Best poem ever

This week's the New Yorker is off to a great start. Not only have I really enjoyed what I've read of the Mayor Bloomberg profile, but John Updike's poem, Duet On Mars, is the best poem I've read in a long time.

15K is a lot of K

On Saturday morning I ran the New York Road Runners' Al Gordon 15K in Central Park. Weather permitted, for a change, and race day dawned a warmish 39° without the forecast rain showers. I ran alone for this race, and was late to the start, forcing me to cut across a muddy field as everyone began and causing me to go off the line at a brisker pace than normal, and in more of a panic. But then I settled in and just ran ran ran, then I ran some more. Never one to give up, I kept running. Then running. And when I wanted to stop, I ran and ran. Then finally I walked a tiny bit because I had cramps. Then I started running again and running and running. 15K is 9.3 miles. It was 94 minutes and 16 seconds of running. It was very long. But strangely, it was fun, and I was very happy as I came to the end, spotted Jason — who gave me a high five rather than snap a photo — and crossed the finish line. With splits of 10:08, it wasn't too shabby. And if only I hadn't stopped to walk, I might have broken 10! Drat those cramps. Of course, looking at my results (enter 'Hourihan'), I've got a ways to go. Those other runners are fast!

The smell of burning

Apparently after I last posted, the fan on the web server that hosts this site shuffled off its mortal coil, and headed for a higher fanly plane. And because of the timing of things, it took a long time for the replacement to settle into its new home. But now it's here, and I've certainly forgotten everything I intended to write. The more I think, "I need to write more posts!" the less I ever write. Perhaps now with the new humming fan, things will get back on track. Oh yeah, and A-Rod to the Yankees?! Argh!

The smell of grass

The most amazing thing about San Diego so far: the smell of grass. My nose had grown so accustomed to the scents of winter, that cold lifeless bitter slightly salty smell that's permeated New York City for the past three+ months. And then this morning, I stepped out of the hotel, ran down to a jogging path, and my nose was assaulted. Everywhere was the lushest, greenest grass, its scent permeating the air. A smell I take for granted in the summer suddenly seemed like a wondrous treat. Grass! Thick green grass! Who knew it could smell so beautiful?

On the plane to San Diego

Back before all this weblogging stuff, I used to work as a consultant. Every Monday I had to get up and fly off to some city (Newark NJ, Bloomington IL by way of Chicago, Atlanta, etc.) where I'd spend the week working on-site at the client's office, and then I'd fly home on Friday afternoon, often barely arriving in time for dinner. I'd have two days home, and then be off again bright early Monday AM. It was fun and grueling, and this morning I got a little taste of my old life.

I woke up at 4:45 AM to catch a 7 AM flight to San Diego for the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference. At the gate I noticed my former compatriots, the Monday morning business travelers. During the pre-boarding, I was the only woman, surrounded by men with suits, briefcases, and trench coats. It was just like the old days, and yet it wasn't, thanks to the amazing technology advances in the past six years. In the past it used to take me two laptop batteries to make it across the country, and even then, I'd often run out. And as for music, I was pretty much limited to the amount of CDs I could carry with me. So far today I've been flying for over three hours and I've got nearly 50% of my battery left on my iBook. My iPod also still has half its charge, and over 4 straight days of music sit at my fingertips. Pretty incredible, it sure makes for a more pleasant trip. Now if only they could do something about speeding up the flight, and warming up the plane!

The last Sex scenes

This morning I saw signs advising that HBO's Sex and the City will be filmed tomorrow around West 4th and West 11th streets in the West Village. According to this NY Post article, "The very last scenes for 'Sex' will be shot tomorrow." So there you have it: the last scenes ever for Sex and the City will be filmed tomorrow in the West Village. If you're interested in those kind of things.

Woo hoo Patriots!!

Meg cheers for Pats!Well it was close, but the Pats did it again, and I was happy to cheer when Vinatieri's kick went right down the middle and put the Pats in the lead (and gave them the win). It was a good day all around for things football: earlier in the morning, David and I ran the Gridiron 5K in Central Park. Here's us at the start and more importantly, here were are nearing the end. You can even see my Tom Brady jersey! It was a very slow one for us, the bitter cold had prevented us from doing much training, and the course was a lot uphill. Also David had moved the day before, so was sore from that. What do all those excuses mean? 11:05 per mile. A slow one for sure, but we'll pick up speed again. I hope.

If you’re looking for a weblog speaker

Ages ago, I created a page listing all the speaking engagements I've done, putting descriptions of each event and links to any presentations I'd prepared. And then I thought I linked to it somewhere on the site. But I guess I didn't, except for a very minor link at the bottom of my resume. Now I've added a "speaking" section to the top of my navigation which sends you to my speaking resume. I'm not sure 'resume' is the right word for this, but I don't know what else to call it. Anyway, if you're looking for a speaker, take a look at it to see if I'm your gal!

Tomato up?

While this recipe does not share anything in common with my Red Sox Cowboy Up Cookies, and I haven't heard anyone telling the Patriots to "Tomato Up!", nonetheless I have crafted a special tart in honor of my favorite football team: tarte Tatin aux tomates. (And also to bring the a Super Bowl party.) I can't take all the credit for it, since it was in large part inspired by a recipe I found for Caramelized Tomato Tarts in a great new cookbook (more about that soon).

But I love making tarte Tatin, a kind of French upside-down apple pie with yummy caramel flavor. I combined what I saw for the tomato tarts with my Tatin recipe, and voila! Tomato tarte Tatin! It's baking now, so I've no idea yet if it's any good. If it turns out OK, I'll post the recipe here.

Until then, Tomato Up you Patriots fans! Or, as my father so eloquently signed off in an email to me earlier this week, "Go Pats scratch out the Cats!"