Sunday, August 31, 2008

best surprise yet

This has been a really fun, unpredictable election year, and McCain's pick of Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is the best surprise yet. Funny because I first read up on her last month and became a fan, and was alerted by a reader back in May of the liberal fear of her being added to the Republican ticket. Here is a great article in the NY Times about the process.

I still haven't watched Obama's acceptance speech. From what I've heard, it wasn't anything we haven't already heard from Obama. He's a good speaker. He likes to talk change. He likes to put himself in front of a temple - what's up with that? But what I really like about his speech is that instead of everyone talking about it the next morning, everyone was talking guessed it. Sarah Palin. McCain stole your thunder Obama. I wonder how mad Obama was about that.

I think Palin is an awesome choice, for a couple of reasons. It's unexpected, but she is a solid leader. Exactly the breath of fresh air McCain needed in his campaign, and what we need in Washington. Who better to take on the bureaucracy than someone who fearlessly stood up to corruption in her own political party? And so what if she was mayor of a small town and governor of a far away state? I think the farther she is from Washington politics, the better. She is a true outsider. And she has real executive experience, something Obama, Biden, and McCain don't have. And while she may not have much foreign relations experience, McCain does, so I think that balances out, and she can learn a lot in the months to come from him and his advisers.

If you want change, then you want someone like Palin. Not Obama, not Biden. What real change has Obama brought to this country in his years in the Senate? What real change has Biden brought in his many many years in the Senate? Here we have a woman who hasn't even finished her first term as Governor and has brought IMMENSE change to her state.

The one thing that makes me really angry already...I was at a party on Friday and overheard a woman co-worker say to another co-worker "I don't think she can be a mother and the Vice President." Is that not the most sexist thing? I don't know if this co-worker is a Republican or Democrat, but either way, that mindset is really disappointing. Why can't women be wives & mothers AND follow whatever dream/career path they want? Women have come such a long way, and to dismiss Sarah Palin on this ludicrous idea that you can't be a mother and VP of the US is a slap in the face to all American women. I really admire Palin for what she has been able to accomplish: good wife, good mother, good leader. What a shining example she is to American women everywhere, regardless of your political affiliation.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

quick thoughts on the Dem convention

I haven't watched too much of the Democratic convention, mostly because I can catch the highlights the next day. Based from the highlights, all I've seen from the Democrats are a bunch of emotional speeches that have little to nothing to do with the actual issues at stake. I don't want to sound negative or bitter, but if I was a Democrat, I think I'd be feeling a little empty right now. Stories are good...but there is so much more at stake here than happy feelings.

First we had Michelle Obama (click for video & transcript) and the kids. A nice speech on her family, upbringing, why she loves America, etc etc. Nice. It's a lot easier to say you love your country in a contrived speech. But when you're out on the campaign trail and really speak your mind, and your words there don't match up to your speeches, then I have a hard time believing you. I kind of wanted her to apologize for the things that she has said, because she truly offended me. And then, the kids are cute...but is this campaign about cute kids talking to their daddy or is this about the American people and the struggles we are facing right now?

Then Hillary...oh Hillary. How sad I am for you. This was supposed to be your convention. You did what you had to do...but I don't think you really believe in his candidacy. And I'm sorry but I really laughed when you said "sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits" (did you really go there?) and when you said "no way, no how, no McCain." Is that even correct grammar?

Then Bill, then Biden. I hear Biden's speech has been the weakest. "Standard and uninspiring" according to the U.S. News & World Report. Is Obama already rethinking his VP choice? Hillary anyone?

And tonight we have Obama...I don't expect anything less than full throttle praise in the morning. If he delivered the worst speech in the world, would people still praise it? I find it increasingly hard to believe that the world would criticize him, even when it's due to him.

And in other news, McCain is airing an ad congratulating Obama right around the time that he does his speech. Surprise or not?

a humbling place

I have learned so much in just 1 week in A Woman's Heart...a LOT of reading! But more than that, I'm super excited about the women that I will be surrounded with every Wednesday for the next couple months. I'm pretty sure I'm the youngest woman there, but I think that puts me in a good place, a humbling place. I have so much to learn, and these ladies have so much wisdom from their lives to impart.

I didn't know this when I signed up, but the leader of our group has been through some crazy times. She gave her testimony at church a couple weeks ago, but I missed it (I've been going to the later service). Anyway last night she told us a little bit about her struggle in trusting God through hard times. She didn't go into too much detail but mentioned that they had put her testimony on YouTube. So of course I looked it up and posted it for you here. About 5 minutes in, she mentions having a breakdown at church and having verses from Daniel prayed over her. And then, her husband had read those same verses that morning. God works in simply amazing, powerful ways.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

back to Cochran Shoals

So last week I blogged about discovering Cochran Shoals. This week, Ryan & I went back. I ran about 7 miles and then met up with Ryan for some hiking. It was really fun! I'm discovering that I really enjoy recreation. I haven't been this enthused about the great outdoors since my many years at summer camp...but now I'm really getting into biking, hiking, and hopefully canoeing soon!

The trails are pretty quiet, we didn't run into too many hikers. We did run into a runner! Unbelievable guy, running up some pretty rocky and vertical trails. Don't think I'll ever get to that point. Also ran into some crazy mountain bikers.

Anyway, here we are almost to the top of a small mountain:

Looking down on the running track beyond the pond:

The view from the top of our mountain:

Here I am on a "bridge" - that's what the map called it, but I beg to differ because it looks like a plank to me:

After we climbed down, we stopped by the Chattahoochee river and watched some ducks, geese, and a lone kayaker paddling upstream:

Monday, August 25, 2008

making dinner

So for how much I love eating out...I really love eating in. I'm not a good cook by any means, but I try! I thought I would share some of my proudest moments over the past week or 2 from dinners at home.

First, I made the BEST fried green tomatoes I've ever had in my life. I couldn't believe how good they were! I used Marvin Woods' recipe from Home Plate Cooking (if you'll remember from the good ol' days of Turner South).

Here they are all sliced up pretty:

We even tried frying up some of the tomatoes I've been growing, but they weren't as tasty.

We fried 'em up, and then we were surprised at how simple it was to make such amazing tomatoes. You just dip the slices in egg, then dust them with a mix of half flour, half cornmeal, salt & pepper.

Another favorite is the garlic chili shrimp that we happened upon at Publix. We were just looking around for food for dinner and saw the free samples of shrimp. One bite and we said "we're making this for dinner." So we took a recipe card and bought all the ingredients needed. Ryan fired up the Foreman (hey we are too lazy to go down to the pool grill, plus the lady at Publix used a Foreman!) and he made the sauce too. I really didn't contribute much to the making of this meal, but I was really impressed with the recipe and how well it turned out! I was proud of Ryan!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Cochran Shoals

Cochran Shoals is my newest running discovery! It is pretty much the most perfect running path I could ask for:

1. Not too far from my place - a 15 min ride on backroads (which is really fun with the windows down and music blaring)
2. Mostly shaded
3. Nice scenery - the Chattahoochee on one side and small mountains and greenery on the other
4. One hill and a few small hills so it's not completely easy
5. Connects to Columns Dr. which coincidentally connects to Johnson Ferry. So technically I could run from the trail to church. Not that I would do that. But I would maybe park at Columns Drive entrance rather than Interstate North, then do 1 loop on the trail and 1 loop on Columns Drive to break up the surface & routine.
6. Is a perfect 3 mile loop, with an inner 2 mile loop. Perfect for running odd & even distances!
7. Pretty popular, lots of fun people-watching and I feel pretty safe there. Lots of bikers too.
8. Gravel/dirt trail which makes running a little harder, but is better for the knees.

The only cons are that the restrooms are shut down for renovations and parking costs $$. But it's only $25 for an annual pass which I find completely acceptable, especially since you can use the pass for any of the Chattahoochee Recreation Areas.

Also on my list to do...shooting the hooch. Who wants to do it with me?

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I've got to read this book! I heard about this guy on the radio, he ran 50 marathons in 50 days, one in each state! And I also heard that after he had run the last marathon in NYC, he decided to run to St. Louis instead of flying there. WOW. Maybe it will motivate me?

fried chicken & chocolate

So I have been going to this church for over 2 years now, and although it has its pros & cons, I've mostly enjoyed it and felt at home there. However, I haven't really done much to get more involved. This is really sad that I've dropped the ball so much, when I used to be really involved with church back home and with ministries throughout college.

Well with last Sunday's sermon, I was really struck with the need to be more involved. Our pastor just started a series on the journey of faith for God's people. And for the past 2 years, I've just been sitting at the beginning of the journey, and not taken the next steps.

So, yesterday I went to my first Wednesday night at church. It was really fun. Now I'm kicking myself for not being brave enough to go sooner. It's a big church, so it can be really intimidating! But I went to fellowship dinner, which was fried chicken, mashed potatoes, rolls, salad, collard greens, and dessert bar. The chicken was awesome. Mmmmmm.

Then I wandered upstairs for Coffee & Chocolate, the introduction to Women's Bible studies for the fall. Now this was the scary part, seeing as I knew no one when I walked in. But I immediately was greeted, given a mug full of chocolate, and someone explained to me what was going on, etc. So only a brief moment of scariness!

When I went to buy a book, I realized I didn't have enough cash or my checks, so that made me sad. But I went on to the class I picked anyway. We started class and the teacher said "does anyone not have a book?" and I sheepishly raised my hand, explaining the lack of appropriate form of payment...then this lady turns around to me and hands me a $20 bill. "you'll want the book today. you can pay me back next week." Wow! What a nice lady =) At that moment I felt like I really had made the right choice and was exactly where God wanted me to be. I walked out to get the book and heard the teacher joke "hey you have any more $20 bills you want to hand out?" Hehe.

If you're curious, the study is A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place. It's Beth Moore's first study and I've always wanted to do it. I always learn a lot from her! So I'm pretty excited about this, and I'm sure you'll hear more as the weeks progress.


As each day of the Beijing Olympics continues, I hear new, disturbing stories of China's totalitarian, oppressive regime. Why does this not sicken anyone else? Why doesn't the news report it? I just watched rhythmic gymnastics, and I'm awed by the artistry, but then I see the red China flags and can't even enjoy what I'm watching because I think of all the atrocities going on underneath the facade. Because as I watched the games, I was also browsing the NY Times and found this lovely article:

Too Old and Frail to Re-educate? Not in China

Yeah that's right, 2 little old ladies, 77 and 79 years old, sentenced to labor for protesting the government not compensating them fairly when their homes were seized for redevelopment. The best part: they were in a government sanctioned area of protest. But oh no, that does not stop China.

Is this what we want to praise? Is this the way we want the world to go?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

sad day

All the times seeing him live...and the time this summer when he couldn't be there, but the whole amphitheatre cheered for him, told him we loved him.

You will be greatly missed! Thank you for the music - it's made me smile, laugh, dance, cry, scream, and jump up and down for the past 14 years. And it will never be the same without you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

yippee take that cafferty

So I read a pretty awful article by my favorite CNN staffer, Cafferty. I usually don't care to comment, but this one made me really mad.

Anyway I being the angry yet curious reader that I am, have been refreshing the page periodically throughout the day, and voila! There is my comment back to him. I hope he reads it. I'm really proud.

Here's what I said:

Interesting that you have an article deriding McCain's comments at Saddleback, when Obama's were much, MUCH worse. Where's the article about Obama?

When asked about abortion, Obama stuttered, then said he couldn't answer because "that's above my pay grade."

I would much rather have a President who can give me solid, simple answers than one who cannot answer at all. John McCain is at least straightforward and honest in his vaules & plans for the country.

weekend of reviews!

So just had a great weekend, a perfect balance of relaxing, fun, activity, and friends from all over! I decided to lump everything together into one here goes!

Lime Taqueria

kiwis: taste 3, ambience 4, service 3

Here is how Friday dinner decision-making goes...
Ryan: where do you want to eat?
Me: I don't know...are you craving anything?
Ryan: I could go for anything.
Me: Hmm me too...

So we often times end up driving around, smart phones tuned in to Yelp & Google Maps. As we near things that sound good, we look up reviews and/or websites and then decide on a place to eat. Random! But it works :)

So we ended up at Lime Taqueria on Friday. It's a cute little place in the West Village at 285 & Atlanta Rd. The interior is really cute, and they had live music. The music was cool but we opted to eat outside since the weather was nice and we wanted to be able to hear each other. For appetizers we tried guacamole, tuna tostadas, and avocado salad. Everything was good, but not awesome. I was a little disappointed in the tuna tostadas. It was 3 chips with 1 piece each of seared tuna. I was expecting a little more substance for the price!

For dinner, we tried a variety of tacos: lobster, chorizo, pork, carne asada, chicken.

Those are my tacos, and the carne asada was my favorite! Each was delicious, but I was hoping for more. We had sides of plantains (which were amazing!!! mmm) and yucca fries (not as amazing). I may go back, I may not. It's a really cute, trendy place where you have to shell out a lot of $$ for not much food. Thank goodness I had a $25 gift card.

Silver Comet Trail

After much finagling, pushing, and shoving, we managed to get my bike into Ryan's car to meet my friend/co-worker Holly at the Silver Comet. We biked from Smyrna Bicycles on the East-West Connector out to mile 10 on the Silver Comet, which was a little bit past the Powder Springs trailhead. It was SO MUCH FUN. My butt hurt so bad at the end of our out & back 21 miles, but man, it was great!! I want to do this at least once a month. Maybe start at different trailheads to get further out towards Alabama. And one day, I would like to bike all the way to Alabama. I think it'd be so fun to take it leisurely and stop at all the cute little towns or historic places of interest. And, it's only 60 miles! :) Anyone want to come along?

Here are some pics, proof that we made it 10 miles out, and a pic for my mom so that she can see I still use my Christmas present:

Oh and coincidentally, I ran into another co-worker at the trail who is training for the Callaway Gardens triathlon. What are the chances? I wished him good luck! Maybe one day I'll be fit enough to do one?

Atlanta Bread Company
kiwis: taste 4, service 2, ambience 3

Yes it's a chain. But has anyone noticed their total rebrand? It's awesome! And the ABC on South Cobb is probably the nicest and tastiest I have ever been to. I'm sad it's not closer to my house (free wifi!). The only problem was that there were only 2 or 3 workers. Severely understaffed. Nice people though, and lots of people there who were coming off or hitting the trail. I had a chicken pesto panini that just hit the spot! delicious.

Georgia Dome

I won't rate this on kiwis, but I will say that although the renovations are AWESOME, the food hasn't really improved that much. I tried a cheeseburger (ok) and fries (horrible). But there seems to be more options than there used to be...

I really just wanted to mention it because it is SO much better than it used to be. The red & black is really intimidating and I'm glad the outdated, faded pictures of sites around GA are gone. I know the Falcons must be pumped. And even with how much bigger it feels, you can still run into people you know (another co-worker! random). And even though the home team lost, I had a great time watching (the video intro shown at the beginning of game and beginning of 2nd half is really good! The falcon is so scary, it gave me chills!)

Taco Mac

kiwis: taste 5, ambience 5, service 4

I love love love Taco Mac. I could go there any day of the week. This day happened to be Saturday, and we walked in the moment the last relay for Michael Phelps was in progress. It was a real American moment for me. Every TV was on the race. Every person in the place was yelling & screaming & cheering. It was surreal. And then the Americans won, and Michael Phelps got his 8th gold. I can't really describe the moment. I got a little tear...and I'll always remember it!

But yeah Taco Mac always has the best sports on awesome flat screen TVs, good people there, and the best queso dip in the city. Even though our server was busy, another server covered for her while the other caught up on her tables. I thought that was really nice considering the chaos that ensued after Team USA's win. We went with my old roomie Linds and 2 of her friends, and then also ran into 2 of my friends from NorthPoint/Fusion. It was good times!

After church we were craving some Southern veggies and decided to hit up a perennial favorite, Roasters. I was hoping for some fried green tomaotes, but settled for fried okra and mac n cheese instead. Oh yeah, and chicken fingers. Sometimes you just have to indulge. Our server was really nice, we always get great, friendly service at Roasters. The food was decent, I just wish the tomatoes had been there. So for kiwis: taste 3, service 4, ambience 3. It's just your average comfort food, family type restaurant. Solid choice when you want some good, great price comfort food.

And that wraps up my weekend! Woohoo!

Monday, August 18, 2008


What do we think about running skirts?

They're a little on the pricy side, but some of them are just so darn cute! I don't know if I'd invest in one yet...but maybe by the time my marathon rolls around. After all, I love girly pretty things. It's an interesting trend to watch!

Friday, August 15, 2008

highs & lows

You would think after a career high 14 mile run, I'd be more motivated to keep on running. Ha.

Yeah, I haven't run all week.

It did rain 2 that threw a little kink in my running plan.

I just don't know what's wrong with me...why is it so hard to get up in the morning and just do it? I only lasted 1 week on the early AM plan. This week I pushed the snooze button every day it went off. I know I can run so ability isn't the issue. I went from highest of highs to lowest of lows.

Tomorrow I'm going for a bike ride on the Comet with a co-worker...maybe it's good to take frequent running vacations? I mean, I have been running since does get tiring & I need some new routes. That & the fact that I really only have 5 weeks of long runs left in my training plan, yet Disney is 4 months away. It's easy to just rest on laurels & not push for more.

Need some motivation!

party up! republican party that is...

So I decided to check out the Launch of Young Professionals for John McCain this week...

Here is everyone congregating at the entrance of JCT Kitchen bar. Ryan accompanied me & we were among the first arrivals. We met some people and I forgot their names not 5 minutes after meeting them. Yeah...I'm not good with names. As people started arriving, I was impressed with the range of ages. I was one of the younger people there, but certainly not the youngest. And there were plenty of older people...even close to my parents' ages. (Hey, they are young at heart!) And, there were LOTS of people there. We packed out the inside bar & the outside patio, and people even made makeshift seating on the stairs.

But what was not diverse was the type of person there. I felt like I was back in Greek land in college. Not that this is a bad thing, I loved being Greek. But I thought...I mean, aren't there lots of different professions? Do only good ol' Southern boys & girls who work at tax or law firms support McCain? Or are they the only social supporters of McCain? I just remember back to Mitt Romney & Ron Paul's rallies - all kinds of different people were there (especially at Ron Paul's). This really was not the case. I was so glad I wore a summery, cute dress that day...because every girl was wearing one.

Side note on the food - the recpetion food was popcorn & fries:

What does that say about Republicans? And what about hungry Republicans? I came straight from a long day at work...and I had popcorn & fries for dinner. They were pretty good though.

Ok so after an hour or so of mingling, the speaker was announced. Hunter Hill is running for Georgia State Senate. I have to say, first impressions, nice guy who's not a great speaker. He slipped up and said "we should be helping Obama...oh I meant McCain, sorry." What kind of Republican makes that kind of error? He made it a couple times too. We all laughed it off, but it still kinda bothered me. The other thing that bothered me is that a train came through with horn blasting. Yeah, JCT Kitchen is right by a train track. Whose brilliant decision was it to have a speaker on an active train track?

Back to Mr. favorite parts:

"If you're not a conservative, maybe you should look into being one."
many laughs from the crowd on this one

"less taxes, more freedom"

on the war in Iraq (Hill was deployed to Iraq)
"we want to come home winners...Obama thinks nothing is worth fighting for."

It was an upbeat speech, supporting McCain etc etc. Nothing I didn't already know. Then at the end, to wrap up, we were encouraged to tell our friends about McCain and also to give money if we could. Speaking of, I should probably do the money thing soon. But I was a little disappointed in the lack of urgency. It was cool to hear Mr. Hill speak, but I was hoping to hear more about more tangible ways we could contribute. I remember back in 04 spending many hours at Bush's re-election center, making phone calls to get out the vote. When are we gonna do that? What can I do personally? That's what I really wanted to know and I didn't get those answers. Apparently there are more events in the future though, so maybe there will be more involvement then?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm gonna live a long long time

Here's a cool article based on a new study that shows people who run live longer...and don't necessarily have joint problems or heart problems later in life. I like it!

Monday, August 11, 2008

over halfway there!

Yesterday I ran 14 miles! Yikes! I've finally gotten to the point where I understand why people think I'm crazy for doing this...what have I gotten myself into?

The Silver Comet & I have become close friends. I won't say good because we have a love-hate relationship. Love because the air is clean, the trees are shady, there are no cars, it's really flat. Hate because the miles seem to stretch on forever and I get bored after an hour or 2 of running. I guess there is more love than hate though!

Anyway! I started at the Floyd Road entrance, there is a cute little bike depot. Ryan rented a bike, and it was really fun seeing him whiz past me with a big grin on his face. The people at the depot were really nice, and they had a lot of selection. I was definitely jealous of Ryan and I hope to be able to take my own bike out there soon.

I ran 3 miles west, 3 miles back, water/powerade break. Then 2 miles east, 2 miles back, water/powerade/energy gel break. At this point, Ryan was back at Floyd Rd. and we had a quick talk about how his bike ride went, and then I said I could stop at 10 miles if he wanted to leave. But Ryan, my ever-encouraging fan, said, "No, you need to run the rest of the 14 miles." (or something to that effect). I'm so glad he made me finish the run though, painful as it was. So I ran 2 miles west and back in again. I really have to give a shout-out to Ryan here, because if he hadn't wanted to go with me to the trail, I probably wouldn't have gone. And if he hadn't have been there with me at mile 10, I probably would have stopped and gone home. So many thanks go out to my #1 fan! :)

I have to say, and this is really weird to say, that the first 6 miles were cake. Who would have ever thought I'd come so far as to say "6 miles? that's nothing." But then the next 4 miles were a little harder and I could have happily stopped there. But the last 4 miles were excruciating. I'm talking pain so bad that it felt better to keep running rather than stop and/or walk because then I REALLY felt the pain. Isn't that weird? So run I did. After I passed mile 13 I really felt a surge of rejoicing, beacause I was happy that I had passed the halfway mark to the marathon, and I was overjoyed that there was only 1 mile left. Whew!

When I was running the last 4 miles, I kept thinking my mantra in my head. I've been following the training program in the Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer, and a lot of the training is psychological. So at one point in the training, I had to come up with a short paragraph that would empower me while I was running. So mine is "I am a marathoner. I love to run. Running is fun. God's got my back. He gives me the strength. He gives me the energy. This is a blessing. I am so thankful!"

So on the back 4, I was thinking my paragraph, and then I was thinking, what do I mean by "this is a blessing"? And then I realized as the pain got worse and my steps got slower...this is a blessing because I am pushing my human body to the limit, limits I've never known before. And in putting myself in my weakest possible state, there comes a point where I can either quit or I can say "Hey God, do this through me. Give me Your strength & give me Your power." So running becomes a blessing because it's an opportunity to trust God and see Him do something amazing. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I ran 14 miles with God's help. There's no way I did at alone. This is a blessing.

Friday, August 8, 2008

review: pach's place

So before I get too far away from my too short vacation in last review. The last full day I was there, my aunt took me to Pach's Place. You can see their full menu there, but my favorite is this:

The weekend specialties menu! I almost got the lobster omelette, but instead went with the eggs benedict, a personal favorite indulgence of mine. My aunt got the southwestern omelette, which was good, and Ryan got a beef & cheese type omelette. Look how big they were! Plate size omelettes! Ryan looks scared.

Here's my eggs benedict:

So for kiwis...
taste: 4
ambience: 3
service: 3

The restaurant is located in a suite in an office type building...kind of strange. I guess that adds to the "hole in the wall" kind of mystique, although it's not really a hole in the wall. It is right along the bay though, so you get a good view of it going in and leaving. Does that count? It's pretty clean, but cramped. The decor could use some freshening up. Most of the wait staff seemed nice, but just average. It's definitely about the taste and amount of food you get for your money (which I think the pictures show better than words ever could). I definitely would like to go again and try one of the weekend specialties. They also serve lunch! Mmm.

2 checks on the early AM plan

So I woke up at 6 am on Monday and ran. day 1 - Check!
Then I woke up at 6 am on Wednesday and ran. day 2 - Check!

Except that I managed to forget my vaseline, which is a necessity for me on longer runs (this was a 6 mile run). In pain, I only made it to 5 miles. :(

Then I didn't wake up Thurs or today to run. As the week ends, I've found that I get really tired. Maybe I should check into energy foods or supplements? Then there was my little injury...Uncheck for day 3! :(

But I could possibly still run this afternoon and then do my super long 14 mile run tomorrow morning...ahhh the weekend!

this Congress is failing me

So in my previous post, I mentioned opening the floor to is the first! Surprise, it's Ryan. (probably not much of a surprise, hehe) but if you read this, and in reading my posts have something you really want to share (that is too long or involved to be a "comment"), then forward it on to me and you may just see it posted here.

Here we have Ryan's letter that he recently sent to newspapers, congressmen(&women) and Pres. Bush:

I support the Republican Party's general plan to address the energy crisis.

It is outrageous that the congress would break for its 5 week August break without first addressing the issues that are hammering our country into a recession. It is irresponsible for the Democratic Congress, lead by the lackadaisical, self seeking Nancy Pelosi, to walk out on this issue. For whatever reason, the face that Congresswoman Pelosi believes that Congress "deserves" this break is simply sad.

Offshore drilling has been banned for many years. While the dangers to the environment still exist, oil companies have made leaps and bounds in progress on how to prevent issues from popping up and damaging the environment.

On top of the ludicrous idea that we should abandon offshore drilling, we're facing more and more pressure from oil speculators. Rampant speculation in the commodities futures market is driving up prices out of proportion to marketplace demands. The problem is speculators are increasingly buying and selling commodities such as oil even though they have no intention of using the product. The unregulated speculators are pocketing billions of dollars at our expense. The cost of food has gone
up, the price at the pump has gone way up, and I'm already concerned about how much more it will cost to heat my home this winter.

To lower oil prices for all Americans we need to increase domestic supply (that's right, increase), exploration, alternative energy sources and conservation. We also must protect bona fide speculation and hedging.

It is with a heavy heart that I say that this Congress is failing me, a voter, in its attempt to actually care about domestic issues. It is my understanding that this Congress has passed fewer bills than any Congress in the history of America. It's nice to know that Congress can take a 5 week vacation from work while all of America reconsiders their personal vacations after the rising cost of fuel has made it tough to take one.

If we don't learn to rely on domestic supply, our American tax dollars and our hard earned paychecks will keep going to overseas OPEC nations that in return are buying up American land and businesses. Please keep America for Americans and help us be self-reliant.

In closing, I would hope that if recalled by President Bush, Congress would take the initiative to care about what matters to America, care about the big issue looming in front of us, and care about the one thing that will shape the future of our economy for years to come. I hope that Congress does not spend too much time wondering why it has a pathetic 9% approval rating, when it's so very clear to all of us.

Ryan Duckworth
Atlanta, GA

kiwi crossing

So when I first started my blog, I just kinda threw the name "Musings" out there. I wanted to get it up & running, and I wasn't really sure what to call it. Now that it's been 7 months since I started, I've put a little more thought into it and came up with "kiwi crossing." First, because my nickname is Kiwi, and second, it's a place where I can type out all the thoughts that cross my mind concerning food, running, spirituality, and politics. It's reviews of eateries, a log of my marathon training, a journal of spiritual thoughts, and opinions on what's happening on the political front. So it really is an intersection of all kinds of different thoughts, that while unrelated, come together as a reflection of me...the things I like to do or things I like to think about.

And maybe the next step is adding contributors who also like to think about these things...see next post =)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

off topic again...kind of

So only those of you who know me reeeeeally well understand the whole "kiwi" thing. But I just had to post this cute kiwi video! How can you watch this and not love the kiwi bird?

hope springs - group picture

The lady who organized our team for Hope Springs Eternal 5K finally got some pictures's my favorite group shot:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

open feelings

Every morning I try to read Our Daily Bread. I often miss days when I'm running late to work, or sometimes I just forget. I'm far from perfect! But this message from the other day really hit me.

Do you ever feel angry toward God? Or do you ever feel angry, and then feel guilty for feeling angry? Because you feel like it's not right, do you try to suppress the anger? Or when bad things happen, do people tell you not to be angry at God?

Well for me, the answer to all these questions is yes. When I feel badly or angry towards God, I also start to feel guilty, like I shouldn't feel that way.

But, God wants us to express all of our emotions to Him. That's what the Psalms basically are, the entire range of human emotions layed out openly before God. Philip Yancey mentions that "The psalmists do not rationalize anger or give abstract advice about pain; rather, they express emotions vividly and loudly, directing their feelings primarily at God. The anguished conclusion of Psalm 88 provides ample evidence (vv.13-18)."

It's good to get the feelings out there. In bringing our weaknesses and our feelings out honestly before Him, that's the only way He can help us. It's such a relief to know this.

Monday, August 4, 2008

NYC comes to FL

For those of you who know me, I have a serious penchant for sweets. Well here I am to share 2 of those favorite sweet things with you, that I first discovered in my summer in NYC, and that I was privileged to rediscover and savor on my recent vacation. These both get 5 kiwis in my book!

Exhibit A:

Ah yes, Jamba Juice. I first encountered you in NYC, Times Square. Then I slurped you up every week on my lunch break. Then I pleasantly discovered other locations all over Manhattan and gleefully indulged in the Orange Berry Blitz. Then I came back to Georgia and mourned my loss. But then...I would visit you every time I went back to NYC...and then...I discovered you on Spring Break in Ft. Lauderdaled...and then! What joy...I found you 5 minutes away from my Aunt's house in Tampa. Yippee!!!

I love Jamba Juice because you walk in and just smell the freshness. Then you drink the freshness and it is amazing. The Orange Berry Blitz is by far the best smoothie I've had there, although it's not on the menu any more. You can still ask for it and they'll still make it though :)

Exhibit B:

Ah, yes. Frozen custard. I first tasted you in a cute little hut called the Shake Shack in Madison Square. When I wrote home about how delicious you were, one of my aunts in Bradenton told me about a little place called Sweet Berries. And so I knew I had to try you...and try I did! The concretes are the best, and you can turn the cup upside down without anything falling out. Thick, creamy, and utterly delicious.

Maybe I should move back to NYC...or move to Florida.

day 1

Day 1 of my new running early morning schedule plan etc...complete! I woke up at 6 am and went for a 4 mile run this morning. Good start...but can I keep it up?