Run, Melanie, Run…

So I have two major runs I’ve been “training” for the past couple months.  The first is on June 14th and I’ll be doing the running portion of the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon.   While I’ve run a marathon, a half marathon and several 10-12 Ks, I’m very nervous about this 8 mile run.  If you look at the course map, you can see it involved a lot of hills, beach running and a sand ladder!  Last weekend I went out and ran on Baker Beach and up the stairs as well and I’m going to try to do that a few more times.

The next is the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in October.  This run is so popular that you have to get in a lottery just to participate!  I didn’t get in last year but I got in this year!  Yay!  I’m pretty stoked about this and am really hoping to have a time a decent time.

Also, this weekend is the annual Bay To Breakers. It’ll be my 9th year participating although I haven’t run it the past 2 years.  I’m looking forward to this being a training run for June.  It’s about 7.5 miles and I’m actually going to try to run to mile 6, then run home to catch a WW meeting.  I’m not officially signed up so it’s not really important for me to run through the gates at the end.  If I do that the run will be about 8 miles.

Lots of motivation and I’ve been able to decrease my per mile time so fingers crossed that continues!

My New Obsession…Pocket Coffee!



Recently I was given gifts that my best friend in Italy sent back with a mutual friend who lives her in SF.  She saw him in November….I got the gifts 2 weekends ago….yeah, lovely.

Anyway, one of the gifts was a container of Pocket Coffee.  I couldn’t remember if I had tried it before but wow, it is SO tasty!  It has a  of a syrupy espresso center, then a sugar crystal shell and then the chocolate on the outside (I think I’ve read that 3 = 1 shot of espresso).  It’s made by Ferrero which many of you will probably know Ferrero Rocher (they also make Nutella!) but I’ve never seen Pocket Coffee in the US.  I think it’d be an instant success and now can’t wait to get more.

Do you know of anything similar?  I had read on someone’s blog that Trader Joe’s has something similar but I’ve not seen it.

Who’s tried it?  Any other closet Pocket Coffee lovers out there?

Decisions, decisions….need your help!

Opinions, people.  I’ve been given a certificate of recognition from my company which basically allows you to go pick a gift from a website.  There are so many good ones, I’m not sure what to choose.

SO…I’m going to give you my top choices and why I’d want them…and you tell me what you think I should get!  Easy, right?

KitchenAid Artisan Mixer

So some of you may be laughing…I’m not much of a baker or a chef in general, but I’ve cooking a lot more recently and I’d love to have a kitchenaid!  It retails for about $200 and it would be perfect for baking.  I have an electric blender but it’s obviously not as nice as having something like this.

Wine Enthusiast 35 Bottle Wine Refrigerator

Most of you who know me know that I love wine.  My collection has been building up over the past few years and currently sits in a wine rack.  This retails between $300-400 and would be great to have.  The downside is that I’m not sure I have much room to put it in my current apartment.

Wii Nintendo Gaming System Bundle

I don’t have any gaming systems currently and I was just saying it would be fun to get a Wii Fit.  I’m assuming that’s just another add on to this.  Retails around $270.  Downside is again, not a ton of room to play but I could make it work.  I guess the question is would I use it enough to warrant choosing it as the gift.

Bose Headphones w/Nikon Digital Camera

So I have a pair of noise canceling headphones aleady (not Bose) that I hardly use because they’re not very comfortable.  However, my small camera did just break and the only digital camera I now have is quite large and inconvenient for things like concerts, nights out, etc.  Headphones retail around $200, camera is a Nikon Coolpix 8.0 megapixel, 3x zoom.  Retails around $140.  Not sure if it’s worth getting this package when it’s mainly for the camera.

MP3 iPod 32GB iTouch with JVC Speaker Black

Since I don’t have an iPhone, I’d be excited to have the iPod Touch to be able to use many of the applications that you can use on an iPhone (although I have been told the song recognition apps are a no go on the iTouch).  Retails around $300.  The speaker is a portable stereo speaker system that “can fit in your pocket”.  Works with or without batteries and can be used with any unit that has a mini pin headphone jack.

Michael Kors Braided Grommet Shoulder Tote

Okay, this would be a total splurge-y type of gift.  Cute purse, but only comes in this color.  Retails at $500 so it’s one of the more pricier gifts that I’m interested in.  Downside: how long will I use it and how often?  Not sure but it’s cute.

There were a few other gifts I was interested in (hybrid Trek bike, Garmin Nuvi GPS) but these were the ones that stuck out the most to me.

Let me know what you think!

Miss me?

Okay, likely you didn’t realize I was gone so long but here I am!

2009 has been an interesting year so far…lots of singing, drinking, running…a promotion, trip to NYC.  It’s been fun and stressful all at the same time.

I just got back from a 5 day trip to NYC to visit a friend who was over from Paris.  We had a great time and I’ll be uploading pics soon.

In the meantime, tell me what your favorite WP themes are!


Not these kind:


I’ve been dealing with insomnia these past few weeks…I’m not sure if it’s stress at work or something else, but I find interesting things to think about as I’m laying in bed, trying to sleep but knowing that my mind will not let me.
Last night (err, today) I was thinking about triplets and how people struggle with this rhythm, particularly the quarter note triplet.  People want to turn it into a dotted rhythm of sorts.  I find that choirs have a hard time with this, myself included.  But recently some light bulb went off in my head and now I can’t NOT do it correct.  The second triplet is always quicker than you think it should be.

I know this is boring music talk to many of you, but this is honestly an issue with many musicians (albeit, mostly singers…I think our brains work differently than instrumentalists).  Our choir is singing a piece written by a friend of mine (who wrote it when he was 17, the bastard!) that has many quarter note triplet rhythms in it.  I think my love of this piece is really what had me figure out the triplet…that and our director beating it into our heads that we were not consistently doing it right! 😉

And because I’m random and like to make tangents, I’m going to share the beautiful text of the song my friend wrote.  It’s written by the great poet, Lord Byron.

WHEN we two parted
In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow—
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame:
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.
They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o’er me—
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met—
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.

When we two parted
In silence and tears.

Melanie Attempts a Stir Fry…and SUCCEEDS!

In continuing with my cooking something new once a week, I decided on a stir fry last week.

When I mentioned something to my friend Ben about looking for recipes for stir fry, I got the slap in the face!

“What??  You don’t need a recipe for stir fry!!  You just throw what you want into a wok or skillet”

“But I want it to be authentic…I’ve never made stir fry before!”

“You’re crazy…just throw go down the asian isle in the grocery store and find what you need!”

So, that’s what I did.  Mind you, I think I ended up buying too much but I figure I’ll use it at some point.  So here it is, Melanie’s recipe for Shrimp Stir Fry

1/2 lb of fresh shrimp (raw)

Broccoli (1 cup)

Water Chestnuts (sliced, one can)

Red and Yellow Bell Pepper (1/2 of each)

Baby Corn (3/4 cup)

Carrots (1/2 cup)

Snap peas (1/2 cup)

Vegetable (or Canola) Oil (2 TBSP)

Minced garlic (2 TBSP)

Sesame Oil (1 TBSP)

Soy Sauce (1 TBSP)

Chop up and or dice all vegetables.  Set to the side.  Clean shrimp, removing outer shell and tail.  Set burner to high and add oil.  Once heated, add garlic then vegetable.  Cook until tender, then add shrimp.  Mix together so as not to burn the stir fry.  Add in sesame oil and soy sauce.  Serve over rice or eat on it’s own!

And now for a commercial break…

…2009 has been crazy so far!  I can’t believe January is almost over!!  I’ve had travels, a birthday, lots of crazy stuff going on at work and I feel like I’ve neglected my blog.  I have to catch you up on the recipes I’ve made the past couple of weeks but I’ll do that in a later post.

I wanted to write about a conversation I had with a friend recently.  We were talking about relationships and how when it doesn’t work out, we always say something along the lines of, “well, their loss!”

It got me wondering though…”their” must be “you” at some point, right?  What if it’s not “their loss” but “YOUR loss”….what if you’re the one who is fucking up every relationship you get into?  Rather depressing but something I started thinking about in regard to my past relationships or potential relationships.  Am I doing something to keep me in a single state?  I’ve talked about self sabotaging behaviors in the past which I think I’ve displayed on occasion….but what if it really is ME?  Between my friend and I we started a downward spiral of self questioning/loathing…of course we laughed it off at the end.  Surely it’s not us?!  We’re amazing, talented, attractive people!!

But….what if it IS me?

My favorite painting…

…don’t ask me why I was reminded of this recently.  Maybe someone mentioned The Lourve, maybe someone said martyr….but whatever was mentioned, it reminded me of one of my favorite paintings that happens to hang in The Lourve.  La Jeune Martyre or The Young Martyr by Paul Delaroche.  I happened upon it on my only visit to The Louvre and was immediately entranced.  I was lucky enough to find a print of it in The Lourve gift shop and bought it.  To this day I’m not sure what exactly was the inspiration for the painting.  I’ve read that the paining is Delaroche’s depiction of Rhea Silvia’s attempted murder by Amulius. If you look to the background in the original painting, you can see the figure of an angry male figure looking down upon the woman in the Tiber. In the legend, Rhea is ultimately saved by Tiberius the river god and they were married. Tiberius gave Romulus and Remus, Rhea’s twin sons by Mars, God of War to a she wolf to raise and Romulus later killed Remus and claimed “Rome” his own.
I was immediately struck by a wave of sadness when I saw it…but also the beauty of it.  So simplistic.  I’m sure some would be bored by this painting, but I’ve never had such a strong reaction to a piece of art (unless in utter disgust…;-) ….anyway, sharing it with you now.  What are some of your favorite works?

La Jeune Martyre - Paul Delaroche, 1855

La Jeune Martyre - Paul Delaroche, 1855

Working on the soundtrack of my life…

What is YOUR soundtrack in life?

What is YOUR soundtrack in life?

I started thinking about this last night…as I get older, the more music plays into my life.  And I think about the songs that have weaved their way through my life…through my childhood, important, tragic, exciting moments of my life.  I don’t want to forget the music that has gotten me through my tough times or made me who I am.  I guess since I’m gaining a year in a few days it made me start thinking about putting together a list of songs that have played a part in my life.

This will be an ongoing project…I think it’ll take a while to put together put once I complete it, I’ll post it here.

What is on the soundtrack of YOUR life?