Sunday, December 31, 2006

Swimming for Kristina.

Last fall, Kristina Pinto (aka The Marathon Mama) decided to run the 2007 Boston Marathon for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge, which raises money for basic cancer research. When I heard about Kristina's committment, it reminded me of the many cancer victims and survivors in my own family, and my failure to have committed anything at all to the cause.

So I joined Kristina's cause as a sponsor (which I encourage everyone to do as well), but I wanted to join in in a physical sense, too. I promised to swim 26.2 miles by the date of the Boston Marathon (April 16, 2007), as a way of training alongside Kristina in spirit.

That was last October. While Kristina has been training faithfully, until today, I had yet to swim a single lap. Perfect time to make a New Year's resolution, right? I decided to gain some momentum by starting a day early, and swam my first 1/4 mile today. It was mostly an exercise in locating my gym bag, swimsuit, and so on, and getting to the pool on time before it closed for the holiday evening. But I did it.

To complete my goal in time for the marathon, I'll have to average 1/4 mile a day, 7 days a week.

I've started a Google spreadsheet to track my progress. I'll post snapshots of the chart from time to time, but for now, here's a link to the live online spreadsheet: Swimming for Kristina.

(By the way, Google Spreadsheet is ridiculously easy to use.)

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Shopping done

Well, sort of. I took this picture the night I thought I had finished my shopping. I even bought myself a box of on-sale chocolates in the last store I was in (Bloomie's, buying Sexual eau de cologne for my father) to celebrate. On Christmas Eve morning, when I blissfully started my wrapping, loving the fact that Christmas Eve was a Saturday and I didn't have to go to work, I found that I was short one gift to wrap. I had ordered wooden dollhouses for my two young nieces. But when I opened the shipping carton, I found only one dollhouse.

Oh. No. I had to go out on Christmas Eve -- the one day I wanted to avoid having to go out. I had even made sure the house was stocked with cellophane tape, tissues, ham, and eggs by 12/22, just to make sure I would have no reason to leave the house on 12/24. Now here I was on Christmas Eve with two of my most important presents unbought.

Thankfully, a local children's gift shop offered cool crafty gifts, and I was the only customer there. I can give the dollhouses another time. (But after I recover my 2-day shipping on the messed-up order!)

To paraphrase Robert Burns..."the best-laid plans of mice and men." But when I nibbled these chocolates and took this picture, I experienced the satisfaction of shopping done early, which meant I was able to deal with disaster when it occurred.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Infestation continues.

There were 15 moths again last night. So far that's the record. If it goes up to 16, I'm going to take another picture. (I wish I knew how to minimize the glare from the flash.)

My voice teacher pointed out why the moths are acting strangely: They're not supposed to be alive this long, and they don't quite know what to do with themselves. They're in a kind of dormant state. They're still alive because it's been unusually warm this fall. It hasn't gotten cold enough to kill the moths.

To my surprise, she laughed uproariously when I told her I had 15 moths on my kitchen window. "You COUNTED them??!!!???"

And my husband is teasing me about taking pictures of them. Every night when he sees me counting them he says, "Don't forget to take a picture."

OK, so I'm wierd.

But not as weird as some of the things I've seen my neighbors wrap around their trees, presumably to prevent the caterpillars from climbing up and going into their cocoons and becoming moths. Maybe I should take some pictures of thoseso I won't feel so bad.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


There were 12 gypsy moths on the screen when I took this picture. There are 15 there now, at 9:30 PM. They're harmless, soft, barely alive it seems. You can get up close to them, even touch them, and they won't move.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I did it.

I slept with my window open last night. I had a nightmare, but having fresh air when I woke up helped me get over it.

Friday, November 17, 2006


It stopped smelling like winter after my last post. Last night when I left work, it was 71┬║ F. It felt...balmy. I wanted to take my turtleneck off (but didn't). I love balmy.

Last night, I slept with a window open and dreamt with the drone of rain and the smell of sweet breeze. Tonight, it's already too cool to do that again. (But I may try.)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Leaving work today...

It smelled like winter for the first time this year.

It's too soon. I haven't started my Christmas shopping yet.

I don't want to put another year behind me.

I didn't create enough memories this year.

How much more can I cram in to the next two months?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween.

Message to all cyclists:

Wearing your riding gear as a Halloween costume is SO cheating!

(Skiers, pilots, scuba divers, mountain climbers...I'm looking at you, too.)

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


I've been setting aside a few minutes each day to be annoyed at people who don't update their blogs. If you're taking up space on the Internet, if you have an audience checking in for updates, darn it, finish what you start, people! I mean, look at this guy. Hasn't missed a day since 1997. Now there's a dilligent man. (Check out his video podcasts, too.)

But then I realized that I'm no better. I've always thought of this Blogger blog as a placeholder, a way to reserve my cool URL. A dress rehearsal for the marvelous, celebrated, real blog I'm going to write someday.

Bunk. I'm taking up space on the Internet. I've written a first entry (albeit a boring, preachy, holier-than-thou one). There could very well be some poor, misguided soul checking back to see if I've written anything else. Life is not a dress rehearsal. I have a blog, and I darned well better be updating it. So that's what I'm doing now.

There's another type of netiquette: email netiquette. Recently, a family member--okay, my dear ol' dad--emailed me. Nothing that requried an urgent response; indeed, no actual questions for me. So I took my time answering it. It was, in fact, a reply to an email of mine that in turn required no answer. Just a plain ol' "good roads and fair weather" message. A few days later, my dad reforwarded his missive to every email address he had for me. Every email I address I own, in fact. Clearly, he wanted a response.

My immediate reaction was annoyance. I would have written him back as soon as I had something pertinent to add, but that was up to me. The ball was in my court, and I didn't need anyone dictating when to volley it. But my emb├Ętement rapidly faded, as I realized how totally cool my paternal correspondent's action was. By reforwarding the message, he was saying, "No offspring of mine would be so oafish and thoughtless as to leave personal, lovingly written correspondence unanswered for 56 hours. My girl is made of better stuff than that. So I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps it was just a simple oversight, or my bad for using the wrong email address in the first place."

I answered my dad's re-sent email before the end of the day. It didn't require a response, but I wrote one anyway. Because you know what? I am made of better stuff than that.

Monday, September 11, 2006

I'm disappointed.

I'm disappointed because:

- more people didn't update their blogs for the fifth anniversary of 9/11.

- our President had a chance to make the world a stronger, more peaceful place in the wake of that tragedy, and chose to make it a more dangerous, more wounded, sadder place instead.

- my fellow Americans re-elected him.

- so many people still believe we "had this coming to us" and that it makes us "just like everywhere else now."

[Does anybody deserve what happened on 9/11? Isn't America still just America?]

- life is back to normal.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

My other blog is Philofaxy.