Sunday, November 30, 2008

Throwing away the scale

Now that nanowrimo is over, well almost over, there are still almost twelve hours to go. I've not written in my novel for a couple of day but i do plan to go out with a bang later after church by hanging out in the nano chat room and cheering on my fellow writers till midnight, and maybe getting another thousand or two words in before the deadline as well.

But this blog post is not supposed to be about fiction writing, or my future plans for that which are bouncing through my head, distracting me as we speak. I had resolved that once nano was over I would try to write a blog post a week, that is not a copy paste from my live journal, most likely on sundry mornings (*cough* afternoon) because that's my generally calm and quiet time, sitting around the house in pajamas, drinking coffee, and just puttering. A 7:15PM church service is a beautiful thing. I figure if I could pound out 50 thousand words of drivel disguised as fiction (and many scenes of people drinking coffee, or tea, or debating the relative merits of coffee versus tea - I think I should just call next year's novel 'Scenes from a Starbucks' and have done.) then I can pound out a few hundred words of blog post a week, surely? Though the blog will not be immune from coffee references, because coffee is love. Especially with pumpkin spice creamer.

Mixed up in my nano notes in the notebook I've been carrying around since mid October are lots of little ideas for blog posts, and the challenge today is to try not to cram them all in to one, because I am in the mood to write something not related to adventures on the moon, the coffee is flowing (see?), it's raining and I have the house to myself.

No. Must stay on track. Yes.

Right, so today's blog post will be about idols.

I've been reading and hearing quite a bit lately about idols - in books, sermons, podcasts, etc. When I think of idols, the first thing that pops into my head is a silly statue, like the falling fish god, the golden calf, or Jabu in the movie 'Major League' who gets offering of rum, cigars, and Kentucky Fried Chicken. And I always think, so self righteously, how could anyone be so stupid as to worship something like that?

Of course, we wouldn't. Two thousand plus years after Bible times our idols have become way more sophisticated.

If this year of no clothes shopping has taught me anything, it's that clothes are not my issue. Finishing my eleventh month of no clothes shopping today, I still don't really feel it. I wonder where on earth I found the time to go shopping for clothes, and I'm not really looking forward to resuming it. I could almost go another year, except that I really need a new raincoat, one that does not absorb water. Did you know Gortex wears out? Apparently after a few years, it does. And proper running shoes, from the store where they watch you run on the treadmill and look at your old shoes to see where you wear them out... But this post was not supposed to be about clothes.

My idol is the scale. I decided this after about two years now of weighing and recording, obsessing about numbers changing, counting and recording points, trying to hyper organize everything I eat in one day, blowing it, feeling guilty, and then blowing it some more. And then last year, trying to fit training into the mix, calculate how many points I exercised and need to replace, so as to not pass out during a workout, which would be bad. Discovering the the weight watchers site has no clue about energy bars and sports gels and drinks didn't help.

So I threw out my scale. Well, actually i didn't because I would feel guilty throwing out a perfectly good appliance. It, they actually, are in the top of my closet, if anyone would like them. I have one old fashioned and one digital that supposedly also calculates body fat and percentage of water. I have decided to accept my body as it is. I'm not *really* overweight. I did a triathlon this year, for crying out loud. Okay, it took me four and a half hours, but still. And with no new clothes, everything still fits from this time last year.

I had a wonderful time this past month with all the write-ins, making healthy choices as best I could from the menus at Panera and Cosi, and then indulging a little bit if I wanted to, to reward myself for my word count. I'm also having fun experimenting with cooking, and continuing my training, which are other blog posts.

so I shall leave you with a picture of my thanksgiving leftovers, and go make pancakes. And perhaps catch up on the blogs I've not read all month. My rss reader just might be about to explode...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

For the win!

And now to get back to my Thanksgiving preparations!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Today I thank God for:

- Chicken soup

*wanders off to drink more fluids*

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Taking a short break from NaNoWriMo to celebrate the first day of ADvent, which according to my prayer book, Celtic Daily Prayer, starts today. Celtic advent is the forty days before Christmas, matching the forty days in the liturgical year of Lent from Ash Wednesday to Easter.

From the book: Advent is traditionally a time of preparation for Christmas. It is said that the door to the stable where the Christ-child has been born is very low - only those who kneel find access. being ready for Christmas should mean that our thoughts are focused on not just letters, cards, and presents, but on repentance, humbling and interior 'housecleaning'. John the Baptist warned his hearer to prepare a way for the Lord - to make a clear and level pathway. This involves removing any boulders that stand in the way, and filling in any potholes. The boulders are the things we have done that we should not have done; the potholes are the things we have failed to do which we obviously should have done. The more, as individuals, family or congregation, we are focused in this way, the less we will be overwhelmed by the commercialization of Christmas.

For this advent season, I am reading Forty Days of Living the Jesus Creed, by Scot McKnight, in part because I got it for my birthday and don't want to to save it till spring.

I'm also taking some more steps against the commericalization and frenzy of Christmas by not sending Christmas cards, or gifts outside of small ones for my immediate family. Instead throughout the new year I intend to be more vigilant about remembering people's birthdays (If they want them remembered that is!) And this year I am using the money I would have spent shopping on buying clean drinking water. Everyone should drink more water.

Join me at The Advent Conspiracy!

And now to head off to the city to get some writing done - 31k words and counting :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

NaNoWriMo time!

I know it's been about a month since I posted last. I had resolved to start writing a blog post a week. The best laid plans... I have about three half finished posts in my notebook, so if I get bored or am in procrastination mode, we'll see what happens.

Otherise this month is reserved for NaNoWriMo!

Here is my widget so you can follow my progress:

Now back to writing.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Renovare "Life With God" Conference

Spent the weekend in Houston at the Renovare "Life with God" conference. I had an amazing time, and learned enough to keep me thinking for about a year. Also the books I bought will keep me busy for quite awhile - see the last post for a pic of the books.

I am sitting here at the airport waiting for my flight and sipping a sugar free nonfat mocha, and eating a carrot muffin to make up for it. There is no free internet to distract me, so I thought i would type up some of the thoughts from my notes for posting later.

I can't do justice to any of the speakers, so just a couple of bytes from each of them on how they affected me.

Dallas Willard: I've heard much about this man, quotes from various other books that I've read, but I confess I've never actually read anything by him. I also confess that I didn't not buy any of his books this time either, as I was already trying to figure out how I was going to pack what I bought, but there is always Amazon later. The main things I took away from his presentation are that emphasis needs to be on what type of person I am becoming, and then routine easy obedience will come. In other words the emphasis on character transformation rather than behavior modification. Of course it took nearly two hours to unpack those points, so for more I recommend the cd!

John Ortberg: I really liked his way of speaking and need to see if his church does sermon podcasts. Of course him starting off with a Monty Python joke didn't hurt! He made the point that modern evangelism reduces the gospel to the minimum entrance requirements to heaven, and as an example compared the entrance to Heaven to the bridge at the end of the holy grail where the characters just have to have the right answer to get across, whereas if they don't, they plunge down into the chasm. He compared being an admirer of Jesus to being a follower of Jesus, and brought out the point that our core beliefs are not necessarily what we say, but are demonstrated by our actions, how we respond to certain situations, etc.

Chris Webb: A Welshman who likes books! (I stole that quote from Larissa. *waves*). Chris is the new president of Renovare, an Anglican priest, and absolutely delightful. He dressed in a monk's habit on Saturday for the feast day of St Francis, and introduced himself first as a Jedi Knight. I wanted to ask him if he had heard of the Jedi Chefs, but didn't get the chance. We took his workshop on Friday on reading the spiritual classics. He explained a bit about the process of Lectio Divina, and that we should read classics "not as we read John Grisham" (which in my case would be Tad Williams, Carol Berg, Stephen Booth, etc) but slowly and relationally. The purpose of the classics, and indeed the Bible, is not to give us entertainment or information, but to draw us into the presence of God. He gave us a lovely reading list which is going to make my wishlist explode.

Lauren Winner: Lauren is exactly how I pictured her, in a good way! She started off by saying that she was intimidated by sharing the stage with people like Richard Foster and Dallas Willard, but if Sarah Palin could share a podium with Joe Biden then she could do it. She said she tried to get her hair in an upsweep which didn't work, but she thinks her glasses are cooler than Sarah's. (I agree). Her talk was on the Trinity, which was very deep. What I took away was her illustration of Jesus' baptism as a trinitarian event - Jesus of course being present, the father's voice from above, and the spirit in the form of a dove (hey that rhymes!) all converging, so to speak in one place. She also had the criticism that many churches in America are functionally unitarian - emphasizing one aspect of the trinity over the other two.

After Lauren's talk we had an evensong service, which was a really nice end to the day, considering how much I had swimming around in my head, the periods of silence were especially welcome.

Saturday started with

Ron Sider: who gave a talk on social activism, and how the good news of the Kingdom of God does not end with salvation.

Todd Hunter: I took Todd's workshop on spiritual formation as the new evangelism. He started out by talking about how the culture has changed, the church and Christians no longer get automatic respect, and actually more the opposite. Coming from NYC, nothing he said was new or shocking to me, but I could tell it was to those around me. His main point was that the only tool of evangelism that will work is the authentic lives of Christians.

Richard Foster: was the last speaker, and I didn't take any notes during his presentation as he had given us an incredibly detailed outline in our packets. He has a ponytail down to his waist! Gorgeous, actually. Chris Webb teased him that he had been growing it since he was called to minister to the Woodstock generation, and the complained that no one ever asks him about his hair (Chris has crewcut shorter than my brother's). Richard is a powerful presence, strong and yet gentle, with a terrific sense of humor including about himself. He spoke on the importance of spiritual formation, sort of summing up what all the others had been talking about all weekend, and then we had a time where all the leaders prayed for us.

The conference as a whole was wonderful and I will definitely go to another - I wish they'd have some closer to home! Now, I need to decide which book to start...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Renovare Conference

Just finished the Renovare conference here in Houston Texas. I have tons of notes to type up, not that I could do anything justice, but I will not be doing that tonite. Maybe tomorrow as I wait for the SuperShuttle to take me to the airport.

Tonite I will leave you with two pictures that sort of sum up my weekend.

A few books managed to find their way into my bag....

And a statue of St Francis, in a Presbyterian church garden!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Calvin was green - who knew?

Despite the 87 degrees and much humidity here today, summer is officially over. This week I put away my beach things and did my best to wrap up some summer reading projects. I say did my best because there are still about 13 books on my to read pile.

Anyway, since I am in the process of joining a church which is essentially Calvinist, I figured it was high time that I read Calvin's "Institutes of the Christian Religion" for myself and see what the man really had to say. I tried to read with an open mind, but as I expected I did find a few points of disagreement, which I won't go into here as they are debated to death elsewhere.

I also found a few surprises, such as this quote from Part 9, chapter 10: So Paul, with good reason, urges us to use this world without abusing it, and to buy possessions as if we were selling them (I Cor 7:30-31).

Of course Calvin probably would not have known what carbon was (when were the elements discovered, anyway?) much less a carbon footprint, but this sounds suspiciously like take good care of the planet to me.

I also was surprised to find a passage with basically says it's ok to enjoy the pleasures of creation. If we think out the reason for the creation of food, we will realise that it was not only for necessity, but for our enjoyment and delight. So with clothing, the purpose was not only for necessity but beauty and honour. ... If this was not so, the Psalmist would not list among God's mercies, 'wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine' (Ps. 104:15).

Of course he also points out the dangers of taking enjoyment to excess, which I agree with, but it's nice to see that the concepts of enjoying and taking care of God's creation are not new.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I had many ambitious plans for today, and ended up getting through about half of my list. Two doctor's apts (I'll spare you squicky details, but everything's fine) took longer than I thought, and I ended up almost finishing my book in the waiting rooms, So naturally I had to go to Starbucks to finish it before I came home. Plus it was after 3 and I'd had no coffee yet! Or food for that matter. So, Starbucks, grocery store and by the time I got home, I might as well have been at Ork.

Did manage to get four loads of laundry done, as well as going though my dresser and closet and ruthlessly getting rid of anything I've not worn all summer.

Ronon Bear supervises The Great Clothing Purge

All packed up! 5 bags.

I had wanted to clean and bake cookies, but by now was after 8. So cookies will be baked tomorrow, and as for cleaning.... I'll negotiate with the dust bunnies to hide when my company arrives on Sat! Or perhaps TehJerry will feel a compulsion to clean tomorrow. That's a better plan.

I did however make a healthy dinner.

Now to shower and decide which book I will start next.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Birthdays and such

Today is my 39th birthday. For real. For the first time!
And so, you get picspam :)


Pressies before

And there was cake. Apparently I am 12...

Michael Phelps broke the record on my birthday!

Pressies after

Bonus pic: a butterfly on mom's butterfly bush

There were the best, but more piccies are here

Saturday, August 2, 2008



There's never enough of it to do everything that I want. And work too. But I have to work in order to have the money to do the things that I want to do, so quitting my job to have more time is not an option. Perhaps when I'm a best selling novelist - sometime in the 30th century...

Everyone has seen the movie "Groundhog Day", in which a man gets stuck in a time loop- playing out the same day over and over again. Pretty much every scifi show worth its salt has an episode with a similar theme - Star Trek, X-Files, Stargate.

My favorite (though XF's 'Mulder in the wet pajamas' runs a close second) is the Stargate version. Several loops of the same day have passed for Jack when Daniel tells him he has a unique opportunity, He can do whatever he wants for as long as he wants, with no consequences, because everything will go back to the way it was when the loops begins again. Except for him. Jack takes advantage of this. He learns pottery, perfects his golf shot (through the Stargate), teaches Teal'c to juggle, rides his bike through the SGC, and resigns so he can finally kiss Sam. *g*

What would you do if you were stuck in a time loop? With unlimited time on my hands, I'd become that best selling novelist, champion tin whistle player and step dancer, win a triathlon, hike the whole world (though travel might be a logistical problem if I'm stuck in the same day. Hmm.) Memorize the Bible in several translation. Heck, learn Greek and Hebrew and translate my own. Sew my own complete wardrobe, catch up on all the tv shows I've not seen, and read all the books on my wish list and then some.

Maybe that's what heaven will be like - stuck in the same perfect day forever, with unlimited things to do.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Progress, or lack thereof...

I just got back from vacation. Technically I'm still on vacation, as I don't go back to work until tomorrow, and I am writing this at the beach. Today is the perfect beach day - the air is warm, the sky is blue, and the water not too rough. Also I found a log to put my blanket over so I have something to lean on while I read and write.

I love the beach. Really love it. Perhaps too much. And there's no other place that I'd rather be in the summer. Which is probably why I did not have as good a time on my vacation as I could have.

Don't get me wrong, i had a blast. Traveling in Europe with some very good friends, what could be better? But my cranky self focus kept rearing its ugly head and showing me what I'm still really like inside. If things weren't perfect for my wants and schedule - too much food, too little food, too little exercise, too little caffeine at the right time, and I got, well let's just say it - bitchy.

Just when I think I'm doing great, remove me from my comfort zone, and blam. I can't beat my selfishness into submission, the Holy Spirit has to do that, and it's just not happening according to my schedule. Which just proves the whole point again of how far I have to go. It's not about my schedule, at all.

Part of the blessing of the single life is to be able to do pretty much whatever you want whenever you want. Which makes it difficult, however when thrust into a group 24/7, to learn to accommodate others.

I think one of the things I need to work on when traveling with others is finding ways to carve out more quiet time for myself... any suggestions?

Thanks for listening to my ramblings, and if anyone would like to see my vacation pictures, they are here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The internet monk today has a good post on Bible translations. Anyone who's been in a Bible study with me knows that although I have many Bibles, for reading I adore the Message.

In other news, I'm off to Hungary for ten days :) As soon as I finish breakfast.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

So I added a blogroll. Looks a bit... overwhelming. Wonder if I can make it smaller?

In other news I finally finished transcribing the last meeting I was responsible for at old church. It was pretty painful, and while listening to the meeting I worked on my application for membership at new church. Both have been sent away, which was the goal to get all finished and done before my trip.

Also spent 45 minutes driving around trying to find a verizon store, unsuccessfully. Came home and checked the net, found there was a store in one of the shopping centers I drove past, and I didn't see it. So will go back tomorrow. According to the site, I'm due for a free phone and it looks like one of the free ones can have global activated. w00t!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Wow it's been exactly a month since I updated last! How did that happen? So let's see, what has happened in the past month?

1. Exercise: tho not at the level I was toward the end of the triathlon training, I'm trying to keep up with fitness, getting in a least one bike, one run, and one swim per week. Also taking an open water swim workshop Sunday, which should be fun.

2. Church: Took the plunge and the membership seminar at my new church last Saturday. Now I need to fill out the application. It has essay questions, so might take awhile. I hope to have it finished and submitted before I leave for Hungary. Also registered for a conference hosted by Renovare in October. Richard Foster and Lauren Winner will both be there, so I am very excited! even tho it means I'm going back to Texas...

3. VACATION!: My friend from Kansas City, Kansas City arrives on the 5th, and we leave for Hungary on the 8th. Much cheese will be consumed. And perhaps other things.

4. Sewing: My brother made me a board that fits over my bed for cutting and pinning fabric, and fits just between my storage chest and closet. The other day I finally got the machine out again, and I made a napkin! The material is a bit thick, so the margins are as well, but it might look a little better once washed and ironed. Now I need to make a second one so my bro and I have one each, so as to dispense with paper napkins. Which leads me to-

5. Greenness: Alas my patient area keeps expanding so I am driving more not less. Fortunately my new car gets good mileage. I'm pretty good with remembering a commuter cup for getting coffee, but my main challenge is remembering to get the tote bags out of the back of the car *before* going into the grocery store. Remembering when I am at the checkout is fairly useless. Have been trying to use the AC as little as possible, unless it's *really* hot.

6. No clothes shopping: Still not really feeling it, and interestingly enough when I do think about new clothes, it's usually athletic gear I'm thinking of. Also strange, you'd think I'd have more time on my hands with no shopping? Dunno where it goes...

7. Writing: Had my first "workshopping" at my writer's group, which went really well. I still need to finish my first draft, but am starting to plan the second draft in my head.

Ok I think that's enough for now. I'll leave you with a quote from CS Lewis:

"Humility is not thinking less of one's self, but thinking of one's self less."

Talk amongst yourselves ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm a Triathlete!

I haven't been posting much about the triathlon training here, most has been going to LiveJournal. BUt, in any event - it's over, and I have officially completed the Capital of Texas Triathlon - my first! I say first, b/c now I've got the bug and there will be a second.

If anyone wishes to read the long drawn out story of my weekend, and my race report, please go here.

Anyone who wishes to just skip straight to the pictures, please go here.

Of course everyone is free to do both :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

No Clothes Shopping Update

This week I'll enter into my fifth month of no clothes shopping, so I'm almost halfway through. I'm wondering if the second half will be more difficult, as so far I'm not really feeling anything. Catalogs go straight to the recycle pile, I barely glance at the windows when I walk past shops, and when I do I'm generally apathetic about the stuff in the windows. I'm looking forward to having more time to experiment with sewing after the triathlon.

to recap- since January first I've purchased:

- one pair of capri running tights, in London (after nearly passing out in fleece lined ones at almost 50 degrees in York)

- one pair of $5 thongs (the shoe version) at Target, for swim training

- one souvenir tee shirt at the Comhaltas convention - half price and just as dude was ready to pack up on Sunday.

And that's it :)

The Way of the Monk

Yesterday I went to a workshop sponsored by my church called "The Way of the Monk". We learned about several things I've been experimenting on my own with for the past couple years, namely centering prayer, praying with a prayer rope, and the divine hours - chanting the psalms.

It was very cool to finally try some of these things with other people, as I'm never quite sure if I'm doing something right when I'm following instruction from a book. Nothing covered was really new to me, which I think was good, as I could get straight to practically learning/improving.

After a brief introduction to the monastic orders and general way of life, we attempted centering prayer. We were instructed to remove our shoes (something I never have to be told twice - hate wearing shoes when sitting around, and the room was lovely with lots of rugs), and sit on the floor in a comfortable position but with a straight back. I have issues with the whole posture thing, so I cheated a wee bit by leaning up against a couch.

A helpful hint from the instructor was to use a timer. Otherwise compulsive types like me tend to be opening eyes to check clock every thirteen seconds. I was happy to learn when I got home that the watch I bought for the triathlon has a timer, with lights and lovely little bell. She also gave out "very powerful prayer tools" - earplugs! I've used earplugs for awhile, but generally to deal with snoring roommates on the road, never thought about using them for prayer. Makes sense tho - blocking out trains, traffic, dogs, my brother's radio in the other room (especially if the Whiners are on).

We started with six minutes, and it went rather well. After a few people discussed their experiences and we took a break. I wrote down the phrase and some stuff that came to mind in my notebook, but I don't think I will type it here. Suffice it to say that it was a good experience.

The next thing we played with, and I'll say played with because time was running short so we had no time to really experiment with them, was prayer ropes. I'd read about these in a couple places, and wanted one for awhile, but couldn't find one. I got a nice dark green one that is currently gracing the neck of Brother Ted (the monk bear I bought at Whitby Abbey). The instructor suggested as a use for them intercessory prayer, with each knot representing a person, and pray "Lord have mercy on so and so", which pretty much covers everything. I tried it this morning, and was amazed at what names came to mind.

The third thing we tried was the divine hours - chanting psalms. Was very cool. Half of the room faced the other, and sang the first couplet and then the other side of the room sang the second and so on, back and forth at each other. Absolutely gorgeous.

I signed up for both interest in starting a group to pray contemplatively, and interest in going on a retreat. So am very excited to see what happens next!

Friday, April 18, 2008


Picked up my wetsuit yesterday :) Then went immediately down to the village for Thai food with my fellowship group. One of the ladies in the group does restaurant promotions, and this was one of the places she's promoting. Which meant we had every appetizer on the menu, as well as all the desserts, and our main dishes. And huge Thai iced tea.

When I got home I decided to try on the wetsuit, figuring if it fits after an evening of stuffing my face, it will be fine on race day. Plus the Mets were in extra inning and I needed something to do while watching. The coaches recommend selling tickets to the first attempt to put the wetsuit on, as a fundraiser. Alas, I missed my opportunity, and had only Ronon Bear looking on in suspicious amusement.

A few piccies here. Could have used it today actually - the water at the gym was ice cold, apparently there's a problem with the pool's heating system. If only I'd thought to bring the suit - the temperature anyway gave me a good open water simulation tho I think.

Work tomorrow, then I need to decide whether to ride bike or go to a write in in Brooklyn, then ceili at 8. Sunday I am running in the NYRR run for the parks, and then slipping into the back of church and sitting downwind.

Now I will warm up my leftover Thai food - crispy chicken with peanut sauce - UberYum, and watch new Dr Who and BSG!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

sick day musings

Training was a complete bust this weekend. Yesterday's weather was gorgeous, but an allergy attack on Thursday has lead to a full scale sinus and chest thing, of which I will spare you more details. Went out last nite anyway, and a had a good time having dinner with friends from old church and then going to a praise night at new church.

The music was lovely but I couldn't get enough breath to sing properly and had a miserable ride home, as my train line is under construction and I had to do the subway shuffle. Went through an entire pack of tissues on the way home. Whoops, I said I was going to spare you more details didn't I?

This morning chest felt better but head did not, and I had to make a decision whether to go to church this evening or stay home. I wanted to go to church, I love going to my new church, plus it's communion Sunday and I love communion Sunday. But I finally decided that I would just be miserable and unable to concentrate, and make those around me miserable too with my constant coughing and blowing nose.

So I took it as a message from my body (and perhaps God?) to chill out and take a day. And here it's 6:00 in the evening and I am curled up on the couch my jammies with fluids and munchies and a Lord of the Rings Marathon on TNT. (Which I'm taking as another sign from God that it is totally cool to be home.) I have Stargate SG: Ark of Truth on loan and was planning to watch that, but, well, Aragorn + horse = nuff said.

I wasn't totally unproductive today. Over coffee this morning, okay really early afternoon, I read a few chapters of Karen Sloan's "Flirting with Monasticism." I took her workshop this fall at Off the Map and really liked her, so I bought her book.

In her chapter on Community a couple of quotes struck me: Talk about searching for a sense of community, "As the months went by I felt fragmented. Every life activity was with a completely different group of people.

That totally describes me. I have church people, Irish music and dance people, now triathlon training people, book club people, writer's group people, etc. Occasionally a person will cross over from one group to the other, but very rarely. And the people that know me best of all are miles, sometimes thousands of miles away. Which brings me to the next quote.

"Yet something is lost when we have to fly on an airplane - rather than walk across the street- to enjoy a meal prepared by friends." I would like to add that it is way more expensive as well.

Food for thought.

And now, back to Aragorn.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Have moved from the balcony. Tonight, I sat *downstairs* in the church.


Right, back to watching Blood Ties on DVD.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Training Update

Among other things.

Tonite is the first evening in about two weeks I've been home and had the house to myself. Ahhhhh :) So am watching POTC3, which I picked up in Targey today. All this water is going to give me plenty incentive to do my swim workout tomorrow. Too bad Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom won't be cavorting about in my gym's pool. Now there's an image tho, yes?

I'm at the halfway point in my triathlon training, and just filled out the recommittment paperwork. So if anyone was waiting for a closer date to support me, now would be a very good time :) I've updated the page a bit, and I'll have my mom take some pics of me with the bike Easter weekend, seeing as she did such a good job over Christmas. Barring a snowstorm or something, which given the weather lately is a possibility. There will be no swimsuit pictures.

I'm up to an hour running, still fairly slowly, swimming half mile in about 25 min, and biking for nearly two hours. Did one hour 50 min today, including stop lights and carrying the bike up and down the steps to the park. So, still have quite a ways to go, but when I look back to December when I could barely run five minutes, hadn't been on a bike in years, and had never learned to swim properly and efficiently (riding the waves at Jones Beach is not considered efficient), I've come quite a ways as well!

I have pretty much all my gear, and filled out the papers today for the (gulp) wetsuit. Had to give up and buy a proper swimsuit tho - the two old ones I've been using up at the pool are so stretched out, I feel like I'm going to float out of them at any second. But I found a suit on LL Bean for the exact price of the gift card I got for Christmas. So just had to pay shipping and tax. Hopefully it will arrive in time for Monday's group swim. And hopefully my old one will stay put on tomorrow's swim. unless Johnny and Orlando *are* there...

On the writing front, started an SGA fic, which at the moment is all dialog and needs to be fleshed out. Perhaps will be inspired to write during commercials tomorrow nite. Now, I'm just going to finish watching Pirates and then read some more Harry Potter fic.

Monday, February 18, 2008

le sigh and Great Success.

First off, we had bbq last nite, and a restaurant up in Harlem called Dinosaur BBQ. In case anyone doesn't believe you can get real BBQ in NY, i took pics. If you still don't believe me, have a whiff at the leftovers in my fridge ;) Only ate half my meal so I could get dessert. Mmmmm peanut butter pie!

Today I had big plans to go on a nice long bike ride. Started out well, sky was blue, temp was warm. TehJerry and I managed to get the cages on the pedals, tho his drill wasn't powerful enough to drill through the frame, so couldn't get the second water bottle holder and pump holders on. So took off for my ride, the cages worked great. Then after about six minutes, the chain fell off. *headdesk*. Back to house, TehJerry fixed the chain, and then storm clouds closed in. So I gave up and went to the gym. Did stationary bike for 1.5 hours, juuuuuuuuuuuuust shy of the 25 miles I need.

Came back and herein lies the Great Success - completed my first experimental sewing project, including breaking my first needle. *bows* Piccies here.

As I said over on Live Journal, I have named my new sewing machine Keller. No relation, at least I don't think so, to Dr Tim Keller of Redeemer. She's named after Dr Jennifer Keller of Stargate Atlantis, who spends much time sewing up members of the team, most notably a certain dreadlocked Satedan.

Now to eat my bangers and mash (the bangers being turkey franks) and watch Connor Chronicles while attempting to finish fic. If I succeed, I will have accomplished almost everything I wanted to this weekend.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I just discovered while reading someone else's blog that one can put one's yahoo avatar on. I've not been using Yahoo much lately since discovering pidgin, which signs me into yahoo, AIM, and live journal talk all at once. But who can resist a cute little piccie on the blog?

I've dressed mine up as best I could in triathlon gear. Might have to switch it over to Irish step dance stuff for St Pats, but have a month yet.

Right, back to watching Ronon and Teal'c kick posteriors on Stargate Atlantis, and then off to bed as I need to get up at 6 to go do the mucho frio run in Central Park tomorrow. *shivers in anticipation*

It's Friday, and I have the whole holiday weekend off!! *bounces* Tomorrow's plans are the group run (see above) and possibly a trip to Trader Joe's to break in Jumper One's cargo net. Sunday will be church and then dinner at Dinosaur BBQ. Monday I will. not. leave. the. house. *bounces again* I plan to play with my sewing machine and do some writing.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Ashes, Lent, and no clothes shopping

I got ashes today for the first time. I've wanted to for years, having always been fascinated by everyone walking around with dark smudges on their forehead proclaiming "I am a Christian" (at least for today). Last year to my embarrassment I totally missed Ash Wednesday, having just got back from vacation, so this year I was determined not to. I didn't have time to go to a full service during the work day, and tonight was my group training which I cannot afford to miss just now, so I found a catholic church near my last patient that was giving out ashes from 3:00 to 3:30, and went. After everyone got their ashes, we all said the Lord's Prayer, and went back out into the world.

I noticed for the rest of the day I was more careful about how I acted and spoke, with the ashes on my forehead. Sweated most of them off though during the group run, as it was almost 70 degrees and raining in Central Park.

I decided not to go too crazy during lent this year, as I am already giving up clothes shopping for the year, and fasting would be difficult with the triathlon training. So I will just try to eat more healthy, and give up alcohol. I'll only really feel that during my book club, and St Patrick's Day (Pat had some nerve being born during Lent!), but it will be a good detox from my England trip.

I bought a lent devotional book at Durham Cathedral, and did the first part today. It has a scripture, devotion, prayer, and journal space for all forty days. And I might type up any profound journal entries here.

No clothes shopping is going well, though am only into second month and have not really started to feel it yet. All I bought in January was the one pair of thin running tights (that I was very grateful for tonite!). Didn't even buy a tee-shirt at LOTR. (Got the hairy toes hobbit mug instead)

Having just bought a new car, there will not be much shopping of any sort, at least for awhile. I think I will use my next Amazon GC to get Pirates III. And I still need a little gear for the bike - flat tire kit and saddle bag. And the scary tri-shorts. Otherwise, I'm good to go.

*rubs sore feet* Well, maybe tomorrow...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What to read, what to read...

One of the most fun parts of getting ready for a trip is deciding which books to pack.

I've already decided what fiction book I'm taking to England - "To Green Angel Tower, Part 2", as I should have finished part 1 by Sunday. That's the only fiction book I'll take, because aside from the epic length of the book which should hold me, I have some fiction book shopping plans, namely the rest of the Stephen Booth series.

So, for nonfic I have three choices, freshly arrived from Amazon yesterday.
They are:

"A Community Called Atonement" by Scot McKnight
"Interior Castle" by St Teresa of Avila
"Flirting With Monasticism" by Karen Sloane

What to take, what to take...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bagpipes in church!

Tonight my worlds collided. In a good way. I get to church and am sitting there, reading the bulletin, quieting my thoughts, as one does, when the music starts.

My first thought - this sounds suspiciously like a reel. This is Irish. It *is* a reel. Then the pipes started. I look up. Wait a minute, I know that guy! The dude playing uilleann pipes I've met before. A couple of times at various traditional sessions around Manhattan. All Ireland pipe champion. What in the world is he doing playing in my church??

I know I shouldn't be as surprised as I was to realize I was not the only fan of Irish music sitting in the building. I tend to assume that all Irish musicians are either Catholic or Pagan, even though I am neither.

I confess my toe might have been tapping a wee bit too much *blush*. It was a completely Irish night. Reel mixed with a hymn for prelude, jig mixed with a hymn for postlude. Offertory was Amazing Grace, with the melody of "She moved through the fair" intertwined (might sound awful, but trust me, it worked.). And we also sang the hymn that has the same tune as "The Foggy Dew".

It was wonderful, and another vote in favor of joining this church. Unfortunately I didn't have a chance to go talk to the dude after, not that he would remember me. I hope he comes back!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Quote of the day

"God appeals to us through other good people, through sermons, or through the reading of good books." ~ Teresa of Avila

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Big Fun Scary Goal Post

Copied from my entry on the nanowrimo website, my Big Fun Scary Goals for 2008:

1. Fill in the Grand Canyon of Plot, and finish my nano novel.
2. Complete a triathlon for Team in Training.
3. Learn to use my new sewing machine, and make something I can wear outside the house.
4. Play the tin whistle in an outside the classroom setting.
5. Pick a church and stick with it.
6. Marry Richard Armitage. (oops, how did that one get in there??)

And so it begins...

The post Diane was waiting for *grin*.

I have a Robin Hood fanfic pounding my brain, but I need to get all my New Years posts done first while it is still New Years Day. So, here goes:

(drum roll please)

Today marks day one of the Year of No Clothes Shopping! And I didn't even buy coffee today, so we're off to a good start.


-gifts, gift cards
-souvenirs, tho they must be real souvenirs, not "oh what a gorgeous sweater and hey, I'm in London." Nope. It must have a British flag, and or a cheesy slogan like Mind the Gap. (and don't worry about me, I can find plenty other things to buy in London. Books. DVDs, SuperPoseable Guy of Gisborne Action Figure *ahem*)
-anything I make, once I figure out how to use my new sewing machine. Which means fabric and patterns are fair game.
- any remaining gear I need for my Team in Training Triathlon. I hear rumor of something scarily called "tri-shorts"...

I am looking forward to all the new and exciting things I will do this year, and wearing old clothes to do them! :D