Monday, May 30, 2011

Read About Stuff I Ate and Did this Weekend

My weekend started on Saturday with a 20 mile run, followed by chowing down on Indian food at Viks Chaat in Berkeley with my youngest sister who just got home from college, and my friend Allison who has an adorable picture of us as 5 year-olds on her blog here.

Pictured below are 6 of the 8 or more things we ordered and shared.

(Pictures "borrowed" from Yelp.  You didn't actually think I could photograph this well, did you?)

Sev Puri  (Contender for my fave dish)

Samosas (SO. hearty)

Dahi Batata Puri (Contender #2)
Bhatura (the size of a bowling ball)

Masala Dosa (also enormous
Lamb Roti (the only thing I did not eat)

Aaaaand, a few other dishes.  All this split between four people.  I'd guess I ate 57% of all of it?  Allison, maybe you can vouch for me here.  63%?  Way more than the 25% I should have been allotted.

Then my weekend continued, on Sunday, with another big feast in Oakland's Chinatown, at one of those crazy restaurants where dead chickens are hanging from the window, which is apparantly appetizing to some people.

Cutie Pie Panini was craving Juk (or Jook), a chinese savory porridge dish, so we hunted some down here.

We wisely chose to copy-cat all the regulars we saw sitting around us by ordering the Chinese Donut to start with.

It's like a donut, without any sugar

Panini ordered his Juk, which I think quenched his craving.



I love claypots, so I ordered the tofu and vegetable claypot.  What I received was tofu soup, with fishballs and one piece of cabbage.  So I frowned a lot.

Then we walked it off in Cost Plus, dreamily imagining we owned a house full of Cost Plus furniture, attacking all the British candy, buying a stack of marshmallows and desperately trying to make up a reason for it (maybe I'll bring it to my older sisters' baby shower?), and playing like goofballs with all the nostalgia toys.

Amazing Marshmallow Kabob

Close-up.  They have sprinkles.  YUM.

Playing with Kaleidoscopes

more

more

cute guy

and more

Then Panini showed off his cooking skills by deciding to utilize the rhubarb that came in our CSA box.  He made a cobbler with rhubarb, cherries, and a peach.  It was off the hook.  Here is my ugly photography skills picture of it, mostly eaten.

I think we all know that delicious food is sometimes ugly

Monday was of course followed by more eating -- BBQ style at my parents home in Napa -- but since I didn't take any pictures, I won't bore you with a long story about it.  We ate well, played Dutch Blitz (an addictive card game), and giggled over The Bachelorette.

Bentley.  Is.  INCREDIBLE. 

Look at that weasel.  So crafty

I always go for the villains.  Life wouldn't be the same without them, SO entertaining.  I loved Michelle last season of the Bachelor as well.

Adored her clips, which usually involved fist-punch threats

If you don't watch the Bachelorette, watch it next week for his ingenious cruelty.  He plans to make the Bachelorette cry, while ensuring his hair looks good...gosh, I'm horrible for enjoying it so much.

RUNNING

Just to prove I have a duty to eat as much as I did this weekend:

Saturday: 20 miles, steady and fun
Sunday:  3.5 miles of intervals with Panini
Monday: 16.3 miles, slow and easy

Random Question Attack:  Do you like Villians? This Bentley character? Juk? Indian Food? Marshmallow Kabobs?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Check Out My Packages

Beautiful dialogue we got going, I appreciate all the input.  I even appreciate the infamous anonymous attitudes, which I know is a right of passage for any blogger to receive.  I feel like a legit blogger now :)

RUNNING

This has been an unusually tame running week for me.  I blame it partially on being sick, and partially on being an insomniac who got on average, 3 hours of sleep per night all week.   My tired self just couldn't make it to my closet to change into running clothes in the evenings.

Friday20.5 miles.  Felt fantastic (and not sick yet), wanted to throw in a long run knowing I would be in Vegas the rest of the weekend. 

Saturday: Vegas.  Some mild dancing, mixed with strutting back and forth from swimming pool deck-chair to swimming pool bar.

Sunday:  Recover from the sleeplessness of Vegas.  Watch Bridesmaids the movie, give it two thumbs up for not casting Natalie Portman ;)

Monday: 10.5 miles.   I intended to make this about 18, but was sicker than I realized and my heavy head made me cut it short.

Tuesday: Jillian Michaels "No More Trouble Zones" which --> nice, sore butt.  Why is having a sore butt so satisfying?  uh oh, that's what...HE said?

Wednesday: None. 

Thursday:  Treadmill PR!  Precisely 8.4 miles in one hour, as follows:

  • warm-up for for 2-3 minutes at 7.5 mph pace. 
  • Bump up the pace slowly until I'm at 8.3 mph at the 15 minute mark.
  • Bump up the pace by .1 every 5 minutes
Minute     MPH
15-20        8.3
20-25        8.4
25-30        8.5
35-40        8.6
40-45        8.7
45-50        8.8
55-60        8.9

1.0 incline until the 45th minute, then 0.5 incline.

I wish I had gotten more of these great speed workouts in over the past few weeks, as I'm running the See Jane Run half marathon Next Sunday, in Alameda. 

1st place in each division gets a sweet pair of Asics that I have my eye one...and I'd really like a new PR, which means sub 1:30.

As long as I'm mentally in the right frame of mind, I know that is doable.  Just gotta stay healthy.

Speaking of winning a pair of shoes for placing first in your division...Look what came in the Mail this week!

BUBBLE SHOES.  I won these for placing 1st in my division at the Oakland Half Marathon.

Skechers ProSpeed Running Shoes

Bubble time


These are marketed for running.  Helps build speed, endurance, burn calories, make you land midfoot.  Something like that, I only glanced at the description.

After trying them on -- they are like walking on pillow clouds -- I immediately knew I would not be running in them. 

Maybe lounging like a gangsta in them, but not running


I can see how they might be good for someone who is running solely for the purpose of calorie burn.  They feel like you are running in sand.  There is this weird resistance with each step you stride.

But for anyone running more than 3 miles, or training for a race, or doing speed work, wearing these seems like a decent way to get an injury.

Walking in them is surprisingly fun though.  They're really comfy!  I just don't know if they're worth growing my running shoe pile, if they're only for the occasional walk.  Oh, and they're also a little unsightly...maybe neonblonderunner wants to get all over this?

Another thing arrived at my door today:

MY FIRST CSA (COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE) BOX!!



I got a gift certificate from my sis for Christmas/Birthday, and waited until it was closer to summer to endorse it.  Love summer fruits and vegetables...peaches, tomatoes, mmmm.

Here is what was in the box.

The whole lot

Close-up, clockwise from left: Bell Pepper, Rhubarb, Broccoli, lettuce, carrots, cilantro, grapefruit, strawberries

Clockwise from top right: corn, white radish, bock choy, cilantro, carrots

Best strawberries I have ever tasted. 



These make me want to jump on the "eat locally" bandwagon.   But in reality I will still be going to Trader Joe's most weeks.

Cutie-Pie-Panini made the recipe suggestion that came with the box, which utilized the corn, the cilantro, the grapefruit, and the bell pepper.  Freakin summer corn.  So good.

black bean, corn, and quinoia salad
 Now I think we all know why I'm not a food blogger.  That picture is...amateur at best

  • Is anyone running the Run Jane Run half next weekend?  Other races in the pipeline?
  • Anyone else suffer from insomnia and know how to make it go AWAY?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Biting the Hand that Feeds You

See the title?  I'll tell you why it's there.  Here's what's about to happen.

I'm going to express some thoughts that to some, may seem unkind, towards a certain amazing blogger.

A blogger who I owe an inordinate amount of gratitude, as she has without a doubt helped me connect with a large portion of other bloggers and readers.

I promise, I do not mean to be unkind or ungrateful.  This is just something that has been on my mind.  Freedom of speech, etc etc, so I'm using this open forum to bounce a few ideas around.


I swear I'm mostly sweet, so don't throw anything at me after reading this :/

The Topic:   
The Las Vegas Blogger Summit being Organized by SkinnyRunner and the Squires Group.


My Beef, in a Nutshell: 
Is this Summit just High School Hierarchy mixed with the ever-present Blogger Product Pimping?

Let's backtrack a moment.

As far as I understand it, the Squires Group is a company that makes running clothes, and their primary advertising technique is by affiliating with bloggers.  Strictly bloggers with big enough reader numbers for it to be worth it, of course.

The Company has teamed up with SkinnyRunner to produce a Blogger Summit the weekend of the Las Vegas Marathon, in Las Vegas of course.  

There is little information about this event as of date, so I am not yet able to form a solid opinion about whether it is something I am interested in forking over the money to attend.

However, that won't prevent me from preaching here the reasons why, with the information at my hands, I am turned off by this event.


If a facial expression had to represent my feelings about it, this might suffice

Or maybe this

The event seems to be centered around speakers.  Specifically, blogger speakers. 

A few select bloggers will get to speak at all the non-select bloggers who adoringly show up to learn the wisdom that the select bloggers have to share.

I don't know how the line-up of speakers was selected, but the existence of it makes me want to give the whole situation the stink-eye (see pictures above).

Reasoning: Bloggers are ordinary folk, almost by definition (obviously not including celebrities who have a celebrity blog).  Bloggers are your every-day joe-schmoe runner who shares their thoughts and happenings and some other joe-schmoe people tune in.

What I'm getting at here is, in the blog world, it is a level playing field.  We are all just average people.  None of us are necessarily experts, nor do we have to be in order to have a successful blog.

Yet for this Blogger Summit, a few blogs have been singled out as especially worthy of talking to me about running. 

I wonder what they can teach me?

Browsing through the list of speakers, I admittedly do not know a number of them, so perhaps they are incredible inspirations.

Perhaps they run sub-3 hour marathons and will teach me their training tricks, or explain how to balance family with marathon training with being a lawyer, etc.

But a couple of speakers that I DO recognize.... are not, in my reader experience, running sensei's.
  
I certainly won't buck up $, fly out to Vegas, to hear instructions (for the 400th time) on how to put a sliver of muenster cheese on a bagel thin

(ah haha, I kid.  But seriously, blogs documenting daily eats make me want to cry with boredom.  I don't even care to remember what I ate this morning, let alone see 18 close-ups of someone else's very average looking breakfast)

OK so what else can I learn then from the blogger elite? 

How much they looooove the Squires Group running clothing line?  How soft and amazing the shirts are?  Well NEWSFLASH product pimpers: until it is $10 per piece at my local Target, I'm not biting.  I'm perfectly content with my cheapie brand running shirts, or running in a $1 wife beater.

What else can I learn...aha.  How to be a popular blogger.  How to climb the ranks of the interweb hierarchy, and become cool enough to be invited to be a guest speaker at a running summit, where I will stand on a podium and speak to my minions! my sweet fans, you really love me!  Well yes, I do think the speakers invited could school me in this category.

In Summary

Ideally this summit would be about meeting other bloggers.  

There are so many bloggers and runners I want so badly to meet! Page, and Alyssa, and HauteRunningMama, and Diana, and Pam, and SkinnyRunner, and Nelly, and Janae, and Caitlin R, and (bikini) Katie, and TheRunnersKitchen, and....I could go on.  If you've ever read this blog and even liked it a little, I want to meet you. 

BUT I WANT TO MEET THESE ROCKSTARS without the status announcement!

As the Summit currently stands, I have too much pride to attend and be spoken at by people that I simply doubt have anything novel to share about running to someone (like me) who has been running for 15 years.

The ball is in your court: I know this is a controversial stance so I welcome your diverse opinions with an open mind.  Convince me why I should attend.  I also know that the Squires Group googles their name often enough that this will likely lead to a personal e-mail from them.

Anyone already planning on attending?  If so, why? and of course, if you've ruled out attending, why? 

And if anyone wants to attend the "all-running-bloggers-are-equal summit" I'm throwing, it will be held outside your front door or at your nearest treadmill, any day and every day.  Just put yo running shoes on, stride a few steps, and you're in!  :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Super Secret Giveaway Winner

This giveaway was announced, and instructions for entering it were given, in the "Cake Pushers" post.

It was announced very quietly, in the middle of a dense paragraph.

I did that because I was very curious how carefully readers read blogs.

One reason for my curiosity is that I often skim (as I mentioned before); another reason is that it is typical for comments to refer to something written at the very beginning or end of a post, so I wondered if the middle parts were read.

I was not trying to "hide" the giveaway from anyone, so nobody get upset. 

However, I do think it is nice to limit the entry field to those who actually read the full post -- and because they wanted to -- not because I titled the post "Giveaway!!!".

Altogether, there were 45 comments on that post.  38 of them saw the subtle giveaway mention, and entered the giveaway.


remote controls may or may not be included

I used a random generator, and if the random number picked was not one that entered the contest, I picked again (which happened once).

THE WINNER.  OF THE RANDOM ASS BAG OF THINGS I LOVE AND THINGS I DO NOT WANT (chopsticks and Dragon Tattoo Book) IS:


#12, Stephanie a la My Thorns Have Roses From one Rose blog to another, congratulations.

COME on Down!!!  You know the drill.  Email me at roserunnerblog@gmail.com with your address.  I will make it to a fedex office this weekend.

I have a post brewing in my mind -- something that I have been thinking about for a few days now -- that is surely going to make some of you hate me.  So now you know.  See you then!

Monday, May 23, 2011

A peek at this, A peek at that

Vegas was great.

Except for the part when my flight was delayed two hours.

And the part where I woke up with a cold on Saturday morning.

And the part where I came home and found out my car had been broken into.  I live in Oakland, it was only a matter of time.

And the part where I came home and found out my laptop was dead.  It seems to be permanent.  I guess the ole HP was saved during the rapture on May 21st.  So long laptop.

I'll share a couple Vegas pics, but should consult with the rest of the ladies before I post anything else...

First off: take a peek into our indescribably rad suite, booked by the best Maid of Honor in the world, and a complete surprise to us all.

The generous Maid of Honor, on the floor of the Bellagio

Our suite was in the Planet Hollywood hotel.  The theme of our suite was Batman & Robin

This creepy ensemble, worn by Jim Carrey as the Riddler, prevented me from falling asleep for over an hour the first night, because I was so creeped out by it.  It was watching me while I slept.

Try sleeping with that at the foot of your bed!

And this lovely portrait greeted me when I stepped into the bathroom in the middle of the night


Our delicious beds, strewn with lady clothes

And now, a peek into our adventures

Giving the thumbs-down to these man sandals

This should just never happen.

At Blush in the Wynn...we all disapproved of the music, and the douche who knocked a drink out of one of our hands, leaving glass all over the dance floor.

pre-partying in our fantastic suite

me somehow looking as greasy as if I had already danced for hours.  I had not.

Posing before a 1:00 a.m. meal at Cafe Bellagio

ROSES! 3 FOOT LONG ROSES!

look at those free spirits

My butterfly, soon to be a bride.

On to Saturday...we spent much of the day poolside, eating frozen grapes.

The girls reading mags, wearing sunscreen

Saturday Night...a special night -- I'm not sharing any details, except for this moment at the bar in our suite.
I had such a memorable time, even though we all felt a little distant (ahem...too old?) from the sluttiness that was dripping everywhere.

It's not the same as it was in our young, college, single days.  Now that none of us are single, when we hit the clubs looking our finest, we spend the night practicing our karate to fend off any flirtatious men.  

Moving on.  Hear ye Hear ye: YOU ARE NOW ON NOTICE that you have less than 24 hours to enter the SUPER-SECRET GIVE AWAY.

And here is a peek at what the winner shall recieve


Oh, not close enough?  Ok, here's a better peek



  • Huge ass jar of pure pumpkin.  Some bloggers love this stuff.  I don't (except for in baking recipes).  My loss is your gain.  It is HUGE, so if it costs me $10 in S&H to send this to the winner, I may just do a drop kick and let the nearest homeless guy gnaw on the metal.
  • Two boxes of Panda black licorice.  These have fueled many-a-morning run.  They are delicious, with a short and natural ingredient list, and we were gifted two pallets of these boxes (read: about 24 boxes in all), so I'm sharing the wealth.
  • Chopsticks.  A gift to me that I don't want, so hopefully you do.
  • A book that you have most definitely heard of.  I won this by brilliantly answering a trivia question correctly.  However, I already own a copy.  A fresh copy is yours, hoping the winner does not already own this book like 80% of the population.
  • Four See's lollypops.  I think I made it clear that I'm obsessed with these.  You get one of each flavor so you can begin to grow your obsession: Chocolate, Vanilla, Cafe Latte, and BUTTERSCOTCH.
  • One no-caffeine package of Orange flavored Gu Chomps.  I like these better than Shot Blocks, and regularly eat them before runs and races.
  • Anything else I choose at my discretion to throw in the bag.

Oh, and it will all arrive in this San Francisco zippered canvas bag.  It is less fuzzy in real life.

I will pick a winner at random within 24 hours, and I'm sorry but to be fair to those who have entered, I cannot tell you how to enter :(  mwuhahaha.  It is a SECRET.  But the answer for how to enter is discoverable.  So Tick-Tock, the Clock Begins...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Las Vegas Bound

hey hey hey, a lot of people do NOT skim while reading blogs! Nicely done!

I am not quite so virtuous.  I try to get some blog reading done in the evenings, and I usually have less than 45 minutes to read over 80 freaking posts (y'all who post multiple times a day are KILLING me!), so even the blogs that I truly love to read get the skim treatment from me most days. 

I would say I'm drinking in about 70% of the information that is posted.  Sorry :(  But now you know why some of my comments might make no sense! hehe.

I'm going to Vegas today to celebrate the last few weeks of virginity of my dearly engaged friend, Jennie ;)   It's her bachelorette!  

Jennie is my fellow butterfly.  I hope she doesn't dis-bridesmaid me for posting these:

I'm the rainbow butterfly, Jennie is the dark, sexy butterfly

Picture of a picture, sorry for the distortion

The last time I was in Vegas was the summer of 2008, with Cutie-Pie-Panini.  I'll let the pictures do the talking.

Hanging out in a seedy casino



acting like we are in Ocean's...12?  Bellagio fountain

This is the only time I have done a "jump" picture, and I hate it.  IT'S A STUPID TREND!

Tree is creepy

Winning

I have a history with Unicorns.  I'll explain it later


Panini looks European here.  Weird.

We met this 14 foot lady...

And this 6 foot man.  I shrunk to 2 feet.

We walked deliriously in 100+ degrees to a movie theatre that was supposedly 4 blocks away.  It was like 3 miles.

Just whatever.

And before that, I was in Vegas for one of my sisters 21st birthday party.

2007.  21 year old on the left, tan sister in the middle, me on the right

We're such hot sisters.  We're like Kate + Pippa + ....Emma (that's a british name, right?)

chowing

Oh vegas

Quality photo, I know.

When I return, I'll be posting about a super-secret giveaway.  Wink wink nudge nudge, to those who know what I'm talking about. 


Share your favorite Vegas or Bachelor/ette experience!