wanting a souvenir to commemorate the great day of theater, we searched and searched, but to no avail. There was literally nothing around the park that wasn't a lame retread, obscenely priced or just plain obscene.

My favorite? God hates us. Of course, not *this* year. Oh no. This year is different. I hope.

Tuna is getting less appealing every day

I used to be a tuna fiend, eating tuna sushi several times a week, and on the days when I didn't eat it raw, I'd have a tuna sandwich. Then all the reports came out about heightened mercury levels. Then new reports about even higher levels of contaminates, and recommendations that women of childbearing age limit tuna intake to once or twice a week. And now this, from yesterday's New York Times, Tuna's Red Glare? It Could Be Carbon Monoxide

Buyers of fresh tuna, whether at the sushi bar or the supermarket, often look for cherry-red flesh to tell them that the fish is top-quality. But it has become increasingly likely that the fish is bright red because it has been sprayed with carbon monoxide...

...[F]or most consumers around the world, vendors say, lollipop-red flesh signals freshness and quality. Tuna treated with carbon monoxide is bright red when first defrosted, and fades within a couple of days to a watermelon pink. But "you could put it in the trunk of your car for a year, and it wouldn't turn brown," said one sales representative at Anova Foods, a distributor in Atlanta, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Oy. Ick. This reminds me of when I read about a lot of sushi being frozen. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

In other web related news

My former business partner and Pyra co-founder Evan Williams announced he's leaving Google as of Friday. It's hard to imagine that Blogger will soon be without any of its original team. I don't mean that in a bad way, in fact, I have absolute confidence in the team Ev's assembled at Google, but more in a sort of, "wow, we've all grown up" way. Grown up, and moved (or are moving) on to new projects, both online and off. I guess it's inevitable, but in a way it really marks the end of an era. It doesn't seem so long ago that we had those brick walls in SoMa, a team of four, and Blogger running on a desktop next to Ev's feet. My how far we've all come. Best of luck Ev on your next great adventure!

Go Sox!

One of the best parts of being back in Massachusetts is that everyone -- well nearly everyone -- who I hang out with is a Sox fan. Our chef even put a TV in the kitchen so we can follow the playoffs, and tomorrow we're opening early at 4 PM so people can come in and watch the game. On the menu? Hot dogs, popcorn, and Cracker Jacks, of course! Should be lots of fun. Let's hope Cornrroyo (my Anaheim friend's attempt to insult tomorrow's starting pitcher is to call Bronson Arroyo, who has cornrows, "Cornrroyo" but I think it's kind of funny so I'm using it in a positive manner) has his stuff and we can wrap this one up at home! Go Boston!

Masking tape kitchen silliness

Because I am a silly wacko, and because I know I can't possibly write everything about cooking and work all in one post, I will share this simple goofy story with you: One of the desserts we offer is plated with a squiggle of passion fruit sauce (prehaps a coulis? I am not sure. But it's on a squirt bottle and you make a zig-zag on the plate with it). The other day it ran out, and I had to refill two squirt bottles with new sauce. Since everything in the kitchen is labeled with masking tape, it was up to me as the refiller to label the new bottles. Others wrote "passion fruit" or "pas. fruit." I labeled my new bottles, "The Passion of the Fruit." It was my special kitchen homage to Mel Gibson and JC all in one.

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