Monday, July 26, 2010

The Tot Trot and other running adventures.

I realize that, in my last post (or my last post that mentions running), I presented a less-than-positive outlook re: my participation in the SF Marathon's 5K. Man, was I a curmudgeon! It is true that I injured my leg (though not debilitatingly) and that the doctor I saw advised me not to run on it (perhaps to prevent angry followup communication via email?), but I'm so glad I decided to run on Sunday.

When I woke up at approximately 5:40, I was more nervous than I'd been in months -- which, for me, is saying a lot. It took all the effort I could muster to make semi-normal conversation with Hook during our bus ride downtown, and prior to the race, I had a look of terror on my face (according to Hook). As soon as the gun went off and I started running, though, this fear dissipated. Miraculously, it seems, I made an instantaneous transition from a mindset of timidity to one of total enjoyment: it was fun running with a big ass crowd of people! The mix I'd prepared the night before was varied and upbeat and awesome! There were actual spectators, cheering us on! I picked another runner to keep pace with, kept my arms loose (i.e., as loose as I could), and made it through the race with minimal calf pain. I finished in 27:45, which -- while not super-fast -- is pretty respectable, all things considered.

I'm looking forward to my next 5K: on first allowing my leg to heal fully, and then on getting my time down. Meanwhile, I'll continue with bike commuting, ellipticalling, and yoga.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Tomorrow is Hook's and my eleven-month anniversary. To celebrate, we are running the SF Marathon's 5K (in the AM) and going to a wine and dessert bar (in the PM). I'm hypothetically excited to run, though I'm worried that my recent calf sprain will force me, at some point, to walk. I'm very concretely excited for Candybar.


At the Ferry Building today, I bought a jar of cmb sweets' strawberry confiture from Carolina Braunschweig herself. Why is this so exciting, you ask? Well, aside from the obvious coolness of buying food directly from the individual who produced it, Carolina appeared on an episode of "Unwrapped" (the berries one, I believe) that Hook and I saw like, three days ago. Indeed, I walked right up to C and said, "Hey! I saw you on Food Network! You were buying berries at Civic Center!" To which she responded, "Yeah! I was at Civic Center." After this initial exchange, Ms. Braunschweig smeared some jam on my finger (the stash of sample crackers had been depleted). This jam is the shit.


As an anniversary gift, Hook bought me a raccoon skull(!!!) He is the best boyfriend ever.
Hmmm. My plan of updating more than once every two weeks seems to have gotten off track. But, here I am, awake on a gray, post-Fernet morning, updating the ole blog. Kudos to myself(!)

This week, I bike commuted for the first time. (Aside: I guess I should say, "for the first and second time(s)," since I took my bike to work twice, but that could get confusing. Confusing like this foray right here...) Since I bought my bike early in the year, I'd been planning to bike commute but had put off this transportational transition for various reasons, some more substantiated than others. While it's true that my old job didn't provide adequate bike storage for staff -- there was one rickety bike rack out on the yard -- it is also true that I harbored a major, major fear of riding on Market. And who wouldn't? Market Street is scary! Anyway, this Tuesday, when I woke up at 5:30 to begin my ride, I almost talked myself out of it. But then I didn't, and I ended up loving bike commuting and I plan to do it three times a week, on average. (I'd ride more often but for the fact that there is no shower at my office, so the commute necessitates my going to the gym before work to work out and shower. That, and I like my other routine of reading on the bus and I don't want to give that up completely.)

I also had my first yoga class this week. Given my fitness history of the past two years, I'm pretty surprised that I'd never tried yoga, but there you have it. After a bit of research (i.e., perfunctory Yelping), I signed up for an intro package at Bend Yoga on Hayes, my decision being informed primarily by the positive Yelp reviews but also by the studio's close proximity to my home and by the killer deal for the intro package. The instructor I had was pretty great: I told her that this was my first yoga class ever, and she welcomed me heartily and corrected my poses in a very constructive, gentle way. And I really enjoyed the class: the guided breathing helped me relax more than I've been able to in like, weeks, and the minimini massage at session's end was also good. So, yes: I think I may become a yoga devotee. Or as Hook says, I might just become a blissed-out hippie. It's casual, though: I can abide.

Status: morning is still gray. Headache is waning, though not disappeared. I have no formal plans for the day but feel as though I should clean the bathroom and maybe make Strawberries Romanoff. Over & out.

Monday, July 12, 2010


Ueberproductive day, beginning with croissants with Hook @ Boulange de Cole, segueing to a brief mall visit (to return something, people!), oceanside bike ride, some tidying, and a bit of baking. My project today was gingersnaps; I used a recipe I found on AllRecipes. Shocked by the amount of oil included (3/4 cup!), I subbed in applesauce, which may have been a bad idea. (Note: substituting applesauce for oil is a legit thing. I mean, my mom used to do it all the time when I was a tot, and I corroborated the legitimacy of this practice using none other than Google.) The so-called cookies taste awesome -- gingery, but not overwhelmingly so, with hints of clove -- but texturally, they're more like cakes. Muffin tops, actually. In that way, they're a little weird. Not sure if I'll bring them in to share with the coworkers. Indeed, the only reason I deviated from the gingersnap recipe I used (and reused) last summer is that I don't have that recipe with me, here, immediately, though I'll get my mom to email it...

There are 31 gingery CookieCakes lined up on Hook's counter. At some point, I'm going to get a wire rack.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I'm digging Hook's new spending blog. I thought, so so briefly, that maybe I should initiate a similar blog in order to identify purchasing trends (and possibly curtail frivolous buying), but I already know what such an experiment would reveal: I'm a little too familiar with's online sale section and the Ritter Sport rack at Cindy's Market. So.

Went for a bike ride by the ocean this afternoon. The sky was ominously overcast, but there was no rain. From an apartment near Great Highway and Moraga, I could hear the cheers of people watching the soccer game.

Today's Sunday Cooking Project was a batch of Jane Brody's rice pudding! It is really, stunningly easy, and hella tasty, too. (Note: I added nutmeg, and I'm not sure if that was the best decision. Overall, the pudding is still better than most.) Here's the recipe:


3 cups cooked rice (1 cup raw)
2 cups skim or low-fat milk
1 egg white and 1 whole egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Combine all the ingredients in a medium saucepan, and mix them well. Cook the rice over moderate heat, stirring it now and then, until it has thickened (about 5 minutes after the milk reaches a boil).

And that's it. In addition to my nutmeg experiment, I added a heaping half-teaspoon of cinnamon, which I would recommend. Next time, I might add a little vanilla extract...


Now that I have Mondays off, I love Sunday nights. They've become so much cozier, so much less anxiety-fraught. They're like the best possible hybrid of laid-back Saturday afternoons and...I don't know, Sunday nights. Sunday nights light.

Time for Kezar's beet salad(!) and the Pavement documentary.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This weekend, I tried two foods I never expected to try: caviar and Ovaltine.

I liked them both. Indeed, I foresee more of these two items in upcoming menus. Maybe not both in the same menu, though.

Also, my keyboard is real, real dirty. How to fix? I will maybe consult the genius bar; surely, they have some overpriced wipes that will fix this bad boy up real nicely.

Also also, I feel like this post is written in a half-assed way, but I'm three minutes from sleep and so this half-assedness is acceptable to me now.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

America Party!

Happy Fourth! Growing up, my family celebrated this holiday somewhat inconsistently: sometimes, we'd cook out (albeit in the backyard) and see fireworks; sometimes, we'd just do whatever else we were going to do that day (albeit with the addition of those red/white/blue popsicles). Consequently, I never get as excited about the Fourth of July as I feel I should; this lack of fervor always inspires a slight guilt -- am I not patriotic enough? Why am I not more excited for cured/grilled meats? -- which, in turn, usually prompts me to get off the couch & do something, mostly so that I can say that I got off the couch and did something.

That being said, I'm legitimately excited for this year's Fourth. Hook and I are having a picnic (w/pals) at Alamo Square Park, and we spent the better part of yesterday making an assortment of homemade treats. Hook made an entirely from-scratch strawberry rhubarb pie and also some ginger candy (which, oh. my. god.) and, with the syrup leftover from the production of the candy, some homemade ginger ale. I made a ginormous loaf of bread whose taste and texture somewhat mimic that of a pretzel. (Note: I accidentally added too much yeast to the recipe, hence the textural abnormalities, and I also brushed the loaf with olive oil/sprinkled with salt before baking, hence the pretzelness.) No matter, though: I will happily eat that pretzel bread to celebrate the occasion of our country's birth.

Re: homemade pickles, Eating Well has not posted on their website the recipe we used, but they do have this very similar/almost identical recipe. Check it out!

Here is the recipe Hook used for making his ginger candy and ginger ale. The homemade ale tastes more like a commercially-prepared ginger beer; the concentration of ginger syrup also increases as you near the bottom of the club soda bottle, so the last swigs are actually the best part. Haven't tried the ginger ale float, but that, undoubtedly, is next on our list.

Enjoy Independence Day! Wear sunscreen! And, if you're prone to that sort of thing, raise a lukewarm can of domestic lager to celebrate this great land of ours! I'm off for a run, and then begins the stretch of picnic greatness.