Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
"Hillary Clinton couldn't get in because of sniper fire and Senator Obama's at church."
Bush at the White House Correspondent's Annual Dinner
Friday, April 25, 2008
I went for a run yesterday evening, and although I have run this particular route countless times, I felt like I was seeing it for the first time. It was so green. Green, green everywhere. The way the trees and plants draped the roads, green was all I could see. At some points, the trees were so tall, they made a kind of a canopy over my head. Almost like a cathedral ceiling.
But as I ran, I thought "man, it's so green...it's almost...fake?" Like someone had painted everything this vivid bright green. But of course that doesn't make sense, because the trees, the plants, the grass - this is the real world. But I am so entrenched in my everyday life, my repetitive thoughts, my numb senses. That I actually get out to the real world and I can't even fathom it being real. Being so green. Seeing those colors and the depths of them. How the color green that I think about every day pales in comparison to the green I saw yesterday.
Before my brain goes on overload trying to wrap thoughts around nature & reality, think about what this means in different areas of life. So for Iraq...we have been there a long time, and all anyone can think about is how we need to leave, how tired we are of death, the list goes on. But have we, as Americans, become so entrenched in anti-war thinking, that we can't see the reality over there? Only a privileged few know what is really going on over there. But what about the stories of hope? The new freedoms established?
Or what about the presidential campaign? When will we extricate ourselves from the emotions and critically think about the issues at hand? What is the reality of this campaign? What does it mean practically for each one of our lives?
Or what about our 9-5 lives? I must confess, mine wears me down and dulls my senses. How can I break out of the doldrums and feel something fresh? Feel something real? My short run through the green, I felt the enormity of the world. It's huge. There's so much out there. There are more real colors to see, and more real experiences to have. Life is so short...and there's so much more I want to do!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
date of visit: 4/20/08
I love the Braves. So that automatically makes me love the 755 Club. But even as fun as it is, the food & service isn't that great. If you're not a Braves fan, it's definitely not worth it ($30 buffet in the dining room, or $10 sandwich/bar food in the bar area).
First off, you have to be a member of the club, or use someone's tickets to get into the club (I fall into the latter category. It's one of the few perks that makes me like my day job, hehe.) Then, if you want to do the buffet, you have to have a reservation, no walk-up seating. You don't have to do reservations for the bar area, but then the line to be seated is often very long, and people like to take their time.
The buffet is nice...I've had dinner and brunch here now, and dinner definitely has more choices to it. I especially like the cheese buffet and sundae bar that you can get at dinner. But this past weekend we had brunch, which was a little cheaper and not as good. There is a buffet with all kinds of carbs (danishes, waffles, bagels, etc), then a buffet with a lunch type entree (ours had orange glazed red snapper with couscous - I really enjoyed this!), a scrambled egg bar with various toppings (the eggs are fake so I wasn't really into it), a salad/fruit bar, and a meat bar (bacon, sausage, and a carving station with ham). Dessert is separate from the buffet service & costs extra. It's good food, just not spectacular food.
The service is just average as well. Our host was nice, but then we didn't actually see our server until halfway through our first plate. We got plates and waters from a busboy. Our server was a little slow on getting us drinks, and then he asked us if we needed ketchup while he stared at the ketchup bottle already on our table. He wasn't quite all there if ya know what I mean...
But ambience. How can you beat being on top of an awesome ballpark with a great view of the whole field. Watching batting practice...being there before a game with all the excitement and pregame fanfare. I love it!
Here I am at our table in the awesome sunshine (the weather was perfect - sunny & a cool breeze):
Thursday, April 17, 2008
"Last night we set a new record because it took us 45 minutes before we even started talking -- until we started talking about a single issue that matters to the American people," he said.
So let me get this straight...you're discounting the continuing controversy over your pastor and your own remarks about the American people being "bitter." Not important for us to talk about? Really? Don't you want to defend your character & remarks? Or are you afraid of digging yourself an even bigger hole?
Yes the issues matter. I would love to hear more about how either of you would deal with our floundering economy. I am really tired of hearing about Wright, but obviously, the American people are not tired of hearing about it. Because they want to know, and I do too, if you have the character needed to be President.
Do you love America? Do you love the American people? Do you pledge to uphold American values? Do you even know what those values are, outlined by our forefathers so long ago?
Or do you like making the race divide wider? Or alienating the hard-working, hard-pressed Americans?
I just can't relate to Obama, and he can't relate to me. Maybe this is why he doesn't want to debate any more, when he doesn't have a polished speech ready to go and he may say some more revealing (damaging) comments.
date of "visit" (we got take out): 4/12/08
ambience: n/a - had takeout, it's a really small space
So the search for a perfect pizza continues. And it doesn't end with St. Angelo's. This place was just average. The crust was good, sauce was good, toppings were fresh and good. But it just wasn't spectacular!
We called in our order, and I have to say that the girl who took our order was not the brightest. First we got put on hold, and then she would repeat questions about our order. We had our worries, wondering if everything was going to turn out ok! But it did...although when Ryan went inside to pick up the order, they couldn't find it at first. Yeah....
We also got some wings, medium & honey teriyaki flavor. The flavors were good, but the wings were really small. So even though they taste good, you don't get enough meat for the money. Probably won't get them again.
And the pizza...better than a chain, but didn't blow me away. I'd probably go there again, close by and not too pricy.
But where, oh where can I get a GREAT pizza?!?!
I thought he was so cute yesterday on the White House lawn, when he ended his speech with "God Bless America!"
What a different tone from that of a Reverend we've heard a lot about lately...
It bothers me that the media is making such a big deal about the political repercussions of his visit.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
So I have been reading a book with Meg by Richard Foster, Celebration of Discipline. There are a lot of things I don't agree with in his book, but there is one practical thing that has really challenged me so far. And that is the discipline of simplicity. How can living simply help us be more spiritual people? The simpler our lives, the more time we have to focus on the spiritual part of our life, and the less we have to distract us. (Much easier said than done though, because when I look at my life, it's anything but simple! But I'm working on it)
"develop a habit of giving things away"
I love this becuase we all know it's good to give. But do we develop a habit of giving? I want to have that habit. I want giving to be a natural part of my life. I packed up a bag of clothes earlier this week to donate to someone/something, but had no idea really how I was going to donate. And then on Sunday, voila! in the bulletin at church...a women's clothing drive. Coincidence? I think not!
"shun anything that distracts you from seeking first the kingdom of God"
"It is so easy to lose focus in the pursuit of legitimate, even good things."
What distracts me? Well when I'm at work it's gmail, facebook, my blog! Haha. And when I'm not at work, it's my blackberry! Oh the irony.
But seriously. When I first moved out on my own, I couldn't afford cable or internet or anything besides the bare essentials. Now I'm doing a little better, and at one time I considered buying an HD tv just because they were on sale for the Super Bowl. I'm so glad I didn't though, and I'm so glad I don't have cable or even internet. Not saying that they are distractions from the kingdom of God, but they aren't essential to my life. Yes, I can survive the evening hours without internet & cable tv. It surprises me! So I don't think I'll be getting either of these any time soon. It is a challenge, but it's almost refreshing not having these amenities any more. Because I actually have to DO something with my life & free time (thank goodness for running :)
And...sometimes I even turn off the berry in the evenings. The berry is something I really want to get rid of! Not letting work life complicate life.
So I'll leave you with what Foster left me at the end of his chapter on simplicity:
"May God give you - and me - the courage, the wisdom, the strength to hold the kingdom of God as the number one priority of our lives. To do so is to live in simplicity."
So needless to say, I haven't run at all since Sat. But I think it's a good thing. Sometimes you just need a break! And though I wish I could be breaking at the beach...I can't have everything can I? I'm just going to take it easy & enjoy some time off of running.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
date of visit: 4/11/08
We went to Seasons 52 last week for Meg's birthday - it was delicious! I've always wanted to try this place, ever since I heard about their 300-calorie-or-less dessert shots. Mmmm...more on those later!
The host & our server were pretty much impeccable! I only give our server a 4.5 because I was a little baffled at the timing of the meal. The table ordered flatbreads, and then Ryan & I got the tune appetizer. Both came out pretty quickly (the tuna came out almost on top of the flatbread). But then we waited a while to give our dinner order...and then for dinner to come out...and then for our server to come back and let us order dessert. Just a minor complaint :) I just got really restless waiting to get dessert because I was so excited about it! I did get a black napkin to go over my black dress, so you know this is a classy place. The seared tuna appetizer was delicious! Comparable to Gladstone's in Malibu, just smaller pieces.
Cool thing - everyone at our table ordered something different. When does that ever happen? And everyone seemed pretty satisfied with their choices.
I chose the cedar plank salmon. It was cooked pretty well, and the cedar flavor was really good. It was a really big portion too, I was surprised. Since their thing is that all their entrees are less than 475 calories, I figured I'd be getting a baby-sized serving. But I had a large serving, and the fish seemed really fresh. However, I wasn't a fan of the vegetables. They were kinda shriveled and tasteless. Then I tried Ryan's citrus chicken. It was really juicy! yum!
And then...dessert. They bring out all the shot glass desserts on a rack, and offer for you to just buy the whole rack. I think next time I will just come for dessert and buy them all. Each shot glass is $2.25 and a scrumptious 2 bites. Maybe 3. But each bite is flavorful & rich. Surprising for only 300 calories right? I tried the amaretto-almond cake. The cake was airy and the cream was real. (I have this thing with fake cream. I only eat real whipped cream. As in heavy whipping cream whipped with sugar til firm.) Ryan had tiramisu. The coffee taste was too overwhelming for me. But it was still cute hehe. I wish I hadn't been so full by the end or I would defintely have tried more! But now I have an excuse to go back :)
I ran it in 30 min, which is pretty good considering I ran pretty slow for almost 2 of the 3.1 miles. Wanted to stay behind with my old roomie & friend Lindsay. It's not often that I get to run with people, so I really enjoy being social if I know someone at a race! I'm pretty sure I would have had a sub 30 time if I had been running alone. Lindsay finally convinced me to leave her around mile 2. Then it was pretty cool passing so many people, since I had held out for so long. I even passed someone I knew, who called out my name as I was passing him. I was like, I guess I can hang out with you for a bit :) Then picked up the speed again and moved on! I am really starting to love racing!
Lindsay & I before the race
There I am chugging up North Ave, a fun long hill
Just a few strides away from the finish line
Thursday, April 10, 2008
I know plenty of guys who will do anything to avoid a confrontation, and plenty more girls who love a good catfight. Point is...what kind of generalization is this, and doesn't that just bring up the gender issue? Which should be a moot point?
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
date of visit: 4/5/08
Sconyers is pretty much my favorite bbq in Augusta. There's so much history too that you just can't help but admire! The parking lot is a gravel hill, and the building is a log cabin style house with a small pond in front. We stopped to look at some funny turkey ducks:
We went for my mom's birthday this past weekend and were seated upstairs alongside some other birthday tables. I gave it a 4 on ambience only because the flourescent lights upstairs are a little harsh on the eyes, and our chairs were a little sticky. But otherwise, you get the nice homey feel. Our server was awesome, handled our large party well, was good on refills, and made sure our food came out quickly. I was impressed! But of course, I expect nothing less from Sconyers.
Ryan & I split the Plantation Platter. Only attempt to eat this alone if you haven't eaten for a day or two. It is soooo good. Chopped pork, chicken, beef, ribs, hash & rice, and potato salad. Can you ask for anything more? And every single bite was perfect. Especially the hash. I could eat that every day.
Here's what we had leftover (between 2 people):
Here's Holly's reaction to how good the food is:
And here are some of the beautiful azaleas out front. A little taste of what it must be like at Augusta National this time of yr:
Monday, April 7, 2008
This is the view from the car where I spent most of my "warm-up" time. Basically we got there around 7:15, I registered, got my # and t-shirt, and then we sat in the car for an hour watching the rain come down.
Here we have Chauncey Davis of the Atlanta Falcons leading us in some pre-race calisthenics. Think jumping jacks. It was fun :)
Ready set go! Can you spot me & Jennifer? We were the only 2 that made it from our team of 10. Yes, we are hardcore.
Approaching the finish line in a sprint! It caught me by suprise...I turned left on to Auditorium Place and there was the finish line! I wasn't expecting it so soon.
through the finish line and into the chute
Jennifer & I after the race, soaking wet, but happy to be done! AGD represent :)
The race was actually fun, despite the rain. At first, I was dreading it and I just wanted it to be over. I ran pretty slow (or at least I thought I was going slow) because it was just so miserable. The rain kept pouring down my face and my jacket was soaked all the way through. I can't even count the number of puddles I splashed through. But it was pretty neat running around the Capitol and running down to Oakland Cemetery. Even if we couldn't run through it due to tornado damage, it was still a pretty scenic run. Lots to look at! There was a barefoot runner who wore jeans. Crazy man!
And get this...I won 1st place in my age group! I didn't even think about sticking around for awards since I didn't feel like I even tried. But now you know a 1st place racer. Haha! Thanks to Jennifer, she picked up my plaque and once I get it, I'm very sure you will see a picture. I must have been the only one in my age group. Hehehe!
Thursday, April 3, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Suwanee, GA - 3/29
I love this place. I will have to try out the Marietta location soon, it's the closest one to me. We went here for a best friend's birthday and it was great! At first you think it's going to be another upscale, pretentious sports bar, because it looks sooo nice. Flat screen HD tvs everywhere, dark hard wood furnishing, really nice ambience. Then you meet the staff, who are so nice and all smiles. (Just a little slow on seating or I'd give them a 5.) Then you open the menu and stare in shock at how inexpensive the food is. ($4.99 for an 8" pizza! 6 slices. I only ate 2 and saved the rest for lunch the next day.) And then you get the food and it is...AMAZING.
We ordered wings - medium buffalo and the house special lemon pepper. The medium was just right in spiciness, and the lemon pepper was so fresh. But the best part is the wings, they are huge! So meaty & juicy, cooked just right. We had a large party and our food came out so fast, we didn't have to wait long at all. My pizza was really great, delicious toppings, right amounts of cheese & sauce, and the hand tossed crust was awesome. I don't know what it was but the crust just had something extra to it that was soooo tasty. Cooked to a perfect golden brown. Ryan had steak, which I didn't try but looked pretty good, but I did try his Burgundy mushrooms, and they were deeeeelicious. Yummmmmm.
Great food, great prices, great service, great atmosphere. The perfect place to go to watch any sports event yet not too loud or obnoxious to still have a good time with friends.
Although...I wonder why they felt the need to put an "e" at the end of every word in their name, hehe.