Friday, February 29, 2008

forgot the baldasty

Ok so I was going to write up a whole thing on media bias today. Then I forgot my Baldasty at home. I unfortunately do not have internet at home right now and thus cannot post from there. So I have to do it all at work...or a coffee shop. But I promise an intellectually stimulating post soon. haha

Instead, I thought I'd post this interesting little fight going on between Obama & McCain with a little moderating from Pres. G W Bush.

Here's how it went in my head:

Obama: There is no al Qaeda in Iraq. But if there is, then I would invade.
McCain: I have news for you boy! There is al Qaeda in Iraq. And it's Qaeda in Iraq.
(I laugh here. McCain has such a way of communicating.)
Obama: There was no al Qaeda in Iraq until Pres Bush & McCain said there was al Qaeda in Iraq and invaded Iraq.
Bush: Um...have you been living in America for the past couple years? al Qaeda is pretty much everywhere. We're in Iraq now to stop them from building a base. Oh, and al Qaeda in Afghanistan is the same organization as al Qaeda in Iraq. Just in case there's any confusion there.

There's your synopsis if you don't want to read the news articles :) but hey I linked the Washington Post, NY Times, and Wall St. Journal all in one post, so you should!

Also what do we think of Ralph Nader & his running mate Matt Gonzalez? you think our founding fathers intended us to have a 2 party system?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

natural-born citizen?

The President of the United States must be a natural-born citizen. John McCain was born on a military base in Panama. Does this disqualify him? The New York Times raises the issue, and this is my favoritie part of the article:

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and one of Mr. McCain’s closest allies, said it would be incomprehensible to him if the son of a military member born in a military station could not run for president.
“He was posted there on orders from the United States government,” Mr. Graham said of Mr. McCain’s father. “If that becomes a problem, we need to tell every military family that your kid can’t be president if they take an overseas assignment.”

I think it will be a travesty if this really becomes an issue!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

media bias

Oh, I cannot wait! to pull the Baldasty out on this one...too bad I'm at work or I'd do it right now. Who do you think the media favors? Obama or Clinton?

Or maybe the first question is, do you think the media has a bias at all?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

race results

Results from Charles Harris are in...don't worry about looking up mine ;) Nothing worth talking about! haha

But my friend Sammy turned out to be 5th place with a time of 31:57. Sick!

But I of course googled is what he looks like, and he may live in Marietta now, but it also seems like he spent some time in the A-U-G - small world! Also may be an Olympic hopeful...

McCain: take that obama!

Ok so he didn't really say "take that obama!" but might as well have. McCain says the war will end soon. Not in 100 years. Which as I can remember from the Texas debates, Obama took literally. For all his skill at making "good" speeches, you'd think he'd recognize a figure of speech when he heard one. Sorry...just think it's kinda funny! =)

Downtown Dash for Diabetes

Ok now that the 10K is done, time to look forward to my next race! My sorority's alumnae chapter is running in the Downtown Dash for Diabetes. Juvenile diabetes is part of our national philanthropy. And, my dad has diabetes, so yet again, here we have a race that I feel passionate about!

My fundraising goal was $200, and I just surpassed it yesterday! So yay, that is very exciting! But, that's no reason to stop raising $, and we have yet to reach our team goal of $500. So please visit my page if you'd like to contribute to a great cause! Proceeds benefit the Diabetes Association of Atlanta, and their mission is "Improving the quality of life for people with diabetes through screening, education, and medical assistance in a caring, responsive way."

It's just a 5K so I'm looking forward to it, not quite as nervous as I was for the 10K. Isn't that funny? I would never imagined myself ever thinking "It's just a 5K." How far I've come...and how far I've yet to go!

Saturday, February 23, 2008


Pictures from the run:

My first racing #!

Approaching the finish line - Ryan caught me in mid-air

Crossing the finish line @ 1:05:30

Post-race with Sean's picture

pure exhilaration

So I am done with my very first 10K!!!!! And my first race since high school, which seems like a lifetime ago. It was pretty amazing, and emotional! Here's the play by play...
5:35 am - wake up! brush teeth, throw clothes on, check & double check that I have everything (but later find out that I forgot things of course)
6:00 am - out the door
6:20 am - arrive at North Dekalb Mall shuttles, scope out other racers to see what they are taking with them
6:25 am - go to McD's to use bathroom & sit with Ryan
6:50 am - get on the shuttle! say goodbye to Ryan. Have my race # pinned on and my gel & Sean's picture in my hand.
7:05ish am - shuttle leaves, meet a new person on the bus who actually went to high school with one of my sorority sister - small world!
7:20ish am - arrive at Tucker High school, warm up. Ran around the parking lot a couple times slowly, did some strides, stretched a lot. Met a cool dude, #3, so I knew he was a fast runner, probably one of the "famous" ones. His name was Sammy, he introduced himself to me, I was a little starstruck! Ryan told me he was definitely in the first 5 people to finish, I think in 30 minutes? When the race results are posted, I'll figure out his name. He asked me where I was from, wished me good luck etc.
7:35 am - done warming up. I walk back towards the high school entrance only to see floods of people leaving. I guess we are lining up at the start now!
7:45 am - and we're OFF!!! In that very moment, I realized why I love running, why I ran track so many years ago. It's just this rush of excitement I get. I wasn't even competing, I just wanted to run the whole thing, but there was still a pure, exhilarating joy in starting a race, starting something big, and oh yeah! Starting something that means a lot to me - a race in memory of my cousin Sean, who died from leukemia. Took a look at his picture and folded it into my hand to carry through the race.
7:56 am - Pass the 1st mile
8:06 am - Pass the 2nd mile, feet are starting to get wet! :(
8:15 am - Pass the 3rd mile, water table! Ok so I have never tried to drink water while running...BIG disaster! I took one sip and water went all over me. ALL over me. So I was like...forget this. Threw the water cup in the trash can (boo to all you runners who threw your cups on the street! That's littering! Be a responsible runner!!). Then took my PowerBar gel. Such a weeeeeird sensation. I just squeezed the gel into my mouth and then kinda slurped it down. The green apple flavor wasn't too bad! It kicked in pretty quickly, I definitely felt energized afterward.
8:27 am - Pass 4th mile. At this point I start seeing runners running BACK to the start line. What are you crazy?!?! They had run the whole 10K and turned around to run back to the start line. Sick! I wonder if I'll ever be able to do that! Also I think it was at this point that there was a tent set up with the music from Rocky blaring over speakers. Two guys were there cheering us on. I don't know if they were affiliated with the race or what but at this point I started tearing up. I just started thinking about Sean a lot, and of being a kid and all the things we did, playing together and everything. And what things would be like now if he were still alive. And how I just don't think of him enough, I was so young when he died. But do we ever think about the past and get those feelings out, those losses that we go through together?
8:39 am - Pass 5th mile. Worked through the verging tears :) Now I'm ready to be done!!!! Volunteers, police officers, all cheering us on. It was really awesome! And then...water table #2! I decide to try again, this time I got 2 sips in before I choked on the 3rd. I am definitely going to have to practice this drinking while running thing.
a litte before 8:50 am - Pass 6th mile. I forgot 10K was 6.2 miles for a second and started to get annoyed - where is the finish line!? Because after mile 5 I started to pick up the pace a little more and pass more people...ready to be done. But oh no, there was still .2 miles to go! Duh!
8:50:30 am - 6.2 miles DONE. AWESOME. There was Ryan just yards away from the chutes cheering me on, taking pictures, the tears start welling up again! I swear I was never this emotional at track meets. I run under the finish line - 1:05:30! I'm happy =) Ryan is there at the end of the finish chute. I don't really know what we said to each other, I was so overwhelmed with emotions. I can't even describe them, but they were some of the greatest feelings in the world.
Post-race - took a last look at my picture of Sean...he was there with me the whole time =) what a great experience, getting to run a race with him!

Friday, February 22, 2008

deep thoughts?

try to think beyond Obama's speeches...anything there?

getting nervous

The hours are ticking away...I'm getting closer & closer to my first 10K. I was googling "running first race" and came across a cool blog:

Running Chick

And particularly her articles on Complete Running

Her 5 tips for running your first race, I found very helpful!

1 - Find the start & finish lines

Cool, I think I can remember to do this tomorrow.

2 - Bibs & chips

Bib pins to front, got it. Don't tear off the bottom til I'm in the finish chute, got that too. Don't pass anyone after you finish...sounds like common sense but something I would probably forget to do!

3 - Final check

20 min before race, make sure you have everything you need. Well, being a not so seasoned runner, I have no idea what gel & Body Glide are. Good thing I'm going to Sports Authority tonight! She also gives a little pre-race warm-up: 10 min jog, 10-20 sec sprints, light stretches. I was definitely wondering what to do about this. I was just going to show up, stretch, and get in line for the start. I wasn't really sure what else to do about warming up! But now I'll have to find a little area to do this in. Go to the bathroom! And try to relax. A lot to remember!

4 - Remember manners

Don't think this will be a problem. I intend to line up near the back with the other slowbies and take my time! I'm not in a rush, I just want to finish. Gradual start will probably help me! =)

5 - "All systems are go! Smile. Wish your fellow racers “good luck” and then run your little heart out! Run your little feet off!"

I love this...gotta run my little heart out and run my little feet off tomorrow!

McCain on Castro

McCain wants Fidel dead and doesn't think his brother Raul is much better. Harsh words or good foreign policy?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

texas debate - hm #5

moment of crisis? Describe the moment in you life you were tested the most.

Obama stutters...then describes the "trajectory of my life" the choices he made to become who he is. Used the phrase "bring people together" a lot.

Clinton "I think everyone knows I've been through so many challenges in my life...people ask me, how do you do it? I shake my head in challenges are nothing compared to what Americans go through every day...give others the opportunities and blessings I've beeng I've been given...what wakes me up every day...I'm honored to be here with Barack Obama."

I don't think either really answered the question. Or if they did...doesn't make me feel too safe if we ever have a crisis (like 9/11) situation again.

texas debate - hm #4

troops out in 60 days - clinton

wow...probably  not a good idea. do not like it!

obama taking mccain's "100 years" out of context. like we would really try to sustain a war for that long.

texas debate - hm #3

"I wouldn't be running if I didn't think I was ready to be commander-in-chief" Obama

Just because you think you're ready...does that mean you are?

Hillary's answer comprised the numerous countries & leaders she has worked with, her experience over the years, etc. Quantifying her experience, detailing it. That's the cold hard facts. Not just a nice thought about herself.

"al Qaeda are stronger now than they were in 2001" Obama
I'm pretty sure I've read recently in the news that they are not as strong and that things actually are going well in Iraq. We just never hear about that do we? I'll have to find sources after this debate is over.

texas debate - hm #2

obama wants mandates on healthcare & imposing fines.

clinton wants universal healthcare.

both are going to cost a lot of money!

and i already have i really have to start paying for other people's insurance too?

can it be optional?

texas debate - hm #1

So I am sitting here in my bed watching the Texas debate between Obama & Clinton. Yes I am a dork. And no, I don't have a working TV or cable. So yay for

So here is my hmmmm #1.

Obama wants to give $1000 to people who make less than $75000/yr. Nice for me since I don't make very much money. But where exactly is this money going to come from?!?! My guess? The taxpayers! Lofty ideas...not very practical or beneficial in the long run.

change in the air?

karl rove on obama's weaknesses

But is it too late to stop him? for once I am cheering for Hillary. Come on girl you can bring him down!

The highlights:

Mr. Obama had not been so effectively criticized before. In the Democratic contest, John Edwards and Mrs. Clinton were unwilling to confront him directly or in a manner that hurt him. Mr. McCain was rightly preoccupied by his own primary. On Tuesday night, things changed.

Mrs. Clinton can do much more to draw attention to Mr. Obama's lack of achievements. She can agree with Mr. Obama's statement Tuesday night that change is difficult to achieve on health care, energy, poverty, schools and immigration -- and then question his failure to provide any leadership on these or other major issues since his arrival in the Senate. His failure to act, advocate or lead on what he now claims are his priorities may be her last chance to make a winning argument.

The truth is that Mr. Obama is unwilling to challenge special interests if they represent the financial and political muscle of the Democratic left. He says yes to the lobbyists of the AFL-CIO when they demand card-check legislation to take away the right of workers to have a secret ballot in unionization efforts, or when they oppose trade deals. He won't break with trial lawyers, even when they demand the ability to sue telecom companies that make it possible for intelligence agencies to intercept communications between terrorists abroad. And he is now going out of his way to proclaim fidelity to the educational unions. This is a disappointment since he'd earlier indicated an openness to education reform. Mr. Obama backs their agenda down the line, even calling for an end to testing, which is the only way parents can know with confidence whether their children are learning and their schools working.
These stands represent not just policy vulnerabilities, but also a real danger to Mr. Obama's credibility and authenticity. He cannot proclaim his goal is the end of influence for lobbies if the only influences he seeks to end are lobbies of the center and the right.
Unlike Bill Clinton in 1992, Mr. Obama is completely unwilling to confront the left wing of the Democratic Party, no matter how outrageous its demands, no matter how out of touch it might be with the American people. And Tuesday night, in a key moment in this race, he dropped the pretense that his was a centrist agenda. His agenda is the agenda of the Democratic left.

For Mr. Obama, words are merely a means to hide a left-leaning agenda behind the cloak of centrist rhetoric. That garment has now been torn. As voters see what his agenda is, his opponents can now far more effectively question his authenticity, credibility, record and fitness to be leader of the free world.

so tired

I am so tired this week!

I ran 6 miles Mon, 5 miles Tues, 6.3 miles yesterday. After I ran yesterday, my legs hurt so bad. It was hard to walk! I ran 2 Pi Miles, which was considerably harder than running the flat Comet trail. oh well. This is only making me stronger, right??

So today I am taking a day off. Then tomorrow I will run a mile, stretch a lot, and eat some spaghetti. Then Saturday is my first race!

Monday, February 18, 2008

my new favorite place

The Silver Comet Trail

So first of all - I just ran 6 miles without stopping! Albeit slowly...the point is I made it!

And I did it in perhaps the most beautiful part of Atlanta I could have run. Seriously the whole time I was thinking, am I dreaming? Is this real?

Ok, a little backstory. So I have been doing really well, running about 4 times a week 3.1 miles or more. Lifting weights twice a week. Etc. But then, my birthday/Valentine's week rolled around. Veeeerrrrry hard to want to do anything when you are eating all the time & make fun plans to celebrate all week long. So this weekend I was really discouraged, b/c I had a long weekend (no work today! thank you presidents) and had not run Fri, Sat, or Sun! I felt like such a lazy bones. (or dundee bones as we kiwis like to call it) But today, I was like, I HAVE to run today. Kind of a do or die moment here. I have my first race this Sat and I still don't even know if I can run 6 miles without stopping! So I decided to run the Silver Comet Trail (or at least part of it, since it's 60 miles long and goes all the way to Alabama).

I get there and I'm like...hmm where do I park? where does the trail actually start? Everyone else seems to know what they're doing. There are a lot of bikers! (So I can't wait to take mine over there! maybe I will make "biking to Alabama" one of my life goals) I park. I stretch. I look up & down the paved trail. I still don't know which way to go. So I venture toward the restroom hut and there is thankfully a map. So I start running.

The trail is awesome. Flat. Paved. Wide. Mile Markers every so often. Friendly people, all sorts (bikers, dogwalkers, walkers, kids, older people, oh yeah and runners!). But the best part is you just don't feel like A. you are in the city. and B. you are working. It's enjoyable! Trees everywhere. Benches & rest areas every once in a while. Oh and awesome - bridges! You run over bridges! Like, old train track bridges. There is one point where I ran over the East/West Connector and looked back toward the East and thought, man, I have run very far! And then there is another point where you run under an old dark wooden bridge and the sound that is made when cars drive across is scary! But scary cool. I guess what it all boils down to for me is that this trail is interesting. There are so many things to take in & enjoy that you don't realize how far you are running or how long you've been gone. I ran the 6 miles in about an hour. Not bad. But it didn't feel like that long at all. All I could think about was how blue the sky was, how pretty the arch of tree boughs over the trail was, how cute that person's dog was, how neat this bridge looked, how serene that creek looked, how pretty the sound of it gurgling...

Ok I was channeling Thoreau there...point is the Silver Comet Trail is by far the coolest thing I have ever run on. It beats the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and anywhere in Atlanta. In essence, it's just a paved trail through the woods. But it's a getaway, it's a mile & confidence booster, it's a secret. I love it!

And now I feel like this weekend wasn't a total waste, it was just a weekend of rest so I could conquer 6 miles of the Silver Comet Trail =)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

review: Bella's Pizza

Bella's Pizza
date of visit: 2/16/08

taste: 2.5
service: 4
ambience: 3.5

So Ryan & I are on a quest to find the best pizza in Atlanta. So far my favorite is Pero's. But I won't talk about why because this post is about Bella's. We've been reading reviews etc and have a short list of pizza places we want to try in the near future. We happened to be hungry late at night and pizza was what we wanted, so we decided to try a new place. Bella's is on Atlanta Rd. right on the edge of Vinings/Smyrna. So, not more than a 10 min drive from my apt.

Now, for me, the perfect pizza is all about ratios. Besides being great tasting, you have to have the right ratio of sauce, cheese, and crust. This is where Bella's failed me. The taste was not all that bad, and I was able to get one of my favorite toppings - eggplant. As in fried, like what you would get for eggplant parmesan. Sounds kinda gross but I promise, it can be soooo good. Bella's did not disappoint on the toppings front. The eggplant, besides being an option which is amazing in itself, was very tasty! Ryan got fresh tomatoes which were equally delicious. However, the pizza ratios were just not right. Not enough sauce, and toooooo much cheese! Like...globs of it. Not good globs. Gross globs. And the crust...oh the crust. The crust is often my favorite part! some pieces had a good amount of crust, other pieces had less than a centimeter of crust at the end :( And the crust, while lightly baked (which I prefer), was pretty tasteless. Same with the sauce. Or maybe, they did have a good flavor, but the cheese was just so overpowering I couldn't taste anything else. Who knows?! It was very frustrating b/c I wanted to like Bella's so much, just for the toppings.

The service was pretty good, our server was a nice, attentive guy. Good on getting us refills. The atmosphere was really nice, very  neighborhood hangout. They have some great specials too that I would like to try - weekday happy hours where you get a free slice with a drink. yum! So Bella's...just kind of your average homey pizza place. I rate it above Fellini's but below say...Giorgio's or Pero's.

Friday, February 15, 2008

review: Six Feet Under

date of visit: 2/15/08


taste - 3.5

service - 4

ambience - 4

Mmmm I love seafood. My coworkers took me here for a late birthday lunch. We actually wanted to go to Carvers but it was closed! So this was our back-up. I wasn't disappointed though! We visited the Westside location on 11th Street. Getting into the parking lot/valet (complimentary) was a little tricky. We entered the restaurant to see a very busy lunch crowd. We were promptly seated though, no wait. Had a booth near the bar, which looked very cool, very open. Apparently there is also a rooftop patio that I'll have to check out when it gets warmer.

Our server was awesome, very attentive and shared his favorite picks on the menu. I don't really like catfish, but he said they are known for it, so I tried it. I had the combo taco plate - 1 each of fried calamari, blackened shrimp and catfish. The fried calamari taco was my favorite! Followed by the shrimp, and the catfish. The calamari was very tender, and the cojita cheese complimented it very well. The shrimp alone was very good, but the cucumber wasabi and fried leeks were kind of a strange taste. I didn't think it really complimented the shrimp. But still good. The catfish...was good for catfish. I just don't like catfish that much. The tacos came with a side of salsa (nothing to write home about) and homemade potato chips. The chips were pretty good, especially the ones that were like whole air bubbles. mmm.

My coworkers had a veggie plate and a crabcake po boy. The crabcake po boy was huge, basically exploding with food. The veggie plate didn't look too bad either, the fried okra was actually whole okra, not the tiny little slices.

And one last note, the first cup of sweet tea I had was pretty average. But the refill...oh my goodness. The nectar of the gods. I had to get a to go cup, I just couldn't bear to see such great sweet tea go to waste!

I will definitely be back, good food and such a big, diverse menu. There are so many things I want to try!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

review: Canoe

date of visit: 2/13/08

taste - 5
service - 5
ambience - 5

My boyfriend took me here for Valentine's, and he could not have made a better choice. I think this has just become my favorite restaurant in Atlanta.

We arrived, valeted (complimentary) and entered the restaurant. The word "Canoe" is arched over the opening in lights, looks very cool. When you enter, the lobby is small, only one bench to sit on by the hostess stand. It opens into a cozy little bar area. There is a canoe hanging upside down from a recess in the ceiling, and a canoe standing upright with a mirror in it. Guess that's where the name comes from, huh? But it's very cozy, feels like a lakehouse or cabin. The wood & carpets are very warm and inviting.

Our reservation was for 8, and we were promptly seated. My boyfriend was addressed as "Mr. Duckworth" and the host offered to check my coat. Yay! Was not expecting that. We were seated in a back corner table along the window. Ryan got a black napkin for his pants, which he loved. I wish it had been light outside so we could have seen the Chattahoochee River. I have heard a lot about how beautiful the view is.

Our server got our drinks, recommended some wines. We settled on a Cab Sav, but then our server told us the specials. After she left to put the drink order in, we discussed how we were both leaning toward seafood. So when she returned, we asked if it was too late to change our wine order. She had already put it in but had no problems changing it for us. Phew! We settled on an Eyrie Pinot Gris from Oregon. Canoe is currently featuring the Eyrie wines, and their Pinot Gris is apparently America's first. We were not disappointed.

Before our appetizers came out, the bread basket came around. We tried the sourdough and the cheese focaccia. Sourdough was good, but the cheese focaccia was amazing. Very rich cheese crust on top. The bread was dense and buttery. Neither bread really needed butter.

Then our appetizers came out in split courses - nice touch! First, the mussels. We each had 6 on each plate, which was the perfect serving, and cooked perfectly. The sourdough bread was great for soaking up the exquisite broth (ginger, soya, and coconut-lemongrass). Our second course, the house smoked salmon. Canoe smokes it on site. And, they know how to pick good salmon. Delicious! Great mix of textures, the smooth salmon, goat cheese, and very crispy potato cakes. Sometimes the cheese could be a little overpowering though, and the cakes too thick. I would have liked to enjoy the salmon by itself. There was also a bleu cheese sauce on the plate that wasn't really necessary.

Ah, the entrees! Beautifully plated and larger portions than I was expecting! I decided to try one of the specials, seared arctic chard with asparagus and meyer lemon risotto. I have never tried arctic chard so I was being very adventurous! It was a lighter pink fish, comparable to salmon. So yummmmmy. The risotto was also cooked perfectly, Chef Ramsay would approve (he is always calling people donkeys for getting his risotto wrong on Hell's Kitchen). The meyer lemon was very faint. Ryan got some Chesapeake bass with creamed potatoes, black trumpet mushrooms, and truffle butter. His was also good, very suited to his palate as it was considerably more salty than my fish. Not oversalted at all, just more salty. And we all know how much Ryan LOVES salt. Also during our meal, we watched our server filet a whole snapper tableside. She was very skilled!

At this point in the meal, we were stuffed. But, we had to get dessert. Ryan had Guinness cake with mulled cider sorbet. I had 3 scoops of ice cream - mint, vanilla, and cinnamon. The mulled cider sorbet was awesome. I would love to have that as a frozen drink every day. The ice cream was also good, especially the mint. It tasted like someone just pureed mint sprigs and magically turned them into ice cream. So fresh & natural.

And thus ended our first visit to Canoe. I love this place. It's everything you want in fine dining, without feeling pretentious.

Monday, February 11, 2008

review: california dreaming

California Dreaming

Augusta, GA
visit: 2/10/08 - my birthday! :)

appetizers - 5
entrees - 4
service: 3
ambience: 4

We went to California Dreaming for my birthday lunch right after church on Sunday. We entered the lobby to find a 20-30 minute wait, which was fine. We didn't have to wait quite that long, and we were seated at a nice big table. Unfortunately, one of the chairs was greasy. Ryan cleaned it off with a napkin, and then our waiter appeared. He was alarmed at the greasy chair and said he would bring Ryan another napkin, however the napkin did not arrive until our entrees came out. Our waiter was a little slow getting our drink order, getting the drinks, getting the napkin, getting things in general. But then we figured out why. Shane was mentioning how capers taste like car paint (don't ask) and the waiter magically appeared. Hearing the word "paint" he told us a story about eating paint as a child in school. And then he told us there was lead in the paint. So then we knew why the service was not so great at times.

Other than our spotty service, the food was good! We started with seafood nachos (shrimp, salmon, and lobster cream sauce) and the most amazing croissants you will ever have in your life. They taste like little clouds of heaven, almost the consistency of cotton candy. Light, airy, golden, with honey butter drizzled on top. Really, they could be a dessert. The seafood nachos were awesome - plenty of salmon & shrimp, with a perfect cream sauce, dill and capers. So I give the appetizers a perfect 5 kiwis. Delicious and filling - probably could have ended the meal here.

Next up came side salads, accompanied with more croissants! Yum! The salads were a good size, but too much yellow lettuce. I prefer green. Garnished wtih the usual suspects - tomatoes, bacon bits, eggs. Pretty good.

Out came our entrees. There was a little confusion on who got what, I get the feeling our waiter didn't quite put in the seat #s correctly on his ticket. But everything came out hot & delicious. I had the 11 oz prime rib, cooked medium rare and absolutely delicious. Tender and flavorful. The au jus was also good, but honestly the prime rib didn't even need it. Had mashed potatoes on the side, also very good with the skins still on some of the potatoes. Ryan had fried flounder with fries that he enjoyed. The batter was a little different from what he was expecting, but still good. My mom had a rack of ribs, they were excellent. the meat was falling off the bone, and the rub/sauce was sweet and tangy. Not drowning in sauce either. The other 2 people in our party had the grilled chicken salad and bbq chicken. No complaints there.

To end the meal, the waiters came and sang to me - did not want this. I don't know who's idea it was. I got a free cup of ice cream, woohoo! I ate maybe a spoonful. Slow getting the check, then found we got charged for a coffee that my mom ordered and never received. Slow fixing that, slow running the check. Our waiter was really good at running away and making us think that he was coming back soon...but at least all our orders were right and he was funny. So I give the service a 3.


Ran 4.25 miles yesterday, wasn't too bad! too many hills :) 2 weeks til my 10K. really need some new shoes!!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

extreme emotion

Does anyone else find this disturbing in the least? I am sure that Obama is a good person, this is nothing against him. But...he has this cult of personality, it creeps me out. Why is Hollywood giving him so much money? And does that really appeal to the American people? I don't really think of Hollywood as having a good grasp on reality. They have lots of money, do whatever they please, etc... And this is coming from someone who works in TV, albeit on a small level. I'll just have to give this some more thought...I don't understand these videos. I get that they're supposed to be funny. But is this the time to make fun of our political system? This is a serious election. This is a serious decision for each and every American (over 18).

Or does anyone find this a little disturbing?Maybe some of you grew up with the things that I did. The Focus on the Family radio show for kids - Adventures in Odyssey - was one of the coolest things ever, better & more exciting than TV shows to me. Stretched my imagination. Then Brio...the girls magazine that I read cover to cover every month. The books my parents read to save their marriage, our family, etc. So you can imagine the respect I have for Dr. Dobson.

But I find it troublesome that he's endorsing Mike Huckabee. Why? Huckabee is conservative in pretty much only one way - his morals. I think that is the folly of the Southern conservatives. They voted for Huckabee based solely on his conservative moral values. We tend to get things confused...Conservative does NOT mean in morals only. To be a true Conservative, you have to face it on several fronts: moral, yes, but also economic, national security, etc. Really, I look more for a candidate who is conservative in the economy first. I don't want the government taking my money and then spending it foolishly. Why couldn't Dr. Dobson have endorsed Mitt Romney? Was it the Mormon thing holding him back?

I guess the thing that irks me the most is that it doesn't really matter if the President is a Christian or not. Christian voters - evangelicals if you will - shouldn't be so enthralled with religion in elections. Instead, just vote for the candidate whose platform most aligns with the values of Christianity. It doesn't matter if the candidate is Christian or not, although it probably helps.

So really I've just been thinking of the extremes of emotion in this election. One one hand you have the people who are swept away by the Obama inspiration & hope. Never mind a hard look at what "hope" he offers or what we have to do to get there. On the other hand you have the moral conservatives who are swept away by the promises of a Baptist minister. When are we going to learn to vote with our heads and not our hearts?

To close...a cool quote from Benjamin Franklin. A man who may or may not have been a Christian. I encountered this in a Bible study I've been going to, and found it very very appropriate for this season:

In the beginning of the contest with Britain when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. ... And have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance? I have lived for a long time (81 years), and the longer I live the more convincing proof I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall proceed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel.

1787 Speech to the Convention for Forming a Constitution for the United States

Thursday, February 7, 2008

some good thoughts

I like this guy's take on today's events...

Conservatives on the Verge of Nervous Breakdown

Makes you rethink everything...time to collect thoughts and think reasonably about the future! It's not the end of the world...yet.


For all his optimism yesterday, I really thought he would go all the way, and that the tides could possibly turn for him.

But now...he's out of the race. I admire his character so much. And I guess it is in the best interest of the party for him to step aside. McCain will need the help.

Mitt Romney suspends White House bid

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

running break

So I was about to update links for my previous post...but then I thought it would be better to have a quick break to talk about running. Don't want to get too burned out on politics this early in the year ;)

While in Augusta Monday night, I went for a run around the neighborhood. How different it was from my regular runs around GT and Atlanta Memorial Park!

- the air - it smells soooo good! I can't even tell you how good it smells. I seriously did a little leap from my driveway to the street I was so happy when I smelled the air. It just has this sweet fragrance to it that you never ever get in Atlanta because of all the pollution.
- the quiet - it was only 9:30ish when I went for a run, and I saw 2 cars the entire time I was out. Everything was still...I heard crickets.
- stars! I saw stars!!!!
- insanely hard hills. Let's just say I was gasping for air after the last hill up to my house. I had forgotten how steep they can be. But when you're done, you feel awesome!

Bottom line - running in Augusta is a lot more fun than running in Atlanta. You just feel better while you're doing it! Breathing is easier, your legs feel lighter, maybe you even get a spring in your step. Or maybe I was just happy to be home :)

initial reaction

Initial thoughts on Super Tues I sat and watched the returns come in at Mitt Romney's campaign get together at 10 Pin Alley last night. Cool place! Wish it could have been a more joyous occasion...

- Mitt Romney - man just can't catch a break! Could not believe what happened in West Virginia...
- Conservatives? Maybe they don't exist any more?? From McCain's wins and frontrunner status, it seems that no matter what the pundits say, he's the choice of Republicans. Maybe there aren't really Conservatives in the Republican party any more? Just wondering...
- Mitt Romney still in this thing. Says he'll go all the way to convention and then to the presidency. Bold words! But maybe his situation isn't as bad as the media would have us to believe. He is still 2nd in delegates, Huckabee had some good wins last night but not enough to overtake Romney. Huckabee says this is a 2-man race between him and McCain...not sure he checked his numbers on that one.
- I'm so proud of Columbia County. The little dark red Romney county in the Augusta area that was surrounded by McCain red and Huckabee pink on CNN last night. Yeah, that's my stomping ground!
- Rush Limbaugh would rather have a Dem in office next term than McCain, reasoning that he'd rather have them mess it up than the Republicans. Interesting...also interesting is Dr. James Dobson refusing to vote if McCain is the nominee.

More thoughts to come...I'll add links to this later. Class time!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


I want to encourage everyone to vote today, but please please please do some research first!

As I was driving back into the city today, I was listening to The Bert Show and they had a segment where they asked people a series of pop culture and political questions. Of course...most people only knew the answers to the pop questions, which ranged in answer from Britney Spears to Heath ledger to Soulja Boy's hit song. I don't know if they purposely pick people who might not look they watch/read the news, or if they feed them answers. But these people didn't even know that today is called "Super Tuesday" and one woman thought Oprah was running for president.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised since it's 3:35 and the top story on right now is "General Hospital actress dies." It's the most popular story, beating out 5 Super Tuesday-related articles.

If you don't know what you're voting for, maybe you should skip the vote. If you have a minute, it's not that hard to look up the candidate websites and get the info you need. Or, if you do decide to vote blindly, don't complain for the next 4 years about anything political.

Here, just to help:
Barack Obama
Hillary Clinton
Mitt Romney
Mike Huckabee
John McCain
Ron Paul

Go vote! You have a few more hours in GA to do so!

a super tuesday to remember

Just a shout out to my sister Holly for waking up at 6 am to vote with me when the polls opened at 7! What a cool thing, I'll carry the memory with me the rest of my life. I've never actually voted in person before - always by absentee. So for my first time to the polls, I got to go with my younger sister! Awesome. Not to mention we had some great political conversations on the way. I only wish the morning could have lasted longer. My sister's a smart cookie!

Now you ask me why in the world I was in Augusta to vote...yeahhhh I'm dumb. Forgot to change my registration in time when I moved to my new place. So I drove to Augusta last night, woke up and voted, and drove back to Atlanta to make it to work at 9:58 am. I made it 2 min earlier than I thought I would, hehe!

tale of 2 rallies

My observations on 2 Republican rallies held prior to Super Tuesday here in Atlanta.

Saturday 2/2 - 12:30 pm - GA Capitol

Ron Paul

Ron Paul was not actually in attendance, but his son Rand was. Unfortunately, I completely missed Rand's speech. So this report is incomplete. We arrived at the rally, the stairs were packed on the West side. We were greeted by several sign holders, a pair holding up a huge joint, a man holding up a Ron Paul blimp, and a patriotic RV that was driven by the Granny Warriors. Fox News covered the rally, no local stations.

What portions we did hear of the rally that stuck out to us:

1 - Libertarian presence - a prominent GA Libertarian (sorry, didn't catch the name) gave his support to Ron Paul. LOTS of Libertarian supporters there.

2 - Ways the secure your vote - what do you think happens when you vote in the electronic booths? We heard from one speaker that your vote may not really be counted! Not sure how I felt about this, but considered it a valid question. The speaker recommended voting absentee, so at least there is a physical record of your vote. He also recommended going in a big group of other similar voters, voting at a certain time of day at the same machine, and going back at the end of the day to check the counts on the machine you all used. Apparently this is legal (never knew that!) Conspiracy theory or valid point? You decide.

3 - Song time - the rally ended with a singer/songwriter from Fayetteville who played a bell, harmonica, and guitar all at the same time. He sang about why we should vote for Ron Paul. I have never seen/heard anything like this before. If I had been alive during the Vietnam War, I might say that it reminded me of those protest songs. The song was original and heartfelt, and probably the most appropriate ending to this rally.

After the rally was over, we heard some Ron Paul supporters planning on meeting up at John McCain's rally later that night with their signs. Awesome.

Monday 2/4 - 12:00 pm - Ga Tech Hotel

Mitt Romney

What immediately stuck out to us at this one was the amount of press. There were several remote trucks for various local & national stations. There were rows upon rows inside the salon reserved for the press. There was also a table outside with info on phone banks, results party, stickers, etc. We arrived on time for this rally and squeezed up to the front, where incidentally, we ran into one of my best friends from college. We got pumped through a couple pre-speakers telling us why they're endorsing Mitt. There was a large group of supporters on stage with signs etc. Then the music plays and in comes Mitt! Everyone goes crazy. The room is so hot with all the people and lights.

What we heard that stuck out to us:

1 - amounts/types of cheering - lots of spontaneous "let's go Mitt" cheers and then speaker led cheers i.e. "are we gonna vote for someone who voted against tax cuts?" "NOOOO!!!"

2 - Mitt's calm & collected demeanor the whole time. You would never guess that he was behind McCain in delegates right now. Every word, part was crafted to drive the point home that he is THE conservative candidate.

3 - Lots of interesting thoughts presented. Governor of a Blue state, able to work with Democrats and effectively get things done. Will stay in Iraq and wants to build up the army - compares himself to Reagan here. Mentioned his success in business several times, and that McCain admitted the economy was not his strong suit. Wants to secure our borders, no amnesty to illegal immigrants, "wait in line" he says.

So two very different rallies, two very different candidates. One Republican nomination up for grabs. Who will it be?!

Monday, February 4, 2008


super tuesday in t-minus 13 hours. exercise your right to vote! i don't care who you vote for...well that's not entirely true. but the point is...VOTE!!!! it's what makes our country awesome.