Monday, January 29, 2007


Two very nice pieces for a not so nice day. I really haven't put as much thought as I should have into either of these. Pick them up. Enjoy.

"Here At The Right Time" by Josh Ritter, on The Animal Years.

Redi Whip, on a spoon, because straight out of the can is uncivilized.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

By The Way

Oh, and did I mention that, after kicking Eric's butt my first time playing Wii Bowling (136!), I WANT A Wii!!!!!??

I see how all of you out there are addicted.

Hiking on the Treadmill?

My new favorite addition to my workout routine is the "hills" setting on the treadmill. The elliptical has been hurting my feet if I stay on too long, so I've felt the need to change it up lately. However, I discovered yesterday that 10 is a VERY difficult level to begin at. But fun.

I'm starting at a 15 minute mile, and we'll see if I can get that up by the time real camping, hiking, and jogging season starts. I'd like to run a 5K in spring, if anyone would like to work with me toward that goal. if nothing else, it'll just such a great feeling to be able to make it through a hiking trip with my in-shape friends without needing to collapse mid-way through because I can't keep up.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

No, She Won't!

Update: The ski trip was crazy fun. My first time up the bunny slope ski lift was exhilarating, and at that point I thought the excitement would never end.

I was a quick learner when the slopes were easy, so I was left to my own devices while the experts tended to the intern from Kenya, for whom this season's snow was his first ever. After a few more runs down the baby Green, people were starting to head off to the real hills, and I wanted go, too.

It turns out that there's a HUGE difference in speed between the Beginner Green and the Baby Green hills at Cascade. I was in awe within the first few seconds of the chair lift ride, and had butterflies by the time we made it to the top. Once my group was ready to go, I confidently pushed off with my poles, began to practice my "S" move that I had been told would help me slow down and then proceeded to... scream. And fall. And cry. It was way too fast. Way way way too fast. I had no idea how to get back up, how to get down the hill, what to do.

So, after some kind souls helped me onto my feet and gave me the lesson on tacking that I should have had earlier, I eventually made it down, back to the hill I should have stayed at, and moped for awhile.

I did practice for a long time, and nearly didn't even go back to the real hill at all. Then 45 minutes before the lifts closed, I spied a beginning snowboarder friend coming down the hill and she said she'd babysit me and pick me up whenever I fell. So that gave me the confidence I needed to make it back onto the horse, go back down Big Green a couple more times, and actually look like a real skier!

I even managed to play volleyball the following night, but today, every muscle in my body aches. Ow. I can't wait until February 10th to go back. Bring on the snow.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Will Jessie Break a Leg Tonight?

I'm going skiing tonight for the first time. I'm a klutz. People know this. But I'm getting in shape, so theoretically I have better muscle control than I used to. But my insurance hasn't been working properly lately. So let's pray that all goes well.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Family Recipe Chili

My step dad and I have actually adapted this recipe together. It's been over a year since I've made it, so I worried that I was out of practice. But this stuff is great. it's a deep red color, and you can smell it when you walk in the house. When you take a bite, first you burn your mouth because it's so hot. At that point, you want to add more chili powder because you don't think the fire is quite enough. But when the pain from the temperature hot goes away, you're left with this all encompassing heat that spreads down your throat into every crevice and the only thing that will ease it is a big piece of chewy French bread, covered with real butter.

The change this year is the Penzes Hot chili powder. It really makes the difference. I won't go back to any other.

Serve over noodles, top with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and oyster crackers. Enjoy.

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Descent

Movie Night tonight was flipping terrifying. Oh my goodness gracious, I will have nightmares. I'm delaying going to bed for just that reason. Wow.

But on the plus side, Humana came through and didn't stick me with the original $300 bill for my CT scan last month. All I pay for modern technology to tell me there's nothing wrong with my head is a $13.26 balance. Not as scary as I had feared.

Good night, everyone. Sweet dreams.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Sunday Breakfast

There are many types of great dining experiences. Not quite as many dining experiences that make great leftovers, however. Within that subset, there are only three specific types of leftovers that make excellent breakfast foods. They are, in no particular order: sesame chicken from Emporers Kitchen (served hot); deep dish pizza from Edwardos (served cold); and the second chimichanga from La Fuente (served hot). Mmm, I'm always glad I didn't stuff myself the night before...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Greatest Songs To Finish A Workout

The Late Greats by Wilco followed by
The Sign by Ace of Base followed by
Boston by Augustana.

Late Greats just makes me giddy and excited, reminiscent of the second encore at any Wilco show, sweaty from all the dancing in my seat, wanting to sing along, no cares in the world, no worries that my hair is sticking to my head and I'm wearing shorts in January.

The Sign makes me think of middle school dances, the fun parts before the boys made me cry. Jumping up and down, giggling, and singing along at the top of my lungs. I almost busted out in the middle of Cardinal. Instead, I just pumped up the speed on my machine.

And then Boston brought it all down for my cool down, and helped me ease into my ab routine in such a nice way after the mega high energy cardio.


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I Was Right!

A discussion arose last night about how to determine when Leap Year was. It was pointed out that whenever it is an election year, February also has 29 days. This is generally true, I pointed out, except in several rare cases, when every fourth year is NOT actually a leap year. People scoffed, said "Silly Jessie, doesn't know what she's talking about..."

Well, turns out I did know what I was talking about. According to Wikipedia, "The Gregorian calendar, the current standard calendar in most of the world, adds a 29th day to February in all years evenly divisible by 4, except for centennial years (those ending in -00), which receive the extra day only if they are evenly divisible by 400. Thus 1600, 2000 and 2400 are leap years but 1700, 1800, 1900 and 2100 are not." [Emphasis mine].

It's not often, but it happens.

Monday, January 01, 2007

First Post of 2007

The old has gone, the new has come. I like the idea of making New Year's Resolutions, and having a chance to start over and try something new. So often, though, people try something new, but everyone always seems to go right back to the old way. Or maybe you improve in one area, but fail in another. It's like that Seinfeld episode where Jerry discovers he always comes out even in everything he does.

So, with that in mind, here are the things I'd really like to do better with this year.
  • Spill less. I did pretty well the first night of 2007, let's see if I can keep it up.
  • Don't get burned. Yes, this was my failed resolution of 2006, but we're trying again. It may mean I'll need to stay away from hot stoves, or crappy guys, or both, but I'm hoping the benefits will be worth going against my instincts.
  • Stay healthy. In mind (read more), body (eat right and exercise), and spirit (more Bible reading, less stress).
  • [Update] Hug more, put foot in mouth less.
That is all. Feel free to list your own resolutions, and check back to see when I fail mine.