Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Bedding Indulgence

OK, so normally I resist paying $60 for a sheet set (unless it's super-high thread count or something), but I just couldn't say no when I saw the Red Sox sheet set available through Brylane Home (ignore the fact that the display photo shows the enemy...). The sheets arrived yesterday, and they're SOOOOO cool! Red and white stripes all over with fab Red Sox pillowcases. A bit stiff, so they need to be laundered before we use 'em, but I can't wait to get them on the bed.

Perhaps they'll bring good luck to my boys as the season dwindles... And at this point, my beloved BoSox need all the luck they can get!


Comfort Food

So for some reason, E & I have recently been discussing Kraft Mac n' Cheese as a possible dinner option. I'm not sure if we saw commercials for it or if it was a simple craving for childhood comfort food, but we decided to give in to our baser instincts for a slightly-less-than-healthy meal and purchased the familiar blue and orange box on Saturday (actually, my childhood mac n' cheese was usually in the black and white generic box, but I often longed for the "real" thing that sat nearby on the shelf).

Of course, we also had to purchase some form of hot dog to include with the meal. I compared all of the hot dog possibilities at Safeway to find the one that was the most "healthy," i.e. fewest calories, least fat, least sodium, and most non-beef ingredients. Although my Mom always cut up the hot dogs & boiled them so each end of each slice plumped out once they were added to the mac n' cheese, I agreed with E to have him grill four of the 'dogs and then slice them post-cooking to stir into the cheesy goodness.

And yes, it was definitely a bowl full of cheesy goodness, perfectly complemented by the grilled hot dogs (and accompanied by some healthy fresh grilled tomatoes, carrots, and corn on the cob).

Yummy! Just as we remembered!

And since I'd done a 13-mile run that morning, I figured the carbos and calories were fairly justifiable. Hmm. Perhaps that should be my pre-marathon carbo-load dinner, too...


Sac AIDS Run Photos

Photos from last weekend's Sacramento Valley AIDS Run/Walk are now available under Race Events, including a picture of my being the first woman to finish!



Ah... the joys of participating in race events with small fields...

The Sacramento Valley 5K AIDS Run/Walk (5th year of the walk, 1st year of the run) was on Saturday morning, rather overcast and chilly. I needed to get in 10 miles total this weekend, so I got up early to do 7 miles prior to the 3.1 mile race, which was 3 laps around Capitol Park. I really wasn't sure how I'd feel at that point, but the 7 miles plus the half-hour break in between runs seemed just fine. My plan was to run the 5K with my "alternate blocks faster" strategy, and not only was I able to do this, but (wait for it...) I was also the FIRST WOMAN TO FINISH!!!

Yep, that's right, I was the overall women's winner of the 5K event with a time of 23:28. WOO-HOO!!! So of course I also finished first in my age group. And I finished 18 of 121 total. Not bad, especially considering my 7 mile "warm-up" prior to the race, hmm??!!

E took some great photos of each lap as well as the end when I got to "break through" a ribbon since I was the first woman to cross the finish line. I'll post the photos online sometime this week.

Not a bad way to start off a gray and cool Saturday.

Too bad things didn't go so well for the River Cats... We went to Game 3 on Friday with friends LNJ and G and then returned last night to sit on the lawn for Game 5 -- much delirium when the Cats tied it up in the bottom of the 9th, but we left after the 10th just as they were starting to get into trouble & heard the disappointing final results via the radio/Internet. Drat! Still a great season overall, though, just some sloppy play during the final home stretch.


Legislating Love

Good news on Wednesday! Go CA Assembly!

Bad news on Thursday... Boooooo, Ahh-nold!!!

I'm so tempted to approach the Governor the next time he's working out at the CAC to ask him to explain to my face why a woman shouldn't be allowed to marry the woman she loves or a man should be denied the right to marry the man he loves. When and how did politicians acquire the right and power to legislate love in this fashion? Who are they to determine that certain couples aren't as valid or meaningful as others?

And can someone please explain to me why it's just peachy for Britney Spears to take the idea of marriage so lightly that she hitches the knot in Vegas but ends the relationship less than 24 hours later and yet same-gender couples who have been committed to one another for years are deemed to be unworthy of marriage?

How can any thinking person even for a moment believe that this is appropriate?!

And for anyone who opposes gay marriage, I issue you a challenge: Explain to me how exactly you chose your spouse. How did you decide to love this person? What objective and rational criteria did you consider before you consciously told yourself, "I will love this man/woman and not another."? Please, explain this to me.

Because it's so obvious to me that we (of course) do not choose whom to love. Love happens. Love grows. Love develops for many, many reasons. But love is not a cold and objective decision that we can control at our whim.

I feel so lucky to have found my love, my life partner, my E. And I was fortunate enough to find a love of the opposite gender, so I didn't have to even think twice about our future together as a couple. But E could just as easily have been a woman, and then what would I have done? I wouldn't have loved her any less, but I also couldn't have gotten married.

Sometimes I feel guilty that it was so easy for me, that I can so easily "pass" as part of the straight majority even though I don't belong to that category.

No one should tell any loving couple that their love is somehow "less" than anyone else's. Gender doesn't matter. Love matters. And access to marriage - with all of the responsibilities, rights, and benefits - should be open to all.


Long Weekend

Aahh... That extra day is just soooo nice, isn't it? And since both E and I worked from home on Friday, the weekend felt even more extended. For anyone who's interested, here's a brief synopsis of Labor Day activities from Sacto:

I run my McKinley Park 8 mile-route before our drive to wine country - Russian River Valley (one of our favorite spots) - with a first stop at Foppiano on our way to J Vineyards just down the road. Foppiano was a pleasant surprise, with no crowds, a yummy estate Petite Sirah, and a pleasant self-guided tour through the vines just beyond the tasting room. J Vineyards had an "Aloha" theme for the Labor Day tastings, but most of the snacks contained either garlic and/or onions, so I couldn't enjoy them. From there, we headed into downtown Healdsburg for some lunch at the Center Street Deli, and we also discovered a neat place that hosts several local food artisans (wine, chocolate, cheese, olive oil) where E did an olive oil tasting. A final wine tasting at Rosenblum nearby, and then back home with a quick stop at the Reebok outlet in Vacaville and some errands at JB3 Sports and Best Buy in Sacramento.

A bit pressed for time in the morning, but E trekked to the garden and Farmer's Market while I did my cleaning and then we jumped in the car to go to the Rainbow Festival. I really wanted to see the cheer squads from San Francisco and Sac State, but we ended up missing most of their performance. Drat! We did enjoy the Sacramento Men's Chorus, however, and the variety of vendors at the street fair. Also ran into our neighbors, M & J, as well as Her Honor the Mayor, Heather Fargo. From there, we headed to Safeway for grocery shopping and then home for more chores and family phone calls. We did some minor food prep for the evening party hosted by D and J, and E made a modified Caprese salad that included fresh tomatoes, basil, and cucumbers (all from our garden). All we need now is a goat so we can make our own cheese... Good food, good company, and a good time at the party, and I think I sort of earned the unofficial title of "Ping-Pong Champion!"

Nothing major planned... just enjoy the extra time. But we decided to take advantage of some other Sacto weekend offerings, so we borrowed the bike pump from neighbors E & M to finally get our tires back in working order and pedaled to Fremont Park for the annual Chalk It Up! festival. We both agreed that last year's offerings seemed more striking, but we still enjoyed seeing which businesses or local VIPs had sponsored squares to raise money for kids' arts programs. From there, we biked down Capitol Ave to Old Sacramento for Gold Rush Days. The historic area was modified to simulate life in the 1850s, with folks in costume, wagon trains, and lots of horses and hay bales. Of course, a visit to Old Sac wouldn't be complete without a stop at Candy Heaven! Then back home to relax for the evening with a yummy roast chicken (slow cooked in the grill) and a bottle of Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel.

All in all, a lovely weekend, with great weather and activities.