Saturday, May 26, 2012

P52 -- Favorites

This is a little bit of a cheat, since I haven't been participating in Project 52 thus far.  But I missed Sweet Shot Tuesday, so I thought I'd jump in here.

Plus, this week's theme is "favorites."  And since L (who will be named Elijah when he joins us here in America) is really the only thing I think about these days, I thought he easily qualified as my favorite.

Eli, we can't wait to meet you.  Twelve days. . . .


Friday, May 25, 2012

Examining Snap Judgments

Early this morning while I was out for my run a man in a rusty old Blazer stopped and tried to ask me something.  I pretended I didn't hear him and kept running without breaking stride.

And then I spent the rest of my run thinking about it.

Why hadn't I stopped to see if I could help him?  Was it because he was a "he"?  Was it because his beat up old vehicle was big enough for a body bag in back?  Was it the time of day?  The fact that I was alone?

It was probably all of that. 

Snap judgments, we all make them.

Truth is, if it had been a woman driving a nice sedan with a car seat in back, I probably would've stopped to see what she needed.  Does that make me a hypocrite or smart?

It's been a few months now, but I personally still feel the sting from the apparent racism of the Trayvon Martin killing.  I also hate that this case is unfolding in the media, giving us what ultimately may turn out to be a slanted version of what happened that day, but only because of the initial media attention is there even now a case.  That's a real conundrum.

And to be honest I've not even tried very hard to hold my judgments at bay about George Zimmerman and why he did what he did.  Just ask my friend who thought it was a good idea to relay to me--with glee in his voice, no less--the news that Trayvon's autopsy report showed traces of marijuana in his system.  Seriously, what is that supposed to prove?  That Trayvon was a bad kid generally and deserved to die?

I think we all have such visceral reactions to incidents like Trayvon Martin's killing because we all worry that we have a little bit of George Zimmerman in us.  We fear people because of what they look like, and the circumstances in which they appear before us.

Don't get me wrong, I think what happened to Trayvon Martin was awful.  Appalling.  Unconscionable.  It's one thing to be leery of someone, and another entirely to follow and gun them down.  The initial reaction may be something we all share, to some degree, but what separates us is the actions that flow from that reaction.

And the kicker is seemingly harmless people can be highly dangerous as well.  Take Ted Bundy, for instance.  He didn't set off internal alarms in the many women he killed because he was a "handsome and charismatic" guy.  He'd approach women claiming to need help and they'd trust him because he didn't "look" like a rapist, kidnapper, or serial killer.

Snap judgment failure, for sure.

I don't know the answer to this dilemma.  Maybe there is no answer.  Perhaps the puzzle just keeps us thinking about ourselves and how we interact with those around us, both fairly and unfairly.

And maybe that self-examination, in itself, helps makes us better people.

UPDATE:  Guess I was smart.  Attempted kidnapping of a young female runner on a trail in a Denver suburb, just three days after this post.  In the middle of the day, no less.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Court Date!

This is a post I've been looking forward to writing for a while -- we have a court date! 

Brad and I will be traveling to Ethiopia in just a few weeks, to appear before an Ethiopian federal court judge on June 8th.  If all goes well, "L" will officially become our son on that day.

"Excited" doesn't come close to what I'm feeling right now.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sweet Shot Tuesday -- Graduation Weekend

Brad and I were in Washington, D.C. last weekend for our niece's graduation from Gallaudet University.  It was a beautiful weekend full of fun, family and friends, and a great opportunity to get some more time with our new camera.

Brad and Sam:

Sam and her parents:

Sam and her grandparents:

Sam and her uncle Brian:

Happy mama:

We're all so proud of you, Sam!

Sweet Shot Tuesday with Kent Weakley

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

5 Years Ago Today, er, Sunday

I'm a little late posting this because Brad and I had such a fun, busy day on Sunday.

I started by birthday celebration on Sunday by running the Cherry Creek Sneak 10 miler.  Brad re-arranged the plans he'd made for us, rescheduling them to Friday night, to support me.  (The eight course chef's tasting dinner with wine pairing at Mizuna was amazing, but would not have been a terrific pre-race meal.)  Then he got up at the crack of dawn to drive me to start of the race.  Love that guy.

While I was running the Sneak, I kept thinking about how much my life has changed over the past five years.

Five years prior I'd run my first marathon, the Big Sur International Marathon, on my 40th birthday.

Crossing Bixby Bridge with my friend Erin:

Big Sur is not a typical first-time marathoner's choice, particularly for someone like me who'd only started running the summer before.  Big Sur is spectacularly beautiful, but it's a hard course, with a two mile long 4.5% grade hill ("Hurricaine Point") just before the halfway point. But the race was held on the day of my 40th birthday, and the finisher's medal was designed by a woman with my same exact name.  So I knew, Hurricaine Point or not, it was the race for me.

It was a glorious day; foggy and cool while we ran, then beautiful, bright sunshine for the post-race party. When I crossed the finish line in Carmel, I knew my life had changed forever. Running helped give me the confidence to, eventually, make some long-overdue changes in my life.

Since Big Sur, I've run 10 more marathons, qualified for Boston twice, and run Boston once.  (I'll run it again in 2013 if my four minute qualifying time cushion is fast enough to register.)

My most recent, the Rock 'n Roll Arizona in January 2012:

Now I can't picture my life without running.  I've met so many great people because of running, including my good friend Alane who later introduced me to Brad.

And I'll soon have a little Ethiopian running buddy.

Five years ago I never imagined my life could be this good, that I could be this happy.  Every day I thank God for bringing Brad to me, for helping me create a life I never thought I'd have. But some days it seems more amazing than others.

Sunday was one of those days.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Eat Your Fish and Drink Your Wine

Whenever I'm in the car by myself, I always listed to Doctor Radio on Sirius.  Brad likes to joke (tease?) that I'm getting my satellite radio medical degree, but I find it fascinating.

I think I would've really liked to have become a doctor; I was pre-med when I first went to college, in fact.  But I quickly learned that at age 18 I didn't have the focus required for the grueling course schedule, so after my first semester I set my sights elsewhere.

Recently one of the doctors on Sirius said she tells her patients to eat fish at least twice per week, that it's the best single dietary contribution to overall good health.  I'm not sure she'd want you to fry your fish twice per week, but swapping out the traditional french fries with crisp asparagus spears should earn back some health points.

Golden Fish Fry Sandwich

This recipe is from Maria Helm Sinskey, and you can find it here on the Robert Sinskey Vineyards web site.  Our local market had fresh, wild caught cod, which was great in this sandwich.  Brioche buns would be perfect if you can find them (we couldn't), but if not, use the softest roll available.

Each month with our club shipment, there is a booklet with the usual growing notes, tasting notes, and Maria's recipe.  There are always a few pages with Rob Sinskey's thoughts on the particular wine, and this month he was writing about their Pinot Blanc.  (Which, incidentally, was one of the wines Brad and I served at our wedding reception.)

He describes Chardonnay as the "corporate rock band of wine" and Pinot Blanc as "the little indie band that could."  A wine of finesse.  I love it.

So be good blog readers and eat your fish and drink your wine.  Just don't fry it all the time and you'll live happily ever after.  I promise.