Goals for 2009

1. Complete the Austin marathon.
2. Have people over for dinner once a month.
3. Get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I’ve been so close for so long….and yet….
4. Keep Calm and Carry On.

Motto for 2009

I’m Not Crazy

One of my favourite ways to distract myself from thinking about running when I’m out running is to listen to music. And one of my favourite things to think about when I’m listening to the music is whatever random memory the song playing may trigger. So when I put my mp3 player on ‘shuffle’, it’s not just the songs that get jumbled up and played in an infinite number of possible orderings, but also my memory bank.

Here are a few memories from today’s shuffle. (I should pre-warn you that my running music taste preferences lean heavily towards songs that are cheesy, poppy, 80s/ 90s hits.)

Never Ever by All Saints

Final year of University, and EasyJet is just getting off the ground. As part of their initial marketing strategy, they offered stupidly cheap flights through a national newspaper coupon campaign. Collect 5 coupons from The Guardian and get two flights to London for 5 quid each – that sort of thing. So, I collect my coupons and plan my weekend in London and get myself an EasyJet ticket. Then Billie hears about the deal and decides that for a fiver, a weekend in London sounds like a good idea, and hey thanks big sis, let’s go! So we go to London. And we do our London thing which involves visiting a bunch of friends and going out dancing and drinking and generally having an all round studenty good time. On our way home after a grand evening on the town, we catch the Tube back to Ealing Broadway. It’s not crowded on the train, and somehow we start singing ‘Never Ever’ and swinging around the poles in the center of the carriage, spinning around and around, laughing and singing.

You can tell me to my face, or even on the phone. You can write it in a letter, either way, I have to know….

It took me a lot less time to think all of this than it has to write about it.


Ten years ago I…

1. was 23
2. was living in Singapore in a flat with Sarah and Kathy
3. had just met Mark
4. was planning a trip to Bali with Rachel
5. had really long hair

5 things on today’s to-do list . . .

1. go for a run – done!
2. make an appointment to get my hair trimmed
3. figure out what size outdoor dining table we want – 6′ or 8′, by taping out the area the table and chairs would occupy out on the patio.
4. write Alexander’s 19 month update.
5. make dinner – I think I’m going to make chicken fajitas (or rather, my version thereof).

5 snacks I enjoy . . .

1. apples
2. baby carrots
3. baked Lays
4. yogurt
5. 3musketeers bars

5 things I would do if I were a millionnaire . . .

1. travel only in business or first class on airplanes for flights that are longer than 2-3 hours.
2. get a really awesome road bike
3. redecorate/renovate our home all in one go
4. get a personal trainer
5. hire a housecleaning/laundry/ironing service to come every week

5 places I have lived . . .

1. Houston, TX
2. Edinburgh, Scotland
3. Geneva, Switzerland
4. Singapore
5. Austin, TX

5 jobs I have had . . .

1. Ice cream vendor (at a horse show, no less.)
2. Day camp counselor (for 2 weeks. Never again.)
3. Swim instructor (teaching kiddos to swim. In French.)
4. International Fellow (no, really. That was my title.)
5. Product Quality engineer (there is nothing witty to say about my jobs from this point forth)

(from Sarah)

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

How are you doing? Did you miss me? I missed you. No, really. I did. I’ve just been busy. But I’ve been thinking about you. I’ve even started writing to you a few times, but somehow never got around to sending the message.

Here’s a quick round up of what’s been going on with me.

Well, first I went to Ottawa for work for a few days. I had never been to Canada before, so I was pretty excited to visit a somewhere new. Plus, I was able to visit with a couple of school friends while I was in town. That was lots of fun. I met up with Liz and Jamie for dinner, and we spent ages chatting endlessly about everything and nothing. It’s amazing the way it’s possible to just pick up a friendship more or less exactly where it dropped off with some people. I have been able to meet up with Liz a few times in the 15 years or so since we left Geneva, but I hadn’t seen Jamie since 1995. There’s definitely something to be said for old friends – people who know you for who you are, but like you anyway. 🙂

Then, Katie and Marc came home from Japan. Yay! And we watched the OU vs Texas game at their house.

Then there was some awesome wedding action back in Austin for Ted Brian and Carlisle’s wedding. And what made this even more awesome was that Katie and Marc were here to babysit, so Mark and I were free to eat, drink and be merry until the wee hours of the morning!

Then I went to Phoenix for a day for work.

Then I went back to Phoenix again for work, but this time Mark and Alexander came with me for the weekend, and we had all kinds of family fun in the Phoenix sun. We stayed at the Arizona Grand resort, and spent the weekend playing in the pool and visiting with our friends Rikki and Lisa and their kiddos. Alexander had a blast playing with the big kids!

Then we came back home to Austin.

And vowed not to get on another plane for at least a month.

Bucket List, items 26-50

26) Camp in Yellowstone Park
27) See Uluru
28) See the Grand Canyon (I visited once when I was about 7. I don’t remember much.)
29) live in Australia
30) Mud bath
31) live in Chamonix
32) build something with wood, hammer and nails (although….this could be a recipe for disaster and/or marriage counseling)
33) Learn to swing dance/ballroom dance with Mark
34) Do the Alcatraz swim
35) make jam
36) learn how to do the cryptic crossword
37) teach Alexander how to swim
38) have a herb garden
39) Visit Machu Picchu
40) organize our photos so we can actually enjoy them (especially the digital ones that we haven’t printed out)
41) see the Northern Lights
42) learn to roll a kayak
43) paint a picture
44) sing in a choir again
45) learn to identify more constellations than just the Big Dipper and Orion’s Belt
46) attend a Ngee Ann Poly IF/VL reunion
47) learn to hem my own trousers
48) go rowing on Town Lake in one of those racing row boats
49) learn a delicious cookie/biscuit recipe by heart
50) redesign this darn weblog to something I like

Items 1-25 are here.

I can now cross item 11 off my list! And I’m actively working on item 13. Woot!

Hello there

Did you miss me? I didn’t really go anywhere…I’ve just kind of, well, fallen by the wayside in terms of updating ye olde weblogge. Work is busy busy busy.

Then there’s my boy. He provides around the clock weblog worthy fodder. But the more time I spend soaking it all in, the less time there is to write about it, and I’ve definitely been in the soaking mood recently. He’s just so fun, and so funny. He’s starting to mimic words and recognise and identify things. It started off small – ‘ball’, ‘car’, ‘nana’ (banana), but has since progressed to a wider range of objects including ‘peach’ (he says it more like ‘pitch’), ‘birdie’ (he say it as ‘buh-dee’) and ‘tika tika’ (which is his word for ceiling fan). He also says (and correctly uses) dirty, no touch, touch and hot. He can repeat names if we ask him to say them – Katie, Billie, Heather, Nanny. He can follow directions well when he chooses too – things like, ‘bring me your shoes’ or ‘let’s go to your room’.

Then there’s my house. We’re in process of having some work done on our back patio and back garden. Next up, the remodel of Alexander’s bathroom and our guest bathroom. I plan to post before pictures soon. And hope to post after pictures in the not too distant future!

Then there’s my family. They’re a high energy bunch and someone always has something going on.

And our friends. Summer is here, and there are weddings and birthdays to celebrate. All good stuff.

And my exercise attempts. I’ve been meaning to write about my current love affair with Dynamic Strength class at the gym, running, swimming and the occasional spin class. I need some new goals to keep me focused.

Meanwhile, my little weblog’s birthday zoomed by without me even noticing.

So happy 7th birthday, little weblog.

Here’s to many more years of happy interweb babbling.

I’m Bad

This morning, towards the end of my workout, I think I overdid it a little. I started seeing black spots and had to sit down for a while to cool off and catch my breath. One of the members of staff at the gym brought me some cold water and kept checking that I was ok.

“The last thing we want is to see an ambulance outside the gym!” she said.

And suddenly, all I could think was that if I went into hospital, I would get some sleep.

“Don’t worry, I’m totally fine”, I reassured her.

4 Things for Friday

Four jobs I’ve had:
1. Ice cream vendor at a horse show
2. Lecturer at a polytechnic in Singapore, or ‘International Fellow’, to use the title that was bestowed on me
3. Product Quality Engineer
4. Technical Sales Manager

Four movies I can watch over and over:
1. Parenthood
2. Grease
3. The Princess Bride
4. ?? Anything fun and brainless – think Clueless, Dirty Dancing, Legally Blonde type fluff

Four places I’ve lived:
1. Geneva, Switzerland (1988 – 1993)
2. Edinburgh, Scotland (1993 – 1998)
3. Singapore (1998 – 2004)
4. Austin, TX, USA (2004 – present)

Four TV shows I love:
1. Scrubs
2. Lost
3. The Office
4. Friends

Four places I’ve vacationed been on holiday:
1. Siem Reap, Cambodia
2. Chamonix, France
3. Venice, Italy
4. Canberra, Australia

Four of my favorite dishes:
1. Breakfast tacos with egg, spinach and potato and a side of pancakes from Magnolia Café.
2. Josie’s chicken curry
3. Mum’s lasagne (the one with chicken and broccoli)
4. Laksa

Four sites I visit daily:
1. My Yahoo! homepage
2. ask mefi
3. Go Fug Yourself
4. del.icio.us/popular/

Four places I’d rather be right now:
1. In bed
2. At Club Med, Bintan
3. Scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
4. In Chamonix. I’d almost *always* rather be in Chamonix. In bed.

[I wrote this ages ago, when the 4 things thing was sweeping the webosphere, but never got around to posting it til now. I’m, um, fashionably late. Or something.]